Student-athletes sponsor “It’s on Us”

“It’s On Us,” a nation-wide campaign to raise awareness for sexual violence on college campuses, made its way to Johnson State College from Jan. 24 through Jan. 30, thanks to the efforts of its student-athletes.

The campaign was launched in 2014, and over the past year it has reached millions of people involved in college communities, including students, parents, and administrators. It asks that people sign a pledge, acknowledging that they will do something to prevent sexual assault, and tasking them with creating an atmosphere that has both a zero tolerance policy and offers victim support for those affected.

More than 250,000 people have taken the “It’s On Us” pledge at events on 370 campuses throughout the country. In addition to the support of so many institutions, the campaign has partnered with companies such as Microsoft, Viacom, Pandora, Lyft, and Snapchat.

Each year, according to Associate Commissioner of the North Atlantic Conference (NAC) Shannon O’Brien, “The NAC chooses an initiative to focus on student well-being. For the 2015-16 academic year, the NAC has chosen to embrace the ‘It’s On Us’ campaign. The conference office looks to our conference and campus Student-Athlete Advisory Committees (SAAC) to undertake campaigns…the conference as a whole supports.”

Greg Davis is the JSC SAAC president and a member of the men’s varsity basketball, tennis, and soccer teams. The pledge, he said, was a clear demonstration that student-athletes at the college condemn sexual abuse and violence in any form.

When JSC’s part in the campaign began, Davis was often asked by his peers if something happened here that was the impetus behind JSC’s involvement. “Truthfully, I learned that it doesn’t happen on our campus as much,” he said. “This campus is so close-knit that stuff like that doesn’t really happen here. But I also learned that it’s not just physical abuse but verbal as well.”

Every student-athlete at JSC has already taken the “It’s On Us” pledge. Now they will extend their efforts to the rest of the JSC community. Led by Davis, all 10 members of JSC’s SAAC have collectively created their own “It’s On Us” video, which is now on the college’s Facebook page, Youtube, and

On Jan. 29, JSC’s student-athletes set up tables in the Stearns Student Center during lunch hours, handing out informational fliers and encouraging others to take the pledge and sign the “It’s On Us” banner.

Later that day, from 6-8 p.m. during the men’s basketball game, the same opportunity was provided in the lobby of SHAPE. “NAC It’s On Us” bracelets were handed out to the first 99 people to take the pledge and sign the banner. The bracelets quickly sold out.

As of presstime, 220 members of the JSC community have signed the pledge.