Coming off Division III Week, which concluded April 10, there were many things to take away from the celebration of the athletics program here at Ithaca College. However, the most important aspect wasn’t the recognition of student-athletes and their accolades, but rather the impact they have on the community, such as their commitment to the “It’s On Us” campaign.
The “It’s On Us” initiative was launched in September 2014 after President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden announced the campaign to spread awareness of sexual assault on college campuses.
The Ithaca College Student Athlete Advisory Council, responsible for events such as the Polar Plunge, which raises money for the Special Olympics, created a 60-second video to take part in the cause.
The YouTube video shows clips of Bomber athletes describing their own “It’s On Us” slogans, detailing the unity between being a student-athlete and standing up against sexual assault on college campuses.
The inspiration came from the Division III National Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, which created the countrywide video contest to promote the “It’s On Us” campaign. The submissions were “evaluated on effectiveness of the message, creativity, quality and ability to call-to-action a movement to stop sexual assault.”
The winner was presented a $500 award toward sexual assault prevention. The winning video was also displayed at the 2016 NCAA Division III Women’s Basketball Championship.
Although the SAAC made a very compelling video, the Bombers’ rival, SUNY Oneonta, was crowned the champion. Nevertheless, their point was made from the creation of the video: enough is enough.
The “It’s On Us” initiative has appeared on the national stage, including the Academy Awards, as many celebrities have jumped on board. Since its inauguration, hundreds of colleges and universities across the country and countless companies have publicly dedicated themselves to the cause.
The college is no different. This campaign is driven by passionate students who step up because it means helping their friends and even sometimes themselves.
Sexual assault is so prevalent on college campuses that you’re bound to know someone who is or knows someone who is an assault survivor. Although there were only a few reported sexual assaults on campus in 2015, it happens on this campus, too.
Everyone has a voice, and everyone should feel safe on this campus, regardless of gender, race, sexual orientation or beliefs. So kudos to you, fellow classmates, for getting ahead of the game and standing up for something that is worth fighting for.