SA to hold panel on sexual assault

By Clarissa Hinshaw

DeKALB | The It’s On Us campaign will hold a panel discussion with the NIU Police Department and Safe Passage to discuss sexual assault prevention and provide students with resources to deal with the aftermath of sexual assault.

The panel will be at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the Holmes Student Center, Heritage Room. SA President Giuseppe LaGioia and SA Vice President Rachel Jacob hope students will learn of resources on campus.

Two years ago, the Student Association joined the national campaign, which is a presidential task force that aims to work with universities to prevent sexual assault.

NIU is one of more than 200 universities with a student leader group the White House has partnered with for the national campaign, according to an Oct. 12, 2015, Northern Star article.

“I wrote the Violence Against Women Act [21 years ago] to end the scourge of violence against women and hold perpetrators accountable,” said Vice President Joe Biden in a White House press release from November 2015.

Although an exact date has not been set, SA plans to host Bystander Intervention training. NIU’s chapter of the campaign includes Bystander Intervention, a program in which students are encouraged to stand up against sexual assault.

SA may include Bystander Intervention in the panel discussion.

“For the It’s On Us campaign next week, we will only be having these two groups represented on the panel,” Jacob said. “We also will discuss how we can end sexual assault and domestic violence in our communities.”

LaGioia said he hopes students will learn where to find resources for sexual assault prevention.

“I think everyone kind of knows general information about sexual assault, and that it’s something that should never occur in the first place,” LaGioia said. “I want students to know [about local resources] so if it were to happen, there are resources available.”