Domestic Violence Awareness Month, part two of a three-part series: ‘It’s On Us’ campaign brings back Week of Action to NMU

Photo+courtesy+of+The+Health+Promotion+Society%3A+Sophomore+psychology+major+Jailin+Kaiser+stands+with+a+whiteboard+last+semester+to+garner+support+for+people+affected+by+sexual+harassment.++

Photo courtesy of The Health Promotion Society: Sophomore psychology major Jailin Kaiser stands with a whiteboard last semester to garner support for people affected by sexual harassment.

Winter Keefer

Events aimed toward raising awareness of sexual assault on college campuses will be held in Jamrich Hall throughout next week during the Health Promotion Society’s Week of Action.

This is the second time the Week of Action will be held at NMU in conjunction with a national “It’s On Us” campaign geared toward the prevention of sexual assault nationwide.

The Health Promotion Society started organizing this event at the beginning of this fall semester, President of The Health Promotion Society Kate Rozeveld said.

“Sexual assault is a really heavy topic, right? And it should be,” Rozeveld said. “It is a heavy subject, but it doesn’t have to be something that we sweep under the rug and don’t talk about. So this is us saying there’s support for survivors.”

The Week of Action will start at 6 p.m. Sunday with Campus Cinema holding a free showing of “The Hunting Ground,” a documentary that looks at sexual assault on college campuses.

As the school week starts, Monday will showcase a Kickoff Table with a pledge drive in
Jamrich Hall.

“[The pledge] is just you saying, ‘OK it is on me as a college student, or as a citizen of the world to do what I can to end sexual assault on my college campus,’’’ Rozeveld said.

Tuesday’s Week of Action activity includes a consent poster in the first floor lobby of Jamrich  where students can write down ways to ask for consent.

“This is really just meant to get it out there that consent is cool,” Rozeveld said.

Bystander intervention with emphasis on techniques for those who have the ability to respond to knowledge of an assault or prevent an assault entirely, is the focus of Wednesday’s activities.

“So essentially if you see something, do something,” Rozeveld said.

Thursday and Friday will focus on opening up conversation through a panel held to discuss where students and the campus community can improve and how to move forward in combating sexual assault after the Week of Action. There will also be a support fair to provide resources and support to victims of sexual assault.

The week closes Saturday with a “Slut Walk” sponsored and held by Women for Women and Men outside the Box. This walk is meant to show that, regardless of what people wear they are never “asking for it,” Rozeveld said. The day will end with a showing of the “Rocky Horror Picture Show.”

Rozeveld added that many other groups have contributed to making the Week of Action possible including the Equal Opportunity office, the Women’s Center, Public Safety and Police Services who paid for T-shirts for the event, the Athletics Department, and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion that provided a grant.

Equal Opportunity Officer and Title IX Coordinator Janet Koski worked on creating a video this summer that showcased campus leaders speaking on the “It’s On Us” campaign. The more students get involved in understanding resources available in the case of sexual assault, the better the university can serve its students, Koski said.

The Week of Action is one way that students are getting involved in talking to students about these issues, she said.

“I would just encourage everyone to get out and participate,” Koski said. “I appreciate everything [The Health Promotion Society] have done on putting this on the forefront.”