Students Against Sexual Assault (SASA) has been raising awareness throughout the GW community since it was founded in 2010. Through numerous campaigns tackling tough topics such as sexual assault, dating and domestic violence, sexual harassment and stalking, the organization of 20 plus members has worked to raise awareness of an issue that continues to impact university campuses throughout the nation.
The organization has organized events with guest speakers, helped disburse educational and supportive services to students and community members and helped students recognize the impact of sexual assault. SASA has been particularly active this semester with both The National Day of Action and the “It’s On Us Campaign,” spearheaded by the White House.
Members of SASA say that this year is different than anything done in the past. “We gather and you can feel the energy,” said SASA event organizer Jocelyn Jacoby.
GW students met in Kogan Plaza for The National Day of Action on October 29 to support Columbia University student Emma Sulkovicz, who is carrying a dorm mattress around campus until her rapist leaves the university. SASA organized the event, also known as “Carry That Weight,” in an effort to make GW a safer campus and to end rape culture. The event garnered a large turnout with two students bringing their mattresses and many others carrying pillows as substitutes.
The university community created a video for the It’s On Us campaign. View it here: https://gwtoday.gwu.edu/gw-its-on-us
SASA was thankful for the turnout and hopeful that their message of support would be heard and understood. “Everyone there really believed in the cause and was happy to stand in the rain or carry a heavy mattress in order to stand with Emma and all survivors,” said Jacoby. “You could tell that people heading home from the protest realized that this is one step of many.”
SASA has also helped to get GW involved in the “It’s On Us campaign,” which is focused on dismantling the culture of sexual violence on college campuses across the country. The campaign has been supported by the White House and the National Campus Leadership Council.
SASA hosts a Take Back the Night week each spring
From November 17-21, SASA has been hosting small-scale events to spread awareness. On Wednesday night, they had a meet and greet with the organization’s officers. The environment was welcoming as the group discussed their goals and invited students to share ideas of projects that they envisioned doing to spread further awareness. Later in the evening, GW alumnus Kyle Lierman made an appearance. He is the Associate Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement.
SASA has a final meeting planned for the fall semester as well as an exciting and informative line-up of events for the spring semester. Their entire list of upcoming events can be found on their Facebook at facebook.com/GWSASA