BSU sets 'It's On Us' week to raise awareness of sexual violence

BEMIDJI -- "It's On Us," a student-lead project at BSU to increase awareness of sexual violence and advocate for prevention will be held next week, Nov. 14 to 18.

BEMIDJI -- “It's On Us,” a student-lead project at BSU to increase awareness of sexual violence and advocate for prevention will be held next week, Nov. 14 to 18.

“It's On Us” is an education-based campaign focusing on sexual assault awareness and prevention on college campuses, a release stated. The program aims to recognize that non-consensual sex is sexual assault, identify situations in which sexual assault may occur, intervene in situations where consent has not or cannot be given and create an environment in which sexual assault is unacceptable and survivors are supported.

The events include the following:

  • 7 p.m. Monday: Open Mic Night at Lakeside Dining Area, lower Hobson Memorial Union. An Open Mic Night of karaoke and poetry reading will give students an opportunity to learn about sexual assault in a low-key and fun environment.

  • 6 p.m. Tuesday: Movie Night, “It Happened Here,” Upper Deck, lower Hobson Memorial Union. BSU will screen “It Happened Here,” a 2015 documentary which explores campus sexual assault through the personal testimonials of five survivors. The students describe surviving sexual assault only to be met with apathy, disbelief, blame and retaliation when they tried to report the crime. Instead of hiding in shame, they chose to speak out and force institutional change.

  • 7 p.m. Wednesday: Know Your Rights in Hagg-Sauer Hall 100. Debra Peterson, Bemidji State's assistant to the president for affirmative action and accreditation, will have a conversation about students rights under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. While many identify it by its role in creating equity in college athletics, Title IX is a comprehensive law that prevents anyone from being excluded from participating in, be denied the benefits of or be subject to discrimination under any education program or activity that receives federal funding.

“It's On Us” activities are being coordinated by Tia Hinz, a senior liberal studies major from Jordan, Minn., who works in BSU's Student Center for Health and Counseling. In June, she attended the Minnesota Campus Sexual Violence Prevention Summit at Metropolitan State University in St. Paul. There, she and a group of BSU professional staff “gathered practical resources to implement effective, comprehensive sexual violence prevention programs; share best practices used by other successful programs; and to meet other campus professionals working to address sexual violence,” the release said.

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