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NIU students lead It’s On Us week of action beginning Nov. 17

November 12, 2014

IOU_HuskieLogoTemplateAs part of a continuing effort by the Northern Illinois University Student Association (SA) and university officials, the SA announced its week of action activities in conjunction with the White House-led It’s On Us campaign, which advocates for students’ awareness of the national issue of, response to and prevention of campus sexual assaults.

Student Association Vice President Raquel Chavez has been among the leaders in this effort, and she was among the members of a presidential task force assembled by Doug Baker formed to build upon the university’s previous work in sexual assault prevention and Clery Act reporting. The task force report and recommendations are expected to be released in early December.

“The purpose of the week of action is to gain awareness of sexual assault prevention and resources available at NIU,” says Chavez. “We’re using the resources that we have on campus as a starting point intended to elevate the discussion. It’s a movement we hope has some longevity and becomes a part of our campus culture.”

There are many campus and community resources available to NIU students and staff in this regard. Prevention and response resources can be found on p. 42 of the NIU Annual Safety & Security Report and include the following:

Student Association week of action events take place each day. Additionally, related programming will be shown throughout the campus’ dynamic signage system in the Holmes Student Center and other locations across campus. The schedule of events taking place Nov. 17-21 is as follows:

It’s On Us NIU Week of Action Events

Monday, November 17
R.A.D. Training Kick-Off
6 – 9 p.m. Multipurpose Room – Convocation Center

Tuesday, November 18
What To Do, Who to Call – Policy Education
6 – 7:30 p.m. Holmes Student Center Heritage Room

Wednesday, November 19
Survivors Find Freedom
2 – 9 p.m. Holmes Student Center Illinois Room

Thursday, November 20
Red-Blooded Men Movie Presentation and Discussion w/Dr. Laura Vasquez
6 – 7 p.m. Holmes Student Center Heritage Room

Friday, November 21
Bystander Education & Self-Defense Workshop
6 – 7:30 p.m. Holmes Student Center Heritage Room

It’s On Us week of action programs are available to the entire university community.


Raquel Chavez

“Talk to your friends about it,” Chavez continues. “Sexual assault is a big issue, and I hope students recognize how big of a deal this is. It’s an issue all across the nation.”

The Obama administration’s White House Task Force to Protect Students From Sexual Assault  was established in January to engage student leaders, university administrations and related organizations such as the NCAA to collaborate and advocate for stronger prevention and advocacy.

NIU Vice President and General Counsel Jerry Blakemore, who served on the negotiated rulemaking committee, provided important important insights into the challenges of addressing sexual misconduct on college campuses to the task force that resulted in a number of recommended action steps universities could take to help identify, respond to and prevent campus sexual violence.

RELATED VIDEO: It’s On Us Bystander PSA