SUNY Oneonta athletics has been recognized for a second time by the NCAA for their “It’s on Us” video that was created last spring. The latest recognition comes from the NCAA National Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) as their pick for its national video contest winner. Last spring, Oneonta was recognized by the NCAA as the March Diversity Spotlight winner.
In being chosen as the winner, the selection committee appreciated the powerful message, integration of the student-athletes’ sports, use of singular and multiple voices to emphasize important points, and the strong call-to-action at the end.
The Division III SAAC formally launched the division’s It’s On Us initiative in January 2016 at the NCAA Convention. The committee firmly believes in the ability for student-athletes to drive change and raise awareness for this cause. To help facilitate participation across the membership, the national SAAC invited all Division III campuses and conferences to create a video promoting the It’s On Us campaign and submit it in the contest. In all, 28 Division III institutions responded.
The video was formally unveiled on April 4th in conjunction with the Division III Women’s Basketball Championship held at 6 pm Eastern Time. The video was shown in-venue at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. In addition, SUNY Oneonta will be recognized in the NCAA Division III Monthly Newsletter and on the NCAA Division III homepage. To view the video on your YouTube channel, please click on the following link: https://youtu.be/14sau6cXmC8
The video was directed, edited and produced by 2015 graduate, Brynn Sussman, and Todd Ferguson, an intern with the Office of Communications. Sussman, who was a standout tennis player for the Red Dragons, is currently employed by the National Hockey League. The video included student athletes from multiple teams including graduates Marissa Makar (Lacrosse), Jordan Placella (Lacrosse), Krystal Scott (Soccer), Mackenzie Park (Tennis), Patrick Weinert (Track & Field), Marielle Genovesi (Cross Country/Track & Field) and Zack Mager (Basketball). It also included current student athletes, seniors Bryn Loomis (Basketball) and Matt Mastroianni (Baseball) and sophomore James Bethel (Wrestling).
The “It’s on Us” campaign began on Sep. 19, 2014 when President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden along with members of the sports and entertainment industry created a video that made a statement that “It’s on Us” to make a personal stand and to be part of the solution and not part of the problem. The video, which included Cleveland Cavaliers forward Kevin Love, actors Jon Hamm and Connie Britton tells their fans to heed the president’s call, suggesting that people need to take responsibility for preventing rape among U.S. college students.
SUNY Oneonta athletics challenges other athletic departments to take the pledge and get involved.
THE “ItsonUs” PLEDGE is a personal commitment to help keep women and men safe from sexual assault. It is a promise not to be a bystander to the problem, but to be a part of the solution.
I PLEDGE To recognize that non-consensual sex is sexual assault. To identify situations in which sexual assault may occur. To intervene in situations where consent has not or cannot be given. To create an environment in which sexual assault is unacceptable and survivors are supported.