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Big East announces White House partnership in the 'Its On Us' Campaign

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SB Nation has partnered with the It's On Us campaign to stop sexual assault on college campuses. Now, the Big East Conference and Villanova University has joined the "It's On Us" Campaign.

We have a large campus readership as well as a number of alumns on this site. Regardless, we have siblings, children, friends and neighbors who may be directly impacted, and the statistics are sobering:

  • 1 in 5 college women and 1 in 16 college men will be sexually assaulted on campus each year
  • Yet, 40 percent of college institutions reported no investigations in the last 5 years
  • 8 in 10 times the victim knows the perpetrator
  • Alcohol is a factor in a majority of sexual assault cases

The point of the campaign is to remind all of us that we can play a role in helping to stop sexual assaults before they happen.

Full Release:

NEW YORK – December 3, 2014 – The BIG EAST is partnering with the White House and the "It’s On Us" campaign, pledging formal support for the national effort to end sexual assault on college campuses and facilitating a variety of initiatives across its member institutions, Conference Commissioner Val Ackerman today announced.


Launched by President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden in September, the "It’s On Us" campaign aims to fundamentally shift the way the world thinks about sexual assault and encourages students to create safe environments across college campuses – from dorms and locker rooms to fraternities and sororities. To participate, students are asked to take a pledge of support at www.ItsOnUs.org.

"The BIG EAST and its 10 member schools are very proud to partner with the ‘It’s On Us’ campaign, which is inspiring a national dialogue about an issue that affects all students, including student-athletes," said Commissioner Ackerman. "BIG EAST athletic programs are in a unique position to leverage their leadership roles on campus and raise an added level of awareness for this vital cause."

The BIG EAST’s involvement with the "It’s On Us" campaign will include two tracks: the Conference will enact its own initiatives and also promote and support individual activity at its member institutions. BIG EAST student-athletes will be asked to take the "It’s On Us" pledge and serve as campus leaders in the effort to fight incidences of campus sexual assault, which affect one in five women who attend four-year colleges and universities.

The BIG EAST will support the "It’s On Us" campaign using Conference broadcast, digital and social media assets, including airing "It’s On Us" PSA’s during broadcasts of men’s and women’s basketball games on Fox Sports 1 and Fox Sports 2 and webcasts of women’s basketball and Olympic sports events on the BIG EAST Digital Network. The Conference will also feature other "It’s On Us" content on its website and social media platforms.

BIG EAST school efforts in support of the campaign include the following:

· Student-athletes are leading the charge at Georgetown University, producing a student-generated video that will be featured at men’s basketball home games this season at the Verizon Center. Georgetown will also integrate the "It’s On Us" campaign into the work of its pre-existing Sexual Assault Working Group, which will provide training to students and student-athletes.

· Students at Seton Hall University filmed a public service announcement that will be aired during each of its men’s basketball games for the 2014-15 season. The text of the PSA provides: "As student-athletes, it’s on us: to lead by example; to do the right thing; to look out for each other; to not blame the victim; to promote a culture of respect; to not look the other way; to say something if we see something; to stop sexual assault. Learn how and take the pledge now at www.itsonus.org."

· DePaul University has conducted comprehensive student-athlete training, completed by team and gender, focusing on awareness, responsibility and accountability for contributing to a safe and positive campus community and environment. Training sessions, which included student-managers and coaches, were conducted by female detectives from the Chicago Police Department’s Sexual Assault Task Force and campus staff from the office of Health, Promotion and Wellness.

· The Providence College athletic department will be joining the larger campus community to hang posters of support which provide: "As members of the Friar Family, it’s on us to help keep people of all genders from sexual assault. We promise not to be bystanders, but to STEP UP." The athletic department will also play a significant role in the campus StepUp! bystander intervention program.

· Villanova University’s student-athletes are part of an internal "Where is the Love" campaign, an initiative conducted through the Office of Health Promotion which includes bystander intervention training.

· At St. John’s, students created a video featuring students and faculty asking for everyone to take the pledge to stop sexual assault. The video, which debuted at St. John’s annual on-campus tip-off celebration in October, is airing during the in-game video presentation at home basketball games and is included on the university’s Facebook page.

· Butler’s C.A.R.E. program is a bystander intervention model that encourages students, faculty and staff to notice Concerning behavior, Assume responsibility, React to it, and Evaluate and follow up. Additionally, the university’s Stand Tall Project is a student- driven initiative to raise awareness, end victim blaming and support survivors.

· Creighton’s Violence Intervention and Prevention Center is actively promoting the "It’s on Us" campaign through its social media sites and its Green Dot program. With Sexual Assault Awareness month in April, the university is planning to incorporate the "It’s On Us" theme into its programming, including its "Take Back the Night" event.

· Marquette University remains focused on a Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response initiative on campus, implementing many educational efforts for students, faculty and staff. Marquette developed a Sexual Misconduct & Assault Response Team (SMART), charged with responding to the needs of students involved in incidents of sexual misconduct. A Bystander Intervention Team has also developed a voluntary training program for students.

· Xavier's Student Government Association launched a "Live the Commitment" campaign. The campaign asks all Xavier students, including student-athletes, to "commit" themselves to a specific issue that the campus is currently facing, with one of the four issues being Sexual Assault Prevention. This fall, a group of eight undergraduate students also became Certified Peer Educators (certified by the nationally known Bacchus Network) and received extensive training on how to develop and facilitate peer-to-peer prevention education on bystander engagement, sexual violence and healthy relationships. They will kick off their programming in January.


Related initiatives will be announced at a later date.

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About the BIG EAST

Headquartered in New York City, the BIG EAST is Butler University, Creighton University, DePaul University, Georgetown University, Marquette University, Providence College, St. John’s University, Seton Hall University, Villanova University, and Xavier University.

The BIG EAST institutions are located in seven of the nation's top 35 largest media markets, including New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., Indianapolis, Milwaukee and Cincinnati.