SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) — Vice President Joe Biden brought a White House initiative to prevent campus sexual violence to his alma mater Thursday, urging the Syracuse University audience to take a pledge to intervene if they see the potential for assault.
“She’s nearly passing out and you see your roommate or fraternity brother walking her upstairs,” Biden, a 1968 graduate of the College of Law, said.
“Have the gumption to step in!” he shouted. “Tell him. Expose him. Save him. Have the nerve. Look at that young woman as though she were your sister.”
The address was part of a national week of action surrounding the “It’s On Us” campaign launched last fall.
Biden said more than 250,000 people have signed the campaign’s pledge to intervene and advance an environment where sexual assault is unacceptable and where it’s understood that sex without consent is rape.
More than 300 campuses have held more than 1,000 events, he said.
U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand continued her push for passage of the Campus Accountability & Safety Act, which, among other things would require a uniform student disciplinary process across campuses and coordination with law enforcement.
“We are closer than ever to passing a bill that would finally give our colleges and universities an incentive to solve the problem,” Gillibrand said inside the Schine StudentCenter, “rather than stay silent and pretend it doesn’t exist.”
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