Just last week, the Minnesota Student Association launched a wide-spread campaign aiming to combat sexual assault on campus. This movement is what this campus needs. The “It Ends Here” campaign attempts to tackle many facets of sexual misconduct by attempting to curb culture, conversation and policy on the University of Minnesota campus. We believe that this is one of the most significant programs attempted by MSA in recent memory and every UMN student, faculty, and staff member should support this campaign and the goals it aims to accomplish.
The MSA campaign addresses many aspects of sexual assault, making it a well-rounded, encompassing policy. Starting with prevention, it urges individuals to stop assaults as they happen and provides guides about how to approach perpetrators. Additionally, the campaign attempts to inform about and combat relationship abuse, among other things. In this endeavor, MSA partnered with the Aurora Center, a center that assists students, faculty, staff and others at the University of Minnesota and Augsburg College who have experienced sexual assault, relationship abuse or stalking. On Thursday, after partnering with Gophers football, a video was shown at the spring game, raising awareness to people who may not follow MSA closely. Confronting and addressing such a multitude of issues allows no stone to remain unturned. We should lift up victims or survivors of abuse and bring light to any types of conduct that create a toxic and unsafe campus environment.
“It Ends Here” starts with asking everyone to pitch in, which is the most important part. Too often, social campaigns or movements call for action or change, but end with words. Although awareness is crucial for inviting change, action on behalf of the campaign is really what solidifies its cause. One can encourage others to vote in an election, and spreading that message is important. However, the end goal should be to have people go their local polling places and help others register or provide them with materials in order to accomplish their goals. “It Ends Here” spreads awareness of needed changes, however, it also provides resources for individuals looking to combat sexual assault. Educating the student body about how to stop sexual misconduct of any kind, who to go to when experiencing relationship abuse or providing useful statistics matters.
Finally, MSA incorporates policy changes into the movement. By addressing issues with resolutions, MSA proves that they are a mechanism for change. The MSA sexual assault task force continues to invoke policy and host a multitude of events spreading awareness and advocating for change. All of these discussions, rallies and resources will help create a culture in which sexual misconduct of any kind is not acceptable and consequences come to those who deserve them. Hopefully, given time, we can end sexual assault. Every student, faculty and staff member should help turn “It Ends Here” into “It Stopped Here.”