AUSTIN, Texas – Nov. 19, 2014 – Campus Advantage is raising awareness about sexual assault on college campuses by participating in the It’s On Us campaign’s National Week of Action (Nov. 17-23) as the first student housing industry partner in the yearlong effort.
The It’s on Us campaign is a White House initiative launched in partnership with the Center for American Progress’ Generation Progress along with student body leadership from nearly 200 colleges and universities across the country, collegiate sports organizations such as the NCAA and private companies that have strong connections with students at colleges and universities.
One in five women and one in 16 men are sexually assaulted in college, according to statistics released by the campaign leaders. Only 13 percent of rape survivors report assault, and 8 in 10 victims know their attacker. The campaign’s website, www.itsonus.org, offers 13 tips to prevent sexual assault. These include talking to friends openly and honestly about sexual assault, intervening in situations of possible sexual assault and keeping an eye on someone who has had too much to drink.
“It’s important that our residents and other college students know what they can do to protect themselves and others from dangerous situations,” said Mike Peter, president and CEO of Campus Advantage. “Our customers are college students. We want to provide them with information on what to watch for in any situation. The It’s On Us campaign gives us the opportunity to take a stand as a company–from the corporate office, to our property staff and to our residents–to do what we can to help protect others from sexual assault.”
Campus Advantage joins other partners, such as the Catalyst marketing firm, Association of College and University Housing Officers – International, NCAA, Microsoft and many other nationally recognized brands, in encouraging others to take action to prevent sexual assault and take the pledge at itsonus.org. The pledge is a promise not to be a bystander to the problem but to be a part of the solution in stopping sexual violence.
Representatives from Campus Advantage, Catalyst and other partner organizations participated in a Nov. 17 meeting at the White House that was hosted by Tina Tchen, who serves as assistant to the president and chief of staff to first lady Michelle Obama, as well as executive director for the Council on Women and Girls. Attendees brainstormed ways to extend the reach of the campaign.
For its part, Campus Advantage has embarked on a social media campaign to raise awareness regarding sexual violence on college campuses and to encourage people to take the It’s On Us pledge. The company is asking residents and staff to show their support by using the #ItsOnUsCA hashtag in social media posts.
The student housing company also will conduct resident outreach events at all of its properties in the coming months. The It’s On Us message will be carried in materials prepared by Catalyst and throughout the company’s websites, including ResidentAssistant.com, which receives more than 100,000 page views a month.
“ResidentAssistant.com is used as a resource by both on-campus and off-campus resident assistants across the nation,” said Senior Vice President Dan Oltersdorf, who manages the website. “It will help us extend our reach with the It’s On Us campaign well beyond Campus Advantage properties. We hope that our efforts supporting this campaign will spark action throughout the student housing industry, both on- and off-campus.”
Supporting the It’s On Us campaign is another way in which the company’s Students First™ Residence Life Program serves residents with programming they can use in their own lives.
People can participate in the It’s On Us campaign by signing a pledge at itsonus.org or taking the pledge on Twitter or Facebook.