It’s On Us

In 2014 President Obama, alongside Vice President Joe Biden, launched a government supported campaign against campus sexual assault.

Coined “It’s On Us”, Vice President Joe Biden has personally taken this movement into his own hands. Amidst Sunday’s Oscar frenzy, Biden took stage and brought the issue of campus assault and rape front and center.

Photo courtesy of sc.edu

“Despite significant progress over the last few years, too many woman and men on and off college campuses are still victims of sexual abuse,” Biden said.

It’s On Us attempts to bring global awareness to the issue. Their government-run website (itsonus.org) has a plethora of information available, including testimonies, videos, opportunities to meet their partners, a place to donate and even a full pledge list where individuals can make an oath.

The Pledge, which is composed of a promise to “Recognize, Identity, Intervene, and Create,” aims to combat the widespread neglect of campus assault and rape.

“The pledge says I will intervene in situations where consent has not or can not be given,” said Biden.

As exposure to Its On Us continues to grow, so does their partner following. Nationally acclaimed companies such as Newsweek, Microsoft and the United States Olympic Committee are giving their support.

“Let’s change the culture. We must and we can change the culture,” said Biden.

Similarily, starting March 1, 2016, all students nationwide will be required to enroll in Title IX training courses, which addresses sexual harassment and discrimination on campuses.

Title IX, required under both state and federal laws, prohibits sexual harassment on campuses and addresses the issues and reasons for its existence. As this is a supreme court ruling, all schools around the country must administer training courses for their students.

Specifically, all Chaffey students taking courses will be automatically registered in a Title IX training course.

Entitled “Student Empower: Sexual Violence Prevention”, the course must be completed by all students no later than May 31, though it is preferred that students finish the course within 30 days of starting.

This course strives to address many of the concerns and overlooked facts on the subject, clearing the air of what is considered consent, what to do when one feels sexually harassed or discriminated, and how to act and react when one is witness to harassment.

Offered by Workplace Answers, the course provides both concrete and abstract examples, providing students with real-world scenarios that they can apply to their actual lives on campus.

Long an issue around not only campuses, but in workplaces and social environments around the world, initiatives such as It’s On Us and Title IX are attempting to combat the apparent norms of sexual harassment and discrimination. These two campaigns provide students an opportunity to learn how to react to these behaviors and teach them how to directly combat and reduce these issues on campuses nationwide.

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