It’s on Oz working to spread awareness

It’s on Oz uses their many events and workshops to help spread awareness and help people take action on topics like sexual assault, dating violence, and sexual and interpersonal violence. 

“We have posters around campus, we do it in the presentations, we do campuswide emails, we do tabling, we do stuff on social media. I think it’s in a lot of different places,” said Lisa Evaneski, the Title IX coordinator at SUNY Oswego. 

Another event that the department has hosted was a tabling event It’s on Oz table in Penfield Library. This was an event to spread awareness and for students to get more information about sexual assault awareness month events. Students involved in It’s on Oz answered questions, handed out information, and explained some of the upcoming events hosted by the department. 

“Another thing we do often at tables or even when we have an informational table, is what I would call interactive tabling. Interns over the years have created activities that students and employees can participate in at the table,” said Evaneski. 

It’s on Oz has changed a lot over the years in terms of how they are able to reach students. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, It’s on Oz had to find ways in order to reach students virtually, and some of these methods have remained in place. Social media has become a huge part of the department, and there are also many resources that can be found online. Evaneski said that she was really pleased with the virtual changes the department was able to come up with and have kept. 

“So, I am really proud of that-that we made this mandatory training that students used to have to go to in person–we made it really easy for people by putting it online and so even though some people may not like to go to in person things anymore that’s not really important to me. What’s important to me is that they get the information and now they’re doing it in a way that’s really easy for them.” 

Evaneski’s goal with It’s on Oz is to always be working and raising awareness among students, faculty, and staff on campus about the topics the department covers. Evaneski said she and her interns work on being on campus for anyone present on campus even during the off semesters, like the summer. 

“Then just by being out and around all the time we have this quote ‘from orientation to graduation,’ we don’t want to stop. It’s not just during dating violence awareness month or sexual assault awareness month–it’s year-round.” 

Title IX is the office while It’s on Oz is the prevention campaign on campus. The department is made up of Evaneski, interns, and work study students. They make up the programming and planning within the department. On the outside there are many ways in which others on campus can get involved. 

“Every year we have roughly 1,000 people or so go through workshops, so that’s how many people get involved with us on the education part of it–it’s probably more,” said Evaneski. 

Those outside of the department say they appreciate the role in which It’s on Oz has within their fields of work. Shelly Sloan, assistant dean of students for student wellbeing, finds it helpful to work with It’s on Oz on events where collaboration is necessary. 

“I’m a generalist so I cover literally everything from stress, sleep, sexual assault, dating violence, nutrition, fitness–I mean there’s so many parts that I cover that their’s is just a little piece of that so it’s always better when you have partners that are talking about similar issues that you can join forces with.”

The progress that has been made by It’s on Oz over the years is also something students, faculty, and others on campus have noticed. Not only have they adapted to moving events and workshops online, but they have also changed the manner in which these topics are talked about on campus. 

“I love to see it continue on because like I said I think the work that they’ve done has shifted in such a positive way in the past 10 years that things can only go up from there to raise more awareness  and more awareness around reporting, information, etc.,” said Sloan. 

Although Evaneski thinks that the department has made significant progress over the years, she hopes to do even more. For the future of the department she hopes to bring in more ideas and programs for students to learn more about the topics they cover. 

“We’re always open to new ideas. A lot of ideas that we have or things that were put in place were because a student or employee called and said ‘hey, have you ever thought of doing this?’ and we’ve done it or at least tried it,” said Evaneski.