200 Student Body Presidents Pledge to Stop Campus Sexual Assaults

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
September 19, 2014

Contact: Regina Martel, regina@nationalcampusleaders.org, 719-349-9859

Student leaders nationwide taking action to change campus culture and end sexual violence as White House launches new campaign

[WASHINGTON]–National Campus Leadership Council (NCLC) announced Friday a list of more than 200 student body presidents who have committed to confront sexual assaults in their communities. The announcement came in conjunction with the It’s On Us campaign, launched Friday morning by President Obama at the White House.

The student leaders’ commitment to find solutions demonstrates a turning point in the effort to change culture and take the problem out of the shadows. More than 1,000 student leaders from nearly 500 college campuses nationwide participated in conference calls this summer with NCLC and the White House to discuss campus sexual assault and learn about the It’s On Us initiative.

“Student body presidents and their teams from around the country are coming together to say it’s on all of us to stop sexual assault,” said Andy MacCracken, NCLC executive director. “We’re talking about a seismic shift in how communities deal with sexual violence as the country looks to students for leadership on such an important issue,” he added.

Recent research shows that one in five women is assaulted during college, most victims know their attackers, and 95 percent of assaults go unreported. Friday’s event will highlight the startling statistics on campus sexual assault. MacCracken, who is scheduled to speak on an expert panel during the event, will highlight examples of how student leaders are stepping up on the issue.

The campaign will focus primarily on community education by elevating existing student initiatives and providing a blueprint for new campus efforts. NCLC’s outreach encourages broad coalition building on a campus-by-campus level. Part of the student body presidents’ commitment is to engage student leaders from Greek life, athletics, victims advocacy groups, cultural organizations, and political groups.

“On college campuses we have a culture of blaming victims and often don’t look at ways that we can personally make a change,” said Celia Wright, student body president at The Ohio State University.
“Students are often confused about their rights as bystanders and where they can intervene to stop sexual assaults. This campaign will arm students with a better understanding of how to step in before something happens,” she added.

NCLC will continue to engage more student leaders and develop substantive resources to help them succeed as they launch their awareness campaigns and tackle campus level sexual misconduct policy.

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The National Campus Leadership Council is a national organization that empowers student leaders to influence the public discourse Launched in January 2012, NCLC works with a broad network of student body presidents and their teams on leadership development and policy advocacy at the campus, state, and national levels. The organization is non-partisan, elevating student leaders as meaningful stakeholders on exigent issues facing young people.

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