U of I Student Senate to pilot New Program from “It’s On Us”

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URBANA – The Illinois Student Senate announces it has partnered with the national It’s On Us campaign to bring virtual reality viewers to campus and pilot a new program.

This new program will launch nationwide next semester with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign being one of the three schools to pilot it. The University of Oregon and Whitman College are also set to pilot the program.

50 students will use virtual reality viewers to watch the critically acclaimed Sundance film “The Party,” and this will be the first time anyone can see the film since Sundance.

“The Party” is an immersive film that depicts an encounter with two college freshman at a party. In the first six minutes, the viewer takes the perspective of the female student. The second six minutes put the viewer in the perspective of the male student.

While no graphic material is shown, it is very apparent a sexual assault occurs in the film.

IndieFlix, a streaming service that spreads independent films worldwide, has partnered with It’s On Us and WeLens to provide this virtual reality film to students. Students will complete surveys directly before and after viewing the film to give It’s On Us and IndieFlix feedback.

Counselors from the Women’s Resources Center and The Counseling Center will also be on-site during screenings to assist any student triggered by the content of the film.

All students have been made aware of the film’s possibly triggering content and understand this is a voluntary event.

It’s On Us campaign manager Kristin Avery says “The Party” is a reminder to students that campus sexual assault is a real and common occurrence.

“By bringing this program to campuses across the country, we can continue to spark conversations around how students can step up and be a part of the solution, and not a bystander to the problem,” Avery explains.

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