It’s On Us Week to be hosted by SAASHA and SHARE

Poster advertising It’s On Us Week. Photo by Adam Fleischer.

Lawrence’s Sexual Harassment and Assault Resources & Education (SHARE) and Student Alliance Against Sexual Harassment and Assault (SAASHA) are collaborating to host It’s On Us, a series of events focused on preventing sexual assault on campus. The Gender and Sexuality Diversity Center (GSDC) and three sororities – Kappa Alpha Theta, Delta Gamma, and Kappa Kappa Gamma – will also contribute to these events, which will begin on Monday, Feb. 13 and end on Saturday, Feb. 18. 

It’s On Us is currently the nation’s largest nonprofit program dedicated to preventing sexual assault on college campuses. It was founded in September 2014 as a White House initiative and urges all members of society to get involved in sexual assault advocacy. 

Lawrence’s It’s On Us Week will kick off with an information session on Monday, Feb. 13 from 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. outside Andrew Commons. Students can meet their SHARE and Title IX representatives, including Lawrence’s new Title IX coordinator Sara Holtzmann, and grab free teal gear in support of sexual assault survivors. SAASHA and Kappa Alpha Theta are also presenting a Green Flag Board, where students can share positive indicators of healthy relationships. 

Later that day, there will be a Bystander Intervention training in the Kramer Conference Room of Warch Campus Center at 8 p.m. This session aims to educate students on how they can recognize harmful situations and respond appropriately to positively influence the outcome. 

On Tuesday, Feb. 14, SAASHA and SHARE will hold an intimacy workshop on the second floor of Warch Campus Center from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. There will also be a Valentine’s Day Gratitude Board on display outside Andrew Commons, courtesy of SAASHA and Delta Gamma. 

At 7:30 p.m. in Warch Cinema on Wednesday, Feb. 15, SHARE and SAASHA will oversee a Kink Workshop to educate students about setting boundaries and navigating consent surrounding kink. Guest speaker Hudson the Sexpert from Tool Shed Toys will deliver the presentation.  

On Thursday, Feb. 16, there will be Campus Advocacy Tabling near Andrew Commons from 11:00 a.m. –  1:00 p.m and the Ask the Sexpert Workshop in Warch Cinema at 7:30 p.m. At the latter event, Hudson will answer common questions about sex that mainstream sex education classes don’t always cover.  

The week of action will conclude on Saturday, Feb. 18 with a Resource Brunch in the Somerset Room of Warch Campus Center from 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Participants can enjoy food while meeting representatives from Reach Counseling and Harbor House, which specialize in mental health services surrounding sexual trauma and support for domestic violence survivors. This event is sponsored by SAASHA and Kappa Kappa Gamma. 

Assistant Dean of Wellness Services Erin Buenzli, who serves as chair of SHARE, explained that the mission of It’s On Us is to combat campus sexual assault by engaging all students and employees in grassroots awareness and prevention education programs around the topics of sexual respect, consent and healthy relationships. 

“My hope is that students will learn and engage in conversations about active bystanderism, healthy relationships, healthy sexuality, consent, kink, how to support survivors and gratitude,” said Buenzli. 

She also hopes that It’s On Us will help students learn more about sexual assault resources both on and off campus, like Holtzman and off-campus advocacy partners such as Reach Counseling.  

When asked how students can foster a preventative culture around sexual harassment and assault, Buenzli urged students to practice everyday consent, communicate openly and clearly about sex, relationships and boundaries, speak up when they notice and encounter problematic situations and understand their role in creating a more inclusive and safe campus culture. 

Junior Annika Dunkel, SAASHA’s event planner, hopes that the events will allow students to learn more about the services that SAASHA and Lawrence offer for survivors while inspiring other students to get involved in sexual assault prevention and survivor support. She also emphasized that while It’s On Us Week is intended to create discourse around these topics, students should continue taking action beyond the week of action.