Sexual assault campaign is under way

Emily Colella, Staff Writer

According to a 2004 study, one in 20 women reported being raped in college since the beginning of that year—a period of about seven months.

A study in 2000 showed that out of every 1,000 women attending a college or university, there were 35 instances of rape.

Pitt-Johnstown students aren’t exempt from these statistics. This year, several people are stepping forward to raise awareness and promote sexual assault prevention.

The initiative is led by Vice President of Student Affairs Shawn Brooks, Executive Health and Counseling Services director Theresa Horner, Student Conduct director Todd Shaffer, and campus police chief Eric Zangaglia.

Student Life director Sherri Rae has joined them to coordinate student-led initiatives.

“We want to make sure that our students get the best, most timely, and most accurate information regarding sexual-assault prevention and education,” said Brooks, “and we want to make sure they have the information about the resources available to them should something occur.”

According to Brooks, it is committee members’ goal to make sure the information is presented in such a way that students want to hear the information and participate in the program. To do this, they have decided to use an online campaign.

The campaign to educate students is called “It’s On Us.” It is to be promoted on campus and on social media.

Students will have the opportunity to take an online pledge, as part of the campaign.

The students taking the pledge will be committing to educating themselves on the issue of sexual violence and to not being bystanders when another student is in a dangerous situation.

The online pledge also is to be available at Student Union tables during this week. It can be accessed by visiting

Along with the pledge, information will be available for students to educate themselves on sexual assault.

“As more students take the pledge, and watch the supporting videos and information developed by the program, they will become more aware of how to help keep themselves and others safe,” said Brooks.