By: Becca Arkwright
BETHANY W.Va. This semester the Comm 413 Integrated Marketing II class launched their It’s On Us campaign. It’s On Us is a nationwide movement that stands to stop sexual assault and violence across all college campuses. The campaign looks to students, community leaders, parents, organizations, and other companies — to step up and realize the attitude and conversation changes with US. This movement is a war cry against sexual assault; that we need to be held accountable and take part in the solution.
Over the past two years, nearly 300,00 people have taken the pledge to stop sexual violence. It’s On Us has partnered with 95 organizations aimed to fundamentally shift the way we think and talk about sexual harassment. Only 20% of female students victims, age 18-24, report to law enforcement. Among college women, 9 in 10, victims of rape and sexual assault knew their attacker. Female students are 4x more likely to be a victim of rape than males. Among males, 1 in 33, experience sexual assault. 1 out of every 10 rape victims is male. 11.2% of ALL students experience some type of sexual assault. 94% of rape victims experience symptoms of PTSD following a rape and 33% contemplate suicide. Every 98 seconds an American is sexually assaulted. It’s On Us is a campaign that we need to stand behind.
Over the course of the first six weeks of the spring semester, with the help of Professor M.E. Yancosek-Gamble; Haylee Frazier, Sammie Weiss, and I worked to bring this campaign to life here at Bethany College. Our goal was to get half of the campus to sign the pledge to prevent sexual assault from happening on our campus. At our signing event this past weekend at the football game we were able to get over 90 signatures from students, alumni, and faculty. We are currently planning on hosting more signing events and teaming up with other speakers, clubs, and greek houses to host events in order to reach our goal of 300 signatures. Our class designed a marketing plan that would help bring awareness to our school. We created posters, flyers, video, PSAs, and even designed a SnapChat filter that students could use over the homecoming weekend at the football field! Students and other participants that used the filter were entered into a drawing for a chance to win a $25 gift card to our local Chambers store.
This past week Bethany hosted its annual 2017 Communications Week that centered around the concept of changing the conversation, taking action, and bringing awareness to its students. Examples of some lectures and presentations are Culture Of Responsibility: It’s On Us, We Are Civically Responsible Town Clean-up, Being A Global Citizen Is On Us, and Our Future Is On Us. Bethany College has worked hard to ensure that students feel and remain safe while they are here at Bethany. We are a small close-knit community that must stand together to ensure that we do our part, and make Bethany College a sexual assault free campus.
WE PLEDGE TO….
NEVER STOP FIGHTING,
TO STEP UP & SAY SOMETHING,
TO ALWAYS DO THE RIGHT THING,
TO RECOGNIZE THAT NON-CONSENSUAL SEX IS RAPE,
TO INTERVENE WHERE CONSENT HAS NOT OR CANNOT BE GIVEN,
TO CREATE AN ENVIRONMENT WHERE SURVIVORS CAN BE SUPPORTED.
* Special Thanks to the Bethany College Communications Department, BCTV, and WVBC!