Western’s digital magazine Griffon Update has been nomination for the College Media Association’s Pinnacle award, an award of excellence in journalism and media organization. Update’s Katelyn Canon and Jennifer Swope have been nominated for the public service announcement package for Western’s “It’s on Us” campaign that debuted in the spring of 2015.
“It’s on Us” is a national campaign dedicated to recognizing and ending sexual assault and violence on college campuses.
“It is really crazy to think that this has become something bigger than we ever anticipated it would. It also brings a lot of recognition to a really great cause, because sexual assault is a problem on campuses. To have a PSA that people have responded positively to makes others aware of it as well,” Canon said.
“The It’s on Us campaign is for awareness of sexual assault and violence on campus. The campaign actually already had several videos on YouTube, so we drew a lot of inspiration from other videos of the campaign,” Swope said.
The video depicts several Western students speaking up to end sexual assault. The video features several well-known faces including Western’s Chief of Police Yvonne Meyer, former SGA President Daniel Hager and Student Governor Lionel Attawia. “We had some people that we specifically asked [to be a part of the video]. Lionel was also a big part of the process and he helped write the script, and he helped us to get in contact with people. SGA was more of the client that we produced the video for, and after the video was released the Facebook campaign was started,” Swope said.
Western is one of three schools nominated to receive this award, competing against Savannah College of Art and Design in Savannah, Georgia, and Berry College in Mount Berry, Georgia. They are competing in the category of best public service announcement or video promotion, with emphasis on the excellence in the creativity and clarity in a production under 60 seconds.
Griffon Update advisor Dr. Robert Nulph was pleased with the production value and confident in the overall message of the video.
“I think because it is such a heavy subject, and an incredibly important subject, I think [the topic] will work for us. It’s brought awareness to the subject [of assault], and that is incredibly important. We have a reputation for being a safe campus, and I think this [PSA] will encourage that continuation.
Anything that is in the world of discrimination or sexual harassment, has to be squashed. It doesn’t make sense, if you are supposed to be a civilized society, you shouldn’t be doing things like that. So, when you bring attention to something like sexual assault, that’s huge, and the more people that realize that it could be happening around you, the more people will keep their eyes open and maybe jump in when they see something happening that shouldn’t be, and that is really important to me,” Nulph said.
The final Pinnacle recipient will be announced at the Fall National College Media Convention in Austin, Texas, on Oct. 30.