President Rachel Byers announced SGA had extra funds in its budget to purchase 100 blue books to give to students at no cost during the University of Georgia’s Student Government Association’s executive cabinet meeting on Dec. 3. (Photo/Kathryn Skeean, kskeean@randb.com)

Members of the University of Georgia Student Government Association met for their weekly executive cabinet meeting on Oct. 22 to discuss “It’s On Us” week and continued progress with the student honor code initiative.

“It’s On Us” is a national initiative to promote sexual assault awareness and prevention on college campuses. The program began under President Barack Obama’s administration in 2014.

Vice President Melissa Hevener led the discussion about UGA’s involvement. She showed a video put together by SGA that played during at the Oct. 19 UGA-Kentucky football game featuring various SGA members urging viewers to “create a culture of consent.”

“It’s On Us” week will begin Oct. 23 and run through Friday, Oct. 25. Instead of focusing on tabling around campus each week, Hevener said the organization will be putting more emphasis on social media and its online presence.

“We are so excited to be working with university partners like the Fontaine Center, the LGBT Resource Center and Greek Life for ‘It’s On Us’ week this year,” Hevener said in a statement provided to The Red & Black. “Our social media push includes information for students about available resources at UGA and in the Athens community.”

SGA will host events and post on social media to promote awareness and prevention for survivors and victims throughout the three days.

UGA students can join SGA members in Tate Student Center room 139 for Bystander Intervention Training hosted by the Fontaine Center on Oct. 24 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., Hevener said. On Oct. 25, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., SGA members will host a tabling event where students can take a pledge to “do more moving forward to end [sexual assault].”

SGA members will be using the hashtags #ItsOnUs and #ItsOnUGA to promote the event in addition to changing their profile pictures to support the initiative.

“It’s more than just having a conversation. It’s actually responding and taking action,” said President Rachel Byers.

Other college campuses have taken part in this effort to spread awareness. According to Hevener, Auburn University hosted a similar initiative recently and the University of Alabama has plans to do so in the near future.

In other updates from the executive members, Treasurer Nav Singh informed members of his most recent work with the SGA Small Clubs Allocations Committee. He said after meeting with six organizations, SGA gave out a total of $1,735 after the meeting. There are two more meetings left for small clubs to appeal for funding, Singh said. After that time, the application will reopen in January for the spring semester.

Hevener gave a brief update on the student honor code initiative. There is an interest form that UGA students can fill out to become a part of the executive committee. Students wishing to share their thoughts can work with other members of the student body to create a comprehensive code of conduct that the university’s students will operate under.

Byers also mentioned the idea of a semesterly report to “let the student body know what we’re up to.” This would serve as an update to students about various initiatives that cabinet members are working on within committees. Similar reports have been done in the past and Byers said she has plans to get started on one soon.

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