New student organization combats sexual assault


Krystina Andrade

Hope and wellness center intern poses for a photo on April 9.

Chase Spear, Assistant News Editor

Last January, It’s On Us officially became a student organization on campus, designed to prevent and spread awareness of sexual assault.


It’s On Us had a table set up outside the USU on Tuesday, April 9.


Megan Young, the organization’s president, said that one of the main goals of It’s On Us is to provide students with a “safe place to talk about their experiences and how they can relate it to others.”


According to Young, It’s On Us originally started out as a national campaign created by Joe Biden and the Biden Foundation in 2014. The campaign was created with the intention to combat sexual assault on college campuses.


Before It’s On Us became a student organization at CSUSM it was a chapter at Student Health and Counseling Services. Young said that the chapter was “allowed to promote the message” on combating sexual assault, but she wanted to take it a step further and make the chapter an official organization.


As a survivor of sexual assault, Young wanted to “facilitate the conversation regarding” this widespread issue on college campuses.


At their table, students had the opportunity to sign a pledge to combat sexual assault on college campuses with the four following goals: to recognize that non-consensual sex is sexual assault, to identify situations in which sexual assault might occur, to intervene in situations where consent has not or cannot be given and to create an environment in which sexual assault is unacceptable and survivors supported.


“We have information about what is consent and what is not consent,” said Young. The table included a list of what is and isn’t considered sexual consent and information on what students could do to prevent sexual assault.


It’s On Us currently has five members but Young said that “gaining more members would be nice.”


The organization is looking to get more men involved in the conversation on sexual assault. According to Young, statistics show that there is a higher amount of female victims of sexual assault than male victims.


Despite the low statistics of male sexual assault victims, getting more men to join in the conversation on the matter is one of the current goals of It’s On Us.


When combating sexual assault, Young encourages students to become an “upstander” rather than a bystander. Instead of sitting on the sidelines, It’s On Us encourages students to directly intervene in effort to prevent sexual assault, when safe to do so.


Young gave an example of upstander behavior. She said if a student is intoxicated at a party and wants to take another student with them to their room, that is a sign for others to intervene and prevent a possible account of sexual assault from happening.


It’s On Us is also designed to support victims who have been survivors of sexual assault and encourages a discussion for those who don’t want to talk about it or are unsure of how to respond to the issue.


“If this topic is not brought up, it’s never going to be brought up,” said Young.


For more information on events hosted during Sexual Assault Awareness Month, visit the Hope and Wellness Center website at or follow It’s On Us on Instagram at