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Res Life Mounts Campaign Against Sexual Assault

SOCORRO, N.M. April 17, 2015 – New Mexico Tech staff and students are encouraging everyone on campus to take a stand against sexual assault and harassment.

The ongoing effort is part of the national “It’s On Us” campaign and National Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Tech staff and students are encouraged to stop by the pledge table from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday, April 21, in the Fidel Center atrium. The “It’s On Us” campaign encourages people to not be a bystander, but be a part of the solution to stopping sexual assault. People can also pledge support to the cause on-line at www.ItsOnUs.org.

People interested in supporting the cause are also encouraged to wear a teal-colored shirt to show their support of sexual assault survivors.

“An important part of Tech’s new Strategic Plan is that we are a community of scholars,” said Melissa Jaramillo-Fleming, Vice President of Student and University Relations. “This effort is one way that we show our support for each other and create a safe and welcoming environment on campus.”

Lynn Arthur, assistant director of the Residential Life Office, said her office is looking for new ways to raise awareness and create a safe environment for everyone. She said the “It’s On Us” campaign began as a result of the White House initiative to end sexual assault on college campuses.

“It’s easy for people to tune out prevention messages because many people do not think sexual violence affects them,” Arthur said. “But nationally, one and five college women are victimized by this epidemic each year and we know college men are also assaulted.

“So, sexual assault creates personal injury; but it also very much a community issue. Our campus as a whole is responsible for what we tolerate and what we do not. We want students to know how to respect and support one another. We want everyone in the community to have the tools to be positive bystanders. And we want to make it clear that rape, or any form of sexual discrimination, is not OK here and there is support available to victims, including counseling and advocacy.”

For the past two months, Tech Resident Assistants have worked together creating a short video for Sexual Assault Awareness Month to help inform students and employees about sexual violence. The project was led by R.A. Makala Hannagan, a junior majoring in technology communications and psychology. Click here to watch the video on Youtube.

The video provides national and local contact information, definitions and examples of sexual assault and harassment and other resources for survivors and friends. Arthur said the purpose of the video is to help raise awareness and show that professional and student leaders at Tech are committed to supporting the campus community.

– NMT –

By Thomas Guengerich/New Mexico Tech