Chancellor Telfer & UW-Whitewater Officials: Why Wait 147 Days?

On September 18, 2014, with the support of national-assault prevention groups, law enforcement, therapists & doctors, and actors & actresses, a bipartisan coalition launched the It’s On Us campaign.

The campaign asks everyone to pledge

To RECOGNIZE that non-consensual sex is sexual assault.
To IDENTIFY situations in which sexual assault may occur.
To INTERVENE in situations where consent has not or cannot be given.
To CREATE an environment in which sexual assault is unacceptable and survivors are supported.

The very day after the program’s launch, I posted one the first videos from the campaign, at FREE WHITEWATER, as it appeared in the Washington Post. See, from 9.19.14, that post with video @ FW.

Just last week, on February 12, 2015, UW-Whitewater announced that it would promote the It’s On Us campaign. It’s a good and right thing to do. America is a great and honest nation; we are a people that has faced and overcome many serious problems, and we can do so again.

A question presents itself: Why did Chancellor Telfer and the UW-Whitewater administration wait 147 days to embrace this program?

The campaign was nationally-known and publicized from its very beginning.

The UW-Whitewater administration commands a budget of hundreds of millions, and a staff of ten – ten people – in its Media Relations department alone.

Could they – should they – not have been part of making a local commitment to a campaign like It’s On Us among their highest priorities?

How long would it have taken to promote this campaign months ago?

After all, on September 27, 2014, UW-Whitewater officials, including Chancellor Richard Telfer, Provost Beverly Kopper, and Athletic Director Amy Edmonds had time to travel to Maple Bluff and pose for a photo opportunity with Governor Walker.

Wisconsin-Whitewater Photo Galleries - National Champions at Governor's Mansion
(Provost Kopper and Athletic Director Edmonds are on the right. That’s Chancellor Telfer in the back row, wearing sunglasses. Feel free to click the picture for a larger image, if you should be so inclined.)

In less time than it took for the photo op – even on the morning before it – these same officials could have embraced and launched the It’s On Us campaign at UW-Whitewater.

Now, with just a few weeks until the arrival of Title IX investigators on campus to conduct student focus groups following a federal Title IX complaint against UW-Whitewater, they’ve embraced the campaign.

That commitment and support should have come sooner, with diligence and seriousness, long before a federal visit. That commitment and support should continue, with diligence and seriousness, long after a federal visit.

See, below, a video from the It’s On Us YouTube Channel:

I would encourage readers to donate to the It’s On Us campaign, and to support these and other efforts to prevent sexual violence.

Those who have experienced sexual assault will find resources of support at

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