SAPE, SGA educate on sexual violence during It’s On Us Week of Action

By: Sophia Bates, Staff Writer

File photo by Marcus Dieterle/ The Towerlight

The week of April 2, the Student Government Association will be sponsoring the It’s On Us Week of Action with various events Tuesday through Thursday on the second floor of the University Union.

According to the SGA Director of Health and Wellness Airial Turner, this week is one of her initiatives regarding sexual violence awareness.

“I chose to do it on the first week of April, and since sexual assault awareness month is this month, I thought it would be really cool to do it that way,” Turner said.

Sexual Violence Prevention Educator Kailah Carden explained that Towson University is an It’s On Us campus innovation partner, one of 28 partner schools who are part of the national It’s on Us program.

The Week of Action started on Monday, with “I Pledge” running 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. where students could use iPads to take a pledge on the “It’s on Us” website and received pins after taking the pledge. The Towson University Police Department also collaborated as part of the event.

“Monday will be a big day to introduce It’s on Us,” Turner said.

On Tuesday, SGA will host the “What Do You Know?” event 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. Turner will ask students their opinions on what sexual assault is and what consent means, and direct them to put their answers on a banner to be posted on social media.

“I’m collaborating with the Health Center and the Sexual Assault Peer Educators,” Turner said. “They’ll be coming in with promotional items and their information while they are tabling.”

Wednesday will provide information on bystander prevention with “Speak and Step Up,” from 4:30-6 p.m. Students will be prompted to answer questions on bystander intervention to receive different promotional items, according to Turner.

At this event, there will be multiple groups tabling, including the Black Student Union and the Office of Civil Engagement.

Thursday is the final event, “You Are Strong, You Are Not Alone” running 12:30 to 2:30 p.m.

“This event is basically letting students know that if you are going through something like this, Towson University will always be there for you or help you figure out better steps to help you,” Turner said. “The Counseling Center will be there, and the [Office of Inclusion and Institutional Equity] will be there with two Title IX investigators.”

According to Turner, students can fill out raffle tickets throughout the week. At the end of the week, 20 names will be drawn to receive a coupon for a free 30-minute massage from the Health Center.

“I think the SGA events are great for raising awareness about sexual assault on campus, bystander intervention and the specific resources we have here,” Carden said.

Freshman Athena Claudio noted the importance of raising awareness about sexual assault.

“I think that talking about sexual assault is very important, because it’s something that is so under talked about on college campuses,” Claudio said. “I would imagine there are some college freshmen that come here and don’t know what consent is or know how to establish healthy relationships.”

Carden established the idea of school pride as a factor in encouraging awareness on the issues addressed throughout the month.

“Knowing that we are a part of something larger but that we have a lot of great programs and resources here specifically for students,” Carden said. “I hope it would make students feel like it’s something they can be involved in as an individual too.”

According to Turner, one of the main focuses of the week is unity on campus.

“The event is about unity, everybody is learning to stick together. Even if a stranger is going through this, you should be able to help them and try to give them the information they need about going through sexual assault,” Turner said. “It’s very important to have an event like this just to show awareness to the students at Towson University.”

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