The University’s inaugural Sexual Assault Awareness Month culminated with the “It’s On Us” T-shirt Project Showcase on Thursday, April 13 on the William Pitt Union Lawn. Pitt’s “It’s On Us” campaign—which is part of the national “It’s on Us” initiative launched under former President Obama—is aimed at eradicating sexual assault from college campuses. Among the supporters of the program was City of Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto, who provided special remarks at the program remarks at 3 p.m.
Through the “It’s on Us” T-shirt Project, more than 300 members of the Pitt community designed t-shirts in an effort to not only raise awareness, but also to provide support to survivors of sexual assault.
“Students who are affected by sexual violence are not broken, and in fact, they are capable of showing great strength and resilience,” said Michele Welker, coordinator of Pitt’s Office of Sexual Harassment and Assault Response and Education (SHARE). “However, each day is a challenge to manage their healing while being active Pitt students. It is crucial to show them that they are not alone in their struggle towards recovery.”
The T-shirt showcase also featured remarks from Pam Connelly, Associate Vice Chancellor for Diversity and Inclusion; Katie Pope, Title IX Coordinator; and Jasmine Butler, who serves as a student representative on Pitt’s “It’s on Us” task force. The event concluded with a peaceful march.
“The goal of sexual violence prevention is simple—to stop it from happening in the first place,” said Marian Vanek, director of Pitt’s Student Health Service and chair of the “It’s on Us” task force. “The solutions, however, are just as complex as the problem. Our prevention and awareness campaigns, such as the “It’s On Us” T-Shirt Initiative are multi-faceted, and our programs are on-going, multi-dose and comprehensive.”