MSA relaunches sexual misconduct awareness campaign

“It Ends Here” was relaunched last week and focuses on increasing sexual assault awareness and supporting sexual assault victims.

Niamh Coomey

The University of Minnesota’s undergraduate student government recently wrapped up a series of events for its sexual assault awareness week. Similar efforts were taken by other Big Ten universities.

The Minnesota Student Association collaborated with the University of Minnesota Police Department and the Aurora Center to host several events which engaged students in an awareness campaign focused on supporting the victims of sexual assault. The relaunch of the “It Ends Here” campaign took place last week to kick off national Sexual Assault Awareness Month. MSA has been coordinating with other Big Ten universities to establish a shared sexual assault awareness week.

MSA Sexual Assault Task Force Chair Meara Cline said coordinating with other Big Ten universities is a work in progress, but she hopes it will help increase communication on efforts at each school. “If we’re doing a coordinated week of action, we can get even more attention … we can really build off of advocacy that each one of us is doing at our own schools,” Cline said.

Cline also noted that coordinating advocacy with other large universities can bring more attention to the issue.

”The coordinated week of effort also sends a loud message that, as Big Ten schools, we have zero … tolerance for sexual assault,” she said. 

The University of Wisconsin-Madison and Michigan State University, among others, also held sexual assault awareness programming last week.

Elizabeth Jeglic, an expert on sexual assault prevention and a professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, said in an email that combined advocacy has more power when working to change an issue such as sexual assault.

“The more attention that is drawn to an issue, the more awareness there is and thus the more powerful the message,” she wrote. “Ultimately we want to influence and change behaviorsm and that requires the backing of a lot of people.” 

MSA intern Gurtaran Johal emphasized the importance of advocacy on sexual assault because of the commonality of sexual assault on college campuses. ”This is something that should be taken up by every single college campus across the nation,” she said. 

Johal also said that collaboration on advocacy surrounding sexual assault awareness can strengthen the student voice. Many Big Ten universities plan to continue collaborating with one another to strengthen their campaigns.

”Sexual assault is something that occurs on every single college campus, and if college campuses work together to address this issue and to address the singular narrative … then it makes the student voice even stronger to combat sexual assault that occurs on campus,” Johal said.