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University Relations

University of Central Missouri
Administration 302
Warrensburg, MO 64093
Phone: 660-543-4640
Fax: 660-543-4943



greendot2017

It’s On Us Engages Students in Finding Solutions to End Sexual Violence

Contact: Jeff Murphy
WARRENSBURG, MO (Nov. 8, 2017) – A group of University of Central Missouri students are putting engaged learning into practice as they respond to a nationwide call for college students and other individuals to join the conversation and become part of the solution to end sexual violence.

It’s On Us is an organization of approximately a dozen members that was established in 2016, two years after the launch of the national movement by the same name. It’s On Us followed recommendations from the White House Task Force to Prevent Sexual Assault, which stressed the importance of engaging students, community leaders, parents, organizations, and businesses to make a positive difference in combatting this growing issue. To date, nearly 300,000 people nationally have taken the It’s On Us Pledge, including students on more than 500 campuses. If UCM’s It’s On Us organizers have their way, many more people will get involved on campus and in the community.

Working through UCM’s Office of Violence and Substance Abuse Prevention, A.J. Majino, a junior social studies education major from St. Charles, co-founded It’s On Us at UCM with a friend, Kraig McCoy, a junior criminal justice major from Fenton who recently became the university’s student representative to the national organization. Both of these student leaders say they realized a need for such an organization long before they arrived at the university.

“I thought it was important because in high school I had a lot of friends who had to go through situations such as sexual assault. That impacted me a lot just from the sheer number, because you don’t expect that many,” Majino said. “I actually got an email from the VSAP office saying they were starting up an organization so a bunch of my friends and I attended, including Kraig, and we started the organization to make the campus safer.”

The need to address sexual misconduct  “is an important cause,” McCoy added. “Obviously, on a college campus these things seem to be magnified, but we want to create a better environment for everyone and impact as many people as we can.”

National statistics demonstrate the need for strong campus engagement to address issues related to sexual misconduct. According to the It’s On Us organization’s national website, 11.2 percent of all students experience rape or sexual assault. While female students are four times more likely to be a victim of rape or sexual assault than males, only 20 percent of female student victims, age 18-24, report to law enforcement.   

The UCM It’s On Us group wants to do their part to make a positive change in these statistics by following the national campaign, which has three core pillars – consent education, increasing bystander intervention, and creating an environment that supports survivors.

McCoy and Majino said It’s On Us seeks to educate the campus community through special events such as guest speakers and through informational tables, which they have provided on campus throughout the fall semester.

They noted that members of It’s On Us try to make the table events more interesting and engaging by offering small give-a-ways such as candy to individuals who can answer questions designed to help make them more aware of issues related to sexual violence. They also distribute pledge cards that guide students toward the “ItsOnUsUCM” Facebook page, while also providing information about the organization’s campus meetings, which they encourage all interested students to attend. Upcoming sessions take place at 4 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 15 in Elliott Student Union 101 and Wednesday, Nov. 29 in Union 123.  Future meetings are tentatively slated for 4 p.m. in Union 123 the first and third Wednesdays of the month, sometimes more often.

UCM’s It’s On Us organization goes beyond educating people about sexual violence. Members of the group also work closely with the VSAP staff to educate students on bystander intervention via the Green Dot program. Green Dot is a university approach to reducing power-based personal violence on campus and in the community.  It shows students, faculty, and staff how to intervene in situations of sexual assault, dating and domestic violence, and stalking by teaching bystander intervention skills and creating a culture of intolerance for power-based personal violence. Many of the It’s On Us member have gone through this program, which they say is valuable for all university faculty, staff and students.

“It teaches skills, it’s not just telling people about something,” said Rhonda Neill, VSAP projects coordinator who works with and advises the It’s On Us group. “They must think about what they would do in a situation.”

It’s On Us also helps to spread the word about resources available at UCM to help victims of sexual misconduct. 

“We have amazing resources...,” Majino said, “…and there are confidential resources.” Among them are campus groups and individuals such as Mentoring, Advocacy and Peer Support (MAPS), and the MAPS victim advocate; University Health Center; and UCM Counseling Center. All of these offices help to promote an atmosphere that is empathetic toward those who experience sexual misconduct, including victims of all acts of violence, sexual assault and harassment.

Students who are interested in learning more about It’s On Us or who would like to join the organization are urged to attend one of  the group’s meetings. They also can contact Majino by email at ajm98100@ucmo.edu.

Members of the campus community who want to help demonstrate that UCM does not tolerate violence can do so by attending a Faculty/Staff Green Dot Bystander Intervention Training session 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 20 in Elliott Student Union 237A-B. During this interactive training, participants will learn to identify warning signs of power-based personal violence, how to effectively intervene when they see a potential problem, and how the campus can support its students as they learn to intervene in their own lives. To register, go to the following link and complete the registration form by Friday, Nov. 17 --- https://goo.gl/forms/dEm7nbessvf22B7B3. Questions about this training, or Green Dot in general, should be directed to Wesley Hobson in the VSAP Office at
660-543-4769 or whobson@ucmo.edu.