TAMUK’s SGA is teaming up with the White House for the “It’s On Us” campaign, geared toward college and university students to bring the issue of sexual assault to light.
Student and faculty leaders throughout campus initiated the conversation with an open forum on Nov. 19 at 6 p.m. in Jones Auditorium.
The White House has called on all universities in the United States to take part in the effort and so far, 206 universities have followed the initiative.
TAMUK is the first university in the A&M system that has joined the cause, according to itsonus.org.
SGA president, Chelsea Nkrumah, said she felt obligated to bring the campaign to TAMUK.
“(‘It’s On Us’) is not at every university. It’s only the ones that felt it necessary to do it and we were inclined to,” Nkrumah said.
Nkrumah said this initiative is a way to get students to step up and help with the issue.
“Sexual assault is under reported. It’s not something that just UPD or the university has to fight against. They’re not the only ones. It’s our job to keep each other safe. So, when we see something happening in a parking lot or anywhere we’re not going to stand there and watch, we’re going to do something about it,” she said.
The meeting will feature a panel of University Police Department officials and TAMUK staff members. A panel of student representatives, members of Student Government Association, asked questions to officials that were submitted prior to the forum by TAMUK students.
Amy O’Neil, compliance coordinator, works with the university’s Title IX policies and gave a presentation at the forum.
“In order for any university to be able to respond to or stop to sexually assault, everyone needs to be involved. Everyone needs to find a way to be a positive effect for change.
There are so many roles that need to be played from stopping something when they see something that they are concerned about to being support and giving knowledge to someone,” O’Neil said.
“They need to think about this not only around campus but in the community and their home towns,” she said.
Kirsten Compary, dean of students, said the campaign brought up a topic the university should be talking about and this action assures that.
“This is something that the students and faculty have been pushing for. I’m thrilled that SGA is joining the campaign and raising awareness,” Compary said.