VP Biden Launches Website on Sexual Assault
In late April, Vice President Joe Biden launched a website called “Notalone.gov” to help women find more information about sexual assault on college campuses. On September 19, Biden launched a new virtual tool in President Obama’s campaign to end sexual assault. Called “It’s on Us,” this campaign raises awareness for and seeks to undermine the “blame the victim” mentality some have in regards to sexual violence. One of the key aspects of this campaign is focused particularly on college campuses, as one in four women and one in seven men are sexually assaulted on a college campus. Of sexual violence committed against women, only 10 percent of those crimes get reported and even fewer cases find the rapists and punish the perpetrator. Through this new campaign, President Obama wants to make these statistics obsolete. Along with the It’s on Us campaign, he also plans to implement more guidance to every school district, college campus and university that receives federal aid to respond to victims of sexual assault. He will also review existing regulations to protect victims, as well as create a White House Task Force to protect students from sexual assault. To get a college man to step in when his buddy cannot tell the difference between consent and non-consent is a powerful message that the White House wants to inspire young men across the country.
One of the first public service announcements of many channels voices from powerful influences such as Kerry Washington, Jon Hamm and Rose Byrne to sign the pledge at itsonus.org. The hope is that all of these influences will prevail from current celebrities portraying women as objects and toys. Many organizations such as the NCAA, MTV and VH1 have also pledged to help change this rape culture. Advocacy groups such as Generation Progress and Men Can Stop Rape also participated in the White House’s message to spread “It’s on Us.”
Although many think that President Obama is taking advantage from the NFL’s recent influence in scandals, he stated in his speech that there needs to be change in the foundational parts of American culture to prevent sexual violence.
NYC Global Climate March Attracts Thousands
This Sunday was the People’s Climate March, an event in which students, educators and organizations interested in preserving and saving the environment due to Climate Change rallied in New York City. At least 310,000 supporters started near Central Park between 59th and 86th street, marching through Midtown before ending at 11th avenue for the largest climate march in history. This march was held to catch the attention of powerful politicians to address the future of the world after Climate Change threat.
The majority of environmental scientists today argue that climate change is a change in the regular weather patterns that result in extreme consequences, such as higher ocean levels and changing animal hunting/mating patterns. Climate change has been linked to increased level emissions of carbon dioxide released from fossil fuels. Marchers walked to illuminate the damages of greenhouse gases and to force politicians to place pressure on greenhouse gas-emitting companies to reduce their emissions of carbon dioxide. Although the White House has vowed to lead for a change in the current attitude towards climate change, starting with challenging other great nations to attend the summit to discuss what can be done about this. America, along with India and China, is one of the greatest carbon dioxide emitting countries in the world. India and China will not be attending the U.N. meeting.
A great number of influential people were attracted by the march, such as former Vice President Al Gore, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jane Goodall and Vandana Shiva, all environmentalists who wanted to raise awareness to the world leaders who are meeting this Saturday to discuss action (if any) towards climate change.
Secretary of the U.N. General Ban Ki-moon also attended and took note of this protest. Aside from famous and influential individuals participating in the rally, many of the potential victims of natural disasters caused by climate change—the poor, the elderly, and the vulnerable—marched as well. Many of these individuals made posters, floats and pickets that described saving mother earth, and students from various institutions chanted “Ooo, it’s hot in here / Must be the carbon in the atmosphere.” One of the above mentioned environmentalists, Shiva—who is famous for speaking out against genetically engineered crops—mentioned that although this march was peaceful with no arrests so far, the following Monday sit-in at Wall Street resulted in roughly 100 arrests because, unlike the Climate March, it was not sanctioned by the New York Police Department.
—Lisa Je ’18, Guest Reporter.