GLVC - It's On Us

UMSL senior Katie Rutledge (left) represented UMSL in a new video for the “It’s On Us” movement to end sexual assault on college campuses. (Click the image to view the video.)

The Great Lakes Valley Conference has joined the movement to end sexual assault on college campuses. The GLVC has partnered with Generation Progress and its national “It’s On Us” campaign and produced a 60-second public service announcement that features members of the GLVC Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, representing all 16 member institutions, including the University of Missouri–St. Louis.

“It’s On Us” is a project of Generation Progress with support from the White House, Mekanism, and PVBLIC Foundation. The campaign has developed partnerships with the NCAA and major Division I conferences such as the Atlantic Coast Conference, Big East Conference, Big Ten Conference, Big 12 Conference, Pac-12 Conference and Southeastern Conference, while also associating with nationally-recognized companies such as Microsoft, iHeart Media, EA Sports, the United States Olympic Committee, as well as televisions networks BET, CMT, MTV, VH-1 and Spike.

The GLVC is the first NCAA Division II conference to partner with “It’s On Us.”

“It’s On Us” is a cultural movement aimed at fundamentally shifting the way we think about sexual assault. The campaign’s theme is a rallying cry inviting everyone to step up and realize that the solution begins with us. It’s a declaration that sexual assault isn’t just an issue involving a victim and a perpetrator, but one in which the rest of us have a role to play. The initiative was established to reframe sexual assault in a way that inspires everyone to see it as their responsibility to do something, big or small to prevent it.

“This past spring the GLVC Council of Presidents tasked the conference office with identifying ways we could address the awareness and prevention of sexual assault on college campuses, given some of the high-profile cases that have made headlines on college campuses nationwide in recent years,” said GLVC Commissioner Jim Naumovich. “We approached Generation Progress in the fall about joining forces to help spread the alarming statistics of sexual assault on college campuses, while also using this as a platform to educate the more than 50,000 students and 5,500 student-athletes that attend our 16 member institutions.”

One of five women in the country today is sexually assaulted while in college and most cases occur in their freshman or sophomore years. In the great majority of the cases (75-80 percent), the victim knows her attacker, whether as an acquaintance, classmate, friend or (ex)boyfriend.

At the GLVC SAAC Fall Meeting in late October in Indianapolis, the Conference office hired Jeff Greer Productions out of Evansville, Indiana to oversee the video shoot, in which one representative from each school read the 60-second script on camera. The GLVC developed the script based off the four critical focus areas that stemmed from an April report by the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault. These areas included identifying the scope of the problem, preventing sexual assault and engaging men, responding effectively to sexual assault and holding offenders accountable, and increasing transparency and improving enforcement.

The GLVC PSA stresses that anyone – male or female – can be a victim, but that it is the responsibility of all us to be there for them as a solution. The campaign charges others to not just be reactive, but also proactive in identifying situations that could lead to sexual assault and intervening to diffuse the potential conflict. The final lines of the GLVC PSA note that we are “sixteen schools and one conference, looking out for one another.”

GLVC student-athletes represented in the PSA included UMSL senior Katie Rutledge (softball), Bellarmine University senior Scarlett Powers (softball), Drury University junior Blake Andrews (men’s soccer), University of Illinois Springfield junior Lance LeBaron (baseball), University of Indianapolis senior Hayley Good (women’s swimming), Lewis University sophomore Johnny Lynk (men’s swimming), Maryville University sophomore Brad Patz (men’s golf), McKendree University sophomore Brandon Nabors (men’s tennis), Quincy University sophomore Amy Kuhle (women’s tennis), Rockhurst University junior Emma Unoski (volleyball), Saint Joseph’s College senior Samantha Nirva (women’s track and field), University of Southern Indiana freshman Olivia Clark-Kittleson (softball), Truman State University senior BJ Smith (men’s track and field), University of Wisconsin-Parkside senior Justin Armstrong (track and field), and William Jewell College senior Colton Simmons (men’s track and field). Missouri S&T was represented by current NCAA intern Erin Varley.

The PSA will air multiple times throughout each day of GLVC Championship coverage on the GLVC Sports Network, as well as in venues such as Family Arena – site of the 2015 GLVC Basketball Championship Tournament in St. Charles, Missouri. In addition, the GLVC has uploaded the PSA to its social media platforms, and has encouraged its member schools to do the same. The GLVC logo has also been incorporated into the “It’s On Us” logo, which will be used across outlets, including the league’s website, GLVCsports.com.

For more information, log on to ItsOnUs.org.

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Mary Ann Mitchell

Mary Ann Mitchell

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