“It’s on Us” fest informs students of advocacy resources
Jessica Pellegrino – General Assignment Reporter
The Violence Prevention, Victim Advocacy and Support Center (VPAS) at SCSU held an event called “It’s on Us” Fest during Social Justice Week, a week long program dedicated to student advocacy. The Violence Prevention, Victim Advocacy and Support Center spearheaded multiple events during Social Justice Week. Formerly the Women’s Center, VPAS wants students of all genders and identities to feel comfortable coming to the office when they need information or to make a report.
The event, held in Engleman, featured games like rings and skeeball with prizes and cupcakes for students. But, the real prize was the valuable information that VPAS was giving students at the event.
The “It’s on Us” Fest is part of an oncoming campaign for VPAS. They believe in bystander intervention, fittingly saying “it’s on us” to intervene when injustice is happening.
Elizabeth Brady, a graduate intern in the VPAS office, was crucial in the planning and execution of the “It’s on US” Fest event.
“We have been doing events like these in residence halls,” said Brady. “I think interactive games and games like trivia make these more uncomfortable topics like sexual misconduct much more approachable. We have games paired with educational lessons, so these things do not get pushed under the rug. But there is also a game dedicated to helping students gain knowledge on the resources available on campus.”
VPAS does event like the “It’s on Us” Fest frequently in classrooms throughout the year with permission of the professor.
“We do classroom programs, which we love, but it also nice to connect to students in a more casual way, like this program allows us to do. It is a great way of letting students know we are here for them.” said Brady.
According to Brady, six percent of people commit 90 percent of rapes on college campuses. Therefore, Brady said, “It is on us, the other 94 percent to step up and say something.”
The Violence Prevention, Victim Advocacy and Support Center believes in a proactive approach to education rather than reactive. In other words, the center believes education should be preventative, rather than a reaction to a traumatic event.
Brady said, “I believe that Student Affairs brings wonderful events that complement the theory that students learn in the classroom. They a taught something, and Student Affairs helps to bring that theory to practice.”
Events such as the “It’s on Us” Fest allow students to comfortably ask questions about campus resources in a relaxed setting.
One example of this is another event from Social Justice Week, “Defamation” was a theater-like event which displayed social justice in a piratical way for students to attend.
Brady said, “These games act sort of like ongoing discussions and debriefings. As each student plays one, they get one on one information about things like the different methods of Bystander Intervention, or different resources on campus for students to use.”
For more information about The Violence Prevention, Victim Advocacy and Support Center, the “It’s on Us” campaign, or the resources available, students are encouraged to stop by the office, or contact Elizabeth Brady at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo Credit: Jessica Pellegrino – General Assignment Reporter