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VP Biden takes notice of students’ It’s On Us event

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Brittany Frederick ‘16 shares why her body is hers with WHEN. Photo by Aimee Chiviaroli

Brittany Frederick ‘16 shares why her body is hers with WHEN. Photo by Aimee Chiavaroli

By Aimee Chiavaroli

In an op-ed published Nov. 9, Vice President Joe Biden recognized Stonehill’s student body for their nametag campaign, along with two other schools for similar efforts.

“At Stonehill College in Massachusetts, students, faculty, and staff are wearing nametags that say how they have been affected by sexual assault: ‘I am a survivor,’ and ‘I will not be a passive bystander.’”

Many students were excited about Biden’s recognition of our small school in Easton, Mass., and shared the op-ed on Facebook.

Students, faculty and staff were encouraged Wednesday, Nov. 4 and Thursday, Nov. 5 to pick up “Hello, my name is…” name tags to wear Thursday in support of survivors of sexual assault, and to show the impact of sexual assault. In addition to those Biden mentioned, they could choose a name tag that said “It’s on us” or “Someone I care about has been sexually assaulted.”

“The nametag is the first time this has been done at any school that I’m aware of,” Lead4Justice chair Sara Morris ’16 said.

Students filled The Hill and Brother Mike’s Thursday, Nov. 5, for an It’s On Us event organized by members of Student Government Association, Women’s Health and Empowerment Now, The Moore Center for Gender and Equity, Lead4Justice and a support group. At the event there were performances by step-team Ruckus, acapella groups Surround Sound and Girls from the Hill, and individual student performers. The performances reflected themes of hurting, accepting, forgiveness and empowerment. The majority of the performers and audience members wore the nametags.

“We want people to know there was a lot of thought and intention behind the decisions we made, and we wanted to include everyone’s perspectives,” Morris said. “There were survivors included on the committee.”

The night kicked off with members of Ruckus presenting statistics on sexual assault, followed by a routine.

SGA and social justice groups displayed visuals pertaining to sexual assault with statistics or something interactive. A part of Lead4Justice’sposter said, “People that don’t identify as straight or cisgender are more likely to experience assault.” There were signs from faculty departments at Stonehill containing signatures on the It’s On Us Stonehill photo.

“It’s nice to see the Stonehill community come together for an issue that’s been so prevalent as of late,” Ryan O’Keefe ’16 said.

The Moore Center had white paper doves people could write their names on and take with them.

“The Moore Center decided to revisit the Dove Campaign from two years ago and as a proactive approach to supporting sexual assault survivors, the doves are given out as door tags to let survivors know it’s a safe space for them,” said student advisor of the Moore Center McKayla Eskilson ’16.

“The event is to raise awareness on sexual assault and prevent this issue at the student level and hopefully it will bring attention to administration,” Danny Haffel ’18 said.

Hopefully, this event will not be the last of its kind as SGA President Kate Morneault ’16 said the campaign will continue throughout the year.

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