This past weekend, the It’s On Us campaign celebrated its one year anniversary. You can find a full write-up of some of the nation-wide celebrations that took place in the White House press release here. One of the greatest things about the It’s On Us campaign is the way the prevention of sexual assault has been brought into public conversations. Between their celebrity studded PSAs and the twitter avatar edits, It’s On Us is popping up all over the place.
The national attention is great, but I’m most excited about some of the trickle down effects I see on Georgia Southern’s campus. Recently, our student newspaper, The George-Anne has been running a series on sexual assault on our campus.
As of now, there are three pieces in the series, investigating the issues of sexual assault from a number of different angles. Here are links to the pieces, in case you haven’t read them yet.
In each of the above pieces, students take on this difficult topic of sexual assault and prevention with sensitivity and research.
In “Sexual assault in our community,” Lauren Gorla tells us to wake up the problem and get involved with stopping sexual assault in its tracks. In “Sexual assault in our community: Why students don’t stop it and what happens after,” Will Price introduces us to a victim of sexual assault; our Sexual Assault Response Team (SART); Joel Wright, our Title IX coordinator; and other helpful campus groups and offices. Price writes about Sex Signals and other campus initiatives in “Sexual assault in our community: Why education matters.”
Each of these pieces should be required reading for Georgia Southern students, faculty, and staff. The reporting comes straight from our community, so it’s impossible to distance ourselves from what we read. Our George-Anne reporters are doing the work we’re seeing at the national level from It’s On Us at the local level for our school. I applaud them and look forward to a new piece being released on Tuesday.
One of the best things I think the George-Anne journalists are doing in this series is playing to their own and their readers’ ethos. They place themselves squarely inside the Georgia Southern student population and write to us as members of this shared community. Lauren Gorla writes, “It’s up to our community to make this happen.” Will Price cites statistics from our Georgia Southern University Police Department and shares a story of a Georgia Southern student, knowing these are the cases and people we most care about. In Thank You for Arguing, Jay Heinrichs tells us to “get the group to identify with you and you have won half the persuasive battle” (p. 55). Since these writers are part of our Georgia Southern community, they’ve won me over already. They are writing about us and for us.
I really think we need to listen.
Amanda J. Hedrick
Story collector, recipe enthusiast, educator, striving for a constant input and output of all things art and learning.