Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Men's Ice Hockey - LVC Student-Athletes Join Gov. Wolf for "It's On Us" Legislation Announcement

HARRISBURG, Pa. - Lebanon Valley student-athletes joined Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf, legislators, advocates, and fellow student-athletes from schools across the state at the Capitol building on Wednesday afternoon, Sept. 6, for Governor Wolf's announcement of the introduction of his "It's On Us PA" campaign.

Women's lacrosse's Mackenzie Kelley, women's soccer's Katie Goldsmith, men's ice hockey's Russ Armbruster, and cross country and track & field's Terrence Habiyaremye '17 joined their fellow students on the rotunda steps behind Governor Wolf and other speakers as the announcement was made this afternoon introducing a package of six bills as part of the campaign to combat sexual violence in K-12 schools and on college and university campuses.


"This legislation is the result of students, parents, advocates, education leaders, and people across the commonwealth working together to improve reporting and response standards for sexual assault," said Governor Wolf. "We are making progress to combat sexual violence, and these proposals will ensure that all Pennsylvania students have the information, resources, and supports they need."

All four student-athletes who took part in Governor Wolf's press conference are members of LVC's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), including the organization's president and vice president in Armbruster and Goldsmith, respectively. LVC cross country head coach James O'Brien '07, '14 was also in attendance. Through his video production, he has been essential in helping Armbruster, Goldsmith, Kelley, Habiyaremye and the rest of the College's student-athletes publicize the "It's On Us" and Step UP! program's on campus.

LVC has been at the forefront of the "It's On Us!" movement, as student-athletes have been taking charge of recognizing when their peers are suffering any sort of mental, emotional, or physical abuse in the hopes that LVC students will intervene for good whenever the situation calls for it.

"It's On Us!" is an extension of LVC's existing Step UP! program, which revolves around one essential question: Have you ever been concerned about a situation and wanted to help...but didn't? If you can answer yes to this question, you're not alone. This situation is more common than you might think and is known as the bystander effect. Step UP! is the Bystander Intervention Program with five decision-making steps and strategies for effective helping in difficult situations.

Step One
Notice the Event
- Be aware and keep an eye out for others.

Step Two
Interpret It as a Problem
- Investigate by asking questions and getting others involved.

Step Three
Assume Personal Responsibility
- What would you want someone else to do for you?

Step Four
Know How to Help
- Know yourself. Understand what you are capable of doing without putting yourself in harm's way.

Step Five
Step Up!
- Be the first to take action to resolve the situation.

Each year, Lebanon Valley's athletic department, through the leadership of the school's SAAC representatives, holds educational training sessions for incoming freshmen athletes and transfers. The sessions highlighted ways for the underclassmen to make a difference in uncomfortable situations they come across in their everyday lives. These range anywhere from cheating, drugs and alcohol abuse, and anger, to depression, unhealthy relationships, and discrimination. Regardless of the situation, students were encouraged to recognize the problem, step up, and help each other out.

The College also hosts its annual Step UP! event at the Arnold Sports Center. The program consists of educational activities that include learning stations, as well as a number of fun competitions like dodgeball and charades. Those in attendance cap the event by signing a poster pledging that they will do their part to make each LVC student's college experience as rewarding, comfortable, and most importantly, safe as possible.

This year's Step UP! event will be held on Sunday evening, Oct. 1 at 7 p.m.

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