It’s On Us preps for Action Week


By Jackie Nevarez

Community, university and student leaders gathered Monday to brainstorm ways to promote the It’s On Us sexual prevention campaign in time for the Week of Action, which starts Nov. 17.

The Student Association announced its involvement with It’s On Us, a presidential task force that aims to work with universities to prevent sexual assault, in a Sept. 24 news release. It’s On Us works to identify the underlying problems of sexual assault on campus and engages everyone, especially men, in sexual assault prevention efforts.

The campaign also focuses on helping universities respond effectively to students who have been sexually assaulted. The SA is one of more than 200 student leader groups the White House has partnered with for the national campaign.

“… Typically when we talk about sexual assault, we focus on women and exclude men, but what we’re doing here is incorporating men not only as potential survivors of sexual assault, but as people that could potentially be the attackers or bystanders in a situation,” said SA President Joe Frascello, who led the discussion with SA Vice President Raquel Chavez.

The university’s Week of Action, a national event to prevent sexual assault, is focused on promoting It’s On Us at NIU. Leaders from campus and city police, Greek life, SA, faculty and students congregated in groups to discuss what events and programs could be accomplished to kickstart the campaign.

In one group, Cmdr. Don Rodman said he agreed with Andrea Drott, assistant director for Health Enhancement and Victim Advocacy Services, on a goal to encourage more sexual assault survivors to report their assaults. That could begin with education on consent, said senior sociology major Rebekah Guillotte.

Paige Kilcullen, junior special education major, said increasing awareness of the whole campaign could be done through presenting the It’s On Us pledge in events and classes, which would benefit commuter students.

SA Senator Geno Hampton suggested including an event called Survivors Find Freedom, where sexual assault survivors’ stories are displayed to let other survivors know they are not alone. Stories may be submitted anonymously to [email protected].

Self-defense courses and table setups to promote the It’s On Us pledge, found at, were also suggested as possible events for the week.

“I’m just really excited to see this go into effect,” Frascello said. “It looks like we’re going to have a really successful Week of Action … this is the starting point and we’ll see what happens, and I’m really optimistic.”