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SUNY Oneonta wins DIII ‘It’s On Us’ video contest

Initiative raises awareness regarding campus sexual assaults

State University of New York at Oneonta’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee is the winner of this year’s Division III Student-Athlete Advisory Committee It’s On Us video contest, which raises awareness regarding campus sexual assaults and preventive measures. SUNY Oneonta’s winning video will be featured at the NCAA Division III Women’s Basketball Championship game tonight at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. 

For the contest, the Division III SAAC invited campus and conference SAACs to create videos promoting awareness and prevention of sexual assaults on campus in support of the It’s On Us campaign. The NCAA joined the White House It’s On Us initiative last year to bring attention to what is occurring in college and university campus communities, and Division III launched its program in January.  

“In hearing about the statistics involved with sexual assault and athletes, it’s really important for athletes to be a part of the face of change,” said Bryn Loomis, a senior accounting major on the women’s basketball team at SUNY Oneonta. “This video allowed us to promote a positive message and to shine light on the fact that we, as athletes, are aware of these issues, and we want to help make a difference.”

“Being part of this video project made me realize how much of an impact a person can have,” said Matt Mastroianni, a senior communications major who plays baseball at SUNY Oneonta. “We can all help, stand up for one another and prevent tragic events from occurring. This project made me more courageous and confident in my ability to say something if I feel something is wrong.”

“This video represents the very best of what our student athletes are: leaders on campus, voices that can be heard, and role models for their fellow students,” said Brynn Sussman, a former tennis student-athlete at SUNY Oneonta and producer of the school’s winning video.  “Being a part of this movement to take a pledge, alongside my fellow athletes and friends, was something very special. The impact it has caused and how it has resonated on so many different platforms has been beyond anyone's expectations.”

SAAC is the voice of the student-athlete in the NCAA governance structure, providing viewpoints on potential legislation, filling positions on committees and participating in community partnerships. The national SAAC’s mission is to enhance the total student-athlete experience by promoting opportunity, protecting student-athlete welfare and fostering a positive student-athlete image. 

“Division III, which stands 190,000 students strong, has the ability to instantly make a nationwide difference in sexual assault prevention with a video,” said Domenic Fraboni, a former student-athlete who played football at Concordia College, Moorhead, and served as a member of the Division III SAAC’s It’s On Us working group. Fraboni graduated in May with a degree in exercise science.

The Division III SAAC video contest precedes three upcoming events. Division III Week, which begins today, celebrates the impact of athletics and of student-athletes on campus and in the surrounding community. April is also Sexual Assault Awareness Month; and National Student-Athlete Day, which is recognized Wednesday but celebrated throughout April, highlights student-athlete activities and achievements.