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Letter to the editor: Ohio State student leaders propose ideas for sexual violence education

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The pledge on the ‘It’s On Us’ campaign website Credit: Screenshot of 'It’s On Us' website

The pledge on the ‘It’s On Us’ campaign website
Credit: Screenshot of ‘It’s On Us’ website

Letter to the editor:

The epidemic of sexual violence on college campuses is now the subject of national attention. The Ohio State University community — its students, faculty and staff alike — has responded to this problem in a remarkable way. The student-led “It’s On Us” campaign empowers students “not to be a bystander to the problem, but to be a part of the solution.” We’re still learning as Buckeyes about how we can be part of the solution. Our collaboration represented by this letter is a first step in that direction.

We as student leaders recognize the truly ground-breaking initiatives at OSU in the existing university response to sexual assault. Countless partners from the Office of Student Life and elsewhere share our passion for preventing sexual violence and supporting survivors, and several have devoted their careers to paving the way toward an exemplary response to this issue. 

With already-expanding prevention and awareness programs on our campus, and the growing “It’s On Us” campaign, we expect student demand for more comprehensive Sexual Violence Education and Support to increase markedly. As students who wish to be part of the solution, we believe that our response to this increased demand has become a new priority. It’s on us to create a culture where sexual assault is unacceptable, and survivors are supported. 

After studying the critically acclaimed response of other institutions to this problem, as well as solutions from our campus, we propose several ideas to even better educate students about sexual violence and to provide survivors and allies with the support they need. 

In short, we support the following solutions:

An enhanced student response to sexual assault, with the recognition that “It’s On Us” to protect our peers. We have claimed responsibility as student leaders to educate our peers and create a culture, within our student organizations, to intervene and prevent sexual assault. 

Increased primary prevention measures to address sexual assault, including the addition of consent training into university survey courses, and comprehensive training for all residence hall staff at OSU. We wish to arm students with the information needed to protect peers from sexual violence.

Increased secondary prevention measures, with a unified, centralized approach to providing student support and education from a comprehensive Center for Sexual Violence Education and Support. Such a center, modeled after similar structures at peer institutions, would welcome survivors, facilitate seamless referrals, provide long-term follow-up, and meet increased demand with additional support staff. A center would build upon OSU’s SVES-established, evidence-based practices, enabling OSU to guide peer institutions in our response to sexual assault. We can and will be part of a nationwide solution to advance the field of sexual violence education and support. 

We’re grateful for the guidance and support of partners from the university and in the Office of Student Life, both in preceding work on this issue and in future efforts to prevent sexual assault and support survivors. Thank you for enabling us, as student leaders, to support our peers and to look out for one another.

Celia Wright — President, Undergraduate Student Government
Isaac Oyer — President, Block O
Matt Kolena — President, Ohio Union Activities Board
Hannah McNamara — President, Student Alumni Council
Michael Golden — Vice President, Black Student Association
Lisa Barrett — President, Pan-Hellenic Association
Thomas Young — President, Inter-Fraternity Council
Patricia Castillo — President, Multi-Cultural Greek Council
Natalie Davis — President, Multi-Partisan Coalition
Jimmy Alford — President, College Democrats
Sam Zuidema — President, College Republicans
Kristin Bruggeman — President, Ohio Stater’s Inc.
Kara Spada — Vice President, UNA Campus Advocates
Jenna Greve — Co-President, SEE US 

7 comments

  1. Glad to see students getting involved in the process to protect their peers. I’m really inspired that so many organizations are passionate about this. Looks like we’ll see change soon!

  2. Glad to see she’s still not done anything for the students but instead travel on your dime and print out all her resumes.

  3. For anyone looking at this document that wishes to see a more in-depth list of solutions and an explanation, check out this link: https://usg.osu.edu/pages/id/185

  4. You know what made me stand up and cheer as a parent of a buckeye alum when I read on Wash Post website in which a parent said we need to teach our daughters to stop putting themselves in these positions. No she wasn’t blaming the victim she was stating a fact as a parent (see Stephen A Smith we know what you meant!!!)! My daughter graduated from Osu with a happy experience because she listened to me. No falling out drunk at parties. Don’t let a teammate leave a party or club drunk with a STRANGER!!!!!!!!! No sleeping with the whole FB/BB teams and become the campus drunk and sl$#@! The Hannah Graham situation keeps happening because we’re too naive with what we tell out daughters!!! He knew how to pick out the naive drunk female students to prey on……

  5. ^^^ being a parent doesn’t mean you’re not an idiot

  6. It’s On Us is about protecting ourselves and preventing sexual assault. So yes, teach your daughters to use the buddy system and be smart about drinking. But also teach your sons to NOT RAPE. Why are people so opposed to raising young men and women to respect each other? Why is it so inflammatory to try to teach our sons and daughters to ask for consent, and say no when they mean it? If you are opposed to the It’s On Us campaign because you think young women need to party less, then YOU ARE PART OF THE PROBLEM.

  7. Recent Buckeye Alum

    This is one of the reasons for which I have preferred living out chastity before marriage and avoiding the partying sort of lifestyle. Maybe the culture in which I grew up helped me with this when I attended OSU. After all, studies should always come first.

    Also, if it’s really that relevant, I am female.

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