Not sure what to say or how to help, Eller began doing research into the topic.
“I found that this happens far too often and I knew I wanted to do all I could to prevent it from happening to anyone else,” said Eller, a junior socio-political communication major at Missouri State University. “So I took the pledge at ItsOnUs.com and started to plan events to promote the organization.”
It’s On Us
Although the It’s On Us organization has only been established for two years, it has many accomplishments. So far, 360,000 people have taken the pledge to help stop sexual assault and events have been held at more than 400 college campuses in 49 states to recruit new pledges.
“Some campuses choose to show documentaries and then host a pledge drive,” said Eller. “Other campuses bring in speakers to talk about sexual assault and bystander intervention. The campaign is probably known best for its PSAs that include famous politicians, athletes, musicians and actors.”
Eller, now a member of the National Student Advisory Committee for the organization, focuses on campus outreach. He is one of the regional directors for Region 7, or the Great Plains region.
“I contact roughly 20-50 student leaders a week and talk to them about programs they are bringing to their college campuses and then I pass them on to the national organization,” said Eller. “This way the It’s On Us headquarters can help the campus promote its event.”
Meeting the vice president
As a member of the Student Advisory Committee, Eller was invited to attend a reception hosted at Vice President Joe Biden’s home at the Naval Observatory on Oct. 4.
“The reception was attended by roughly 60 people, including Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Tina Tchen, First Lady Michelle Obama’s chief of staff,” said Eller. “During the reception Vice President Biden spoke about why he is committed to the It’s On Us campaign and gave awards to college students who had been outstanding bystanders and prevented a sexual assault from occurring.”
After the reception, each student had the chance to meet with Vice President Biden and take a picture. Eller, a Chillicothe native, says the experience was eye-opening and encouraged him to continue his work with It’s On Us. He most recently attended a summit on sexual assault prevention at the White House Jan. 5. Eller will graduate in December of 2017 and looks forward to continuing his work in this area.
For more information, contact Eller at Eller114@live.missouristate.edu.