UM student organizations partner to combat sexual assault on campus

Published 10:46 am Tuesday, November 1, 2016

By Christina Steube

University of Mississippi

The University of Mississippi Associated Student Body and Rebels Against Sexual Assault are partnering to co-sponsor It’s On Us Week of Action to raise awareness about the prevalence of sexual assault on college campuses throughout the country.

Throughout this week, the ASB and RASA will host events focused on peer education of affirmative consent, reducing the presence of rape culture and creating a space for survivors of sexual assault to feel welcome and supported.

Through Thursday (Nov. 3), the groups will host a pledge drive at the Ole Miss Student Union encouraging students, faculty and staff to take a pledge to end sexual assault at http://itsonus.org/.

“The purpose of ASB and RASA’s It’s On Us Week of Action is to raise awareness about the prevalence of sexual assault on college campuses and to create a university environment in which sexual assault is not tolerated and survivors of sexual assault are supported,” said Sydney Green, RASA executive member and a junior Arabic and international studies major from Hattiesburg.

“The It’s On Us motto encourages students to intervene when they see a potentially risky situation. By encouraging students to be active bystanders, we hope to decrease the prevalence of sexual assault on our campus.”

Besides the pledge drive, several other events are scheduled across campus:

Tuesday (Nov. 1)

6:30 p.m., Bishop Hall, Room 209 – The campus community is invited to a lecture by guest speaker Chardonnay Madkins from End Rape on Campus.

Wednesday (Nov. 2)

6:30 p.m., Farley Hall, Room 202 – The campus community is invited to a screening of the CNN documentary “The Hunting Ground,” followed by a panel discussion of sexual assault prevention practices and resources for survivors on campus. The panel will include representatives from RASA, the University Police Department, the Title IX office and the Office of Violence Prevention.

Thursday (Nov. 3)

7:30 p.m., Ole Miss Student Union plaza – RASA and the ASB will host a 3-K Glow Run. The fun run, which is free and will not be timed, is open to everyone over age 14.

Friday (Nov. 4)

8 a.m.-1 p.m., Ole Miss Student Union – RASA and the ASB will display T-shirts designed as part of The Clothesline Project, a campaign that allows survivors of sexual violence to anonymously share their story and empower others to do the same.

Noon, Lyceum Circle – RASA and the Sarah Isom Center for Women and Gender Studies invite the community to gather for a Sexual Assault Awareness Rally.

RASA was created in 2015 with the help of a small group of students and Lindsey Bartlett Mosvick , UM assistant director of the Office of Violence Prevention. The organization has grown to include dozens of active members and more than 500 email subscribers.

The group’s peer education efforts include about 20 students who have undergone training of sexual assault and other forms of sexual harassment. The peer educators visit classes, sororities and fraternities and other student organizations.