‘It’s On Us’ here at St. John’s

This article is part of a spread the Torch ran on the issue of sexual assault.

St. John’s University aired its own version of the “It’s On Us” video campaign against sexual assault on Friday, Oct. 17 during the university basketball teams’ Tip-Off.

The St. John’s version of the campaign features student leaders, athletes and faculty, and it closes with University President Conrado “Bobby” Gempesaw. The original “It’s On Us” video campaign features famous faces such as Kerry Washington, Vice President Joe Biden and President Barack Obama. The campaign was launched in early September.

According to Vice President of Student Affairs Dr. Kathryn Hutchinson, the University has been working for years on educating the St. John’s community on the subject, and she sees the campaign as “another highly visible aspect” of their approach.

Hutchinson said that they used familiar faces from campus to make it easier for the students to understand the issue “on a personal level.” She also shared her content with the reactions at Tip-Off, describing it as “incredible.”

“Having an arena full of people watching the video together really says that as a university, we believe this is important and we can change the culture,” Hutchinson said.

Senior Yamaris Astudillo said that having students talk in the video makes it “more relatable.” She mentioned that because most people don’t speak up on this issue, it is necessary to show the importance about intervening.

“To have guys and girls in the video shows that anyone can say something if they witness or experience the situation,” Astudillo said.

According to the “It’s On Us” campaign’s toolkit, one in five women and one in 16 men experience sexual assault during their college years. Out of those, only 13 percent is reported.

“This campaign is not just about a video or a badge on a shirt,” Hutchinson said. “Our students understand that we are all part of the solution.”


Editor’s note: as an Orientation Leader, Livia Paula participated in the “It’s On Us” video.