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SA joins White House sexual assault prevention effort

September 24, 2014

It's on USThe Northern Illinois University Student Association (SA) has announced its inclusion into the new presidential task force to prevent campus sexual assaults entitled “It’s On Us.” The new White House-led campaign will seek to advocate for students’ protection and violence prevention and has partnered with over 200 universities nationwide to promote the initiative.

The It’s On Us campaign is the key program of the Obama administration’s White House Task Force to Protect Students From Sexual Assault which was established in January. The Task Force seeks to engage student leaders, university administrations and related organizations such as the NCAA to collaborate and advocate for stronger prevention and advocacy. The campaign seeks to engage college students and all members of campus communities in preventing sexual assault.

NIU Vice President and General Counsel Jerry Blakemore served on the negotiated rulemaking committee and also provided important important insights into the challenges of addressing sexual misconduct on college campuses to the task force. As a result of this input, the report includes a number of recommended steps universities may take to help identify, respond to and prevent campus sexual violence.

Student Association President Joe Frascello said the initiative is an exciting and progressive step forward in tackling the nation-wide issue of campus sexual assault.

NIU Student Association logo“This campaign is not only about changing the way campuses everywhere respond to sexual violence, but it also seeks to change the ways in which universities attempt to prevent such crimes from happening altogether,” President Frascello said. “That’s an important facet of the It’s On Us campaign because NIU and campuses everywhere need to take a more active stance on preventative policies and not just reactive ones. One assault is far too many and I am excited to continue work on this initiative to help better the NIU community.”

The SA joins with student leaders and governments from around the country in supporting this initiative and its mission. It’s on all of us to do what’s necessary to prevent sexual assault.

In July, Northern Illinois University President Doug Baker announced the formation of a presidential task force to build upon the university’s previous work in sexual assault prevention and Clery Act reporting. The task force is expected to report back to the president in October.