‘It’s On Us’ Rally Raises Awareness of Sexual Violence

BETHANY, W.Va. – About 100 Bethany College students, faculty, and staff gathered in front of Old Main on Friday, Oct. 25, to raise awareness of sexual violence and show support for its survivors.

Its On Us Rally Group“It was amazing to see students, faculty, and staff come out to support other students and survivors,” said Jerry Stebbins, Bethany’s vice president for student life and dean of students. “It is a great beginning to increase education, support, and awareness across campus.”

Student organizer Riley Meyers said the goal of the “It’s On Us” rally was to show survivors of sexual violence that their voices can be heard.

She said she was pleased with the turnout and acknowledged that the noon rally occurred when some students and faculty were in class.

Meyers, a junior political science and pre-law major from DuBois, Pa., said she and several friends spent about two hours Thursday night making signs for the event.

Attendees – many wearing Bethany’s Green and White – were also encouraged to create their own “It’s On Us” messages. Among the many statements were: “It’s On Us to Be Better,” “It’s On Us to Listen,” and “It’s On Us to Speak for Those Who Can’t.”

The crowd paused for a moment of silence in support of those affected by sexual violence.

Meyers said the college soon will hold a week of events aimed at raising awareness of the issue and encouraged students to get involved in the planning process. Art exhibits, educational talks, and a Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event are among the activities under consideration.

“The conversation is not over,” Meyers said. “We’re kind of ending it with a comma, because there’s so much more to talk about.”

ABOUT BETHANY COLLEGE

Bethany College, founded in 1840, is the oldest private college in West Virginia. The Bethany experience focuses on academic excellence in the area of liberal arts and prepares students for a lifetime of work and a life of significance.

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