IUPUI student leaders stand up and speak out against sexual violence

students holding banner and signView print quality image
Students showed support during the solidarity walk with signs and banners. Photo courtesy of Undergraduate Student Government

At IUPUI, 51% of students think sexual misconduct is a problem on campus. It’s an issue students are speaking out about and taking action. At a solidarity walk earlier this month, dozens of students held signs and trekked a mile around campus to show their support for survivors of sexual assault.

"The goal was to stand in solidarity and show support as a university that we do not accept this type of behavior," said Undergraduate Student Government (USG) President Julia Cilleruelo Fernández del Moral. "It was very powerful and very needed."

The event was put on by the USG and Sigma Psi Zeta to create a safe space for students to show their support and learn about available resources. 

"The students here are so passionate about this work and having the tools for prevention. You can make a difference." said Christine Kung’u, assistant director for interpersonal violence prevention at IUPUI.

Kung’u is a part of IUPUI’s Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) and helps students as a confidential advocate. She is one of many resources on campus available to support victims and educate others on how to respond.

"Part of the problem is that we don’t know the signs to look out for until it’s too late," explained Kung’u. "We have a lot of education around consent, bystander intervention, and we really want to connect with more students and more student organizations to do the work."

students walking down the street with signs.View print quality image
At a solidarity walk earlier this month, dozens of students held signs and trekked a mile around campus to show their support for survivors of sexual assault. Photo courtesy of Undergraduate Student Government

There are multiple ways students can continue to be involved. IUPUI’s "It’s on Us" chapter, a national organization dedicated to sexual assault awareness and education, is looking for more members. The group organizes various events, exhibits, and activities during April, which is sexual assault awareness month. 

Anyone who is interested in joining can contact Shea Rickel Urias, USG Director of Initiatives, at usgdi@iupui.edu. Ideas can also be sent to Cilleruelo at usgpres@iupui.edu.

"It’s very important to keep talking about this and not let the topic become cold," said Cilleruelo.

IUPUI and the Indianapolis community have a number of resources available to help victims of sexual violence: