Student task force hopes to end sexual assault, violence on SIUC - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Student task force hopes to end sexual assault, violence on SIUC campus

(Source: Giacomo Luca, KFVS) (Source: Giacomo Luca, KFVS)
CARBONDALE, IL (KFVS) - Student's at Southern Illinois University Carbondale have formed a task force hoping to end violence on campus.

The "It's On Us" Student Task Force of SIUC is part of a national program called "It's On Us," formed by President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden to curb sexual assaults on campus.

Kelly Meloy, the co-chair of the student task force said she hopes the entire campus will get involved.

“We're looking to support the victims and also educate people on what it does mean to consent," Meloy said. "And what it does mean to be sexually assaulted. So, everyone is aware the consequences and the actions taken, so that never happens”Student leaders want to be proactive in their response to incidents on campus.

“I think that our main goal is for all of SIU to come together to realize that this is a serious issue that SIU is facing," Meloy said. "That we need to know that it is on us.”

A 10-person panel consisting of students, administrators and leaders in the Carbondale Community met on Monday night inside the Morris Library to answer questions in an open forum on the topic.

Panelists included representatives from the Women's Center of Carbondale, the SIU Wellness and Health Promotion Services, the SIU Department of Public Safety Police Chief Benjamin Newman and SIU system president Randy Dunn.

Panelists said there needs to be a fundamental change cultural change on campus to prevent  sexual assaults from happening.

Students asked questions along the lines of what can University administrators do to prevent incidents, what resources are available to victims, to what's the difference between rape and sexual assault, and how often do incidents occur on campus.

A website has been launched where on-campus crimes that happen on campus can be reported.

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