Not On My Campus relaunched its campaign to increase awareness of sexual assault after receiving 2,000 signatures on an online pledge last spring.
Last semester’s campaign, where students posted photos on social media with ‘#NotOnMyCampus’ written on their hands, expanded this year to include a #KnowledgeOnMyCampus Resource Challenge. The challenge consists of posting the photo with a caption that has two pieces of educational information about sexual violence.
“Sexual violence is still an issue on campus, and we will continue working to address the problem as long as it exists,” Christina Breitbeil, Executive Board member and Plan II and English junior, said. “On top of bringing awareness to the issue, our goal with the relaunching of this campaign, #KnowledgeOnMyCampus, is to add a layer of education about the resources offered at the University.”
To obtain information for posts, Breitbeil said organizers share posters of relevant information on campus about facts and resources for victims of sexual violence. Breitbeil said she believes it is important for students to be informed about campus support programs such as the UT Counseling and Mental Health Center and Voices Against Violence.
Latoya Hill, UT associate vice-president and Title IX coordinator, said the University is partaking in research that will promote transparency about how students’ perceptions relate to interpersonal violence, sexual assault and stalking.
According to Hill, a campus climate survey will be released Nov. 4, and a four-year cohort study will examine the academic, emotional and financial impacts of assault.
“It’s important that the students, faculty and staff know that the university’s committed to providing an educational environment that’s free from inappropriate conduct,” Hill said.
William Herbst, co-president and co-founder of Not On My Campus, said he wants to help educate students about what sexual assault is and challenge students to help others when they see a situation arise.
“I kept hearing stories from friends about how people would try to take advantage of them, whether it was at a party or at a bar or some social gathering,” Herbst said. “Most people think sexual assault is some stranger attacking you in an alleyway, but that is not the only form of sexual assault, nor is it the most common.”
Breitbeil said the relaunch is intended to overlap with Domestic Violence Awareness Month, which takes place throughout October.