It’s On Us: We can eradicate sexual assault on campus

Students voiced their opinions on why preventing sexual assault is 'on us.' Photo courtesy of MU It's On Us Instagram.

Mickayla Miller

News Editor

One in five women and one in 16 men are sexually assaulted on campus, according to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center. The numbers are much higher for those in the LGBT community.

There is a well-defined stigma that occurs with fraternities; according to the Guardian, frat brothers are 300 percent more likely to sexually assault another person.

A fraternity at Millersville, Lambda Chi Alpha – Delta-Tau Zeta chapter, has been hosting events throughout the year to educate students on pressing social issues in the community. March 28, they hosted a panel discussion called “It’s On Us,” at 8 p.m. in SMC 24.

“It’s On Us” is part of a larger, nationwide movement to end sexual assault; it was enacted by Joe Biden in 2014.

The panel sought to educate the audience on what sexual assault is, and how to prevent it as a bystander. It started with a simple game, called “fact or myth,” which engaged the audience.

Students voiced their opinions on why preventing sexual assault is 'on us.' Photo courtesy of MU It's On Us Instagram.
Students voiced their opinions on why preventing sexual assault is ‘on us.’ Photo courtesy of MU It’s On Us Instagram.

Ben Flocken, a frat brother in Lambda Chi Alpha, talked heavily about reporting, mentioning that it’s not a bad thing, but it’s up to the individual person. “We don’t want to blame the victim,” Flocken said.

The presentation then went on to define what sexual consent is. Anthony Ciliberto, president of Lambda Chi Alpha, stated it simply: “Consent is clear, knowing and voluntary.” Flocken added that if one is in an altered state, consent is not giveable, in regards to intoxication.

They also went over the distinction that sexual misconduct doesn’t just relate to actual contact; it can manifest itself in texting, Facebook messages and sexual bullying, according to Flocken.

Bystanders can play a big part in preventing sexual assault; Flocken states the importance of intervening if one sees any non-consensual contact. “Don’t put yourself at risk, and don’t make things worse, but do know warning signs. If you know something’s wrong, act on it,” Flocken said.

“Constantly be aware… If you see something, check it out a little more,” Liam Dunegan, a frat brother in Lambda Chi Alpha.

There are many campus resources to aid those who have been sexually assaulted. To know your rights as a student in this regard, visit: http://www.millersville.edu/judicialaffairs/ . There are also 24-hour hotlines, such as the YWCA Sexual Assault Prevention and Counseling Center, which can be reached at 717-392-7273. Planned Parenthood of Lancaster and Lancaster General Hospital are also good resources.