Student-Athletes Taking a Stand with New Advocacy Group

It’s On Us Pledge Night Photos – by Michael Scott

By Caitlin Kennedy Staff

KINGSTON, R.I. – One in every four women is sexually assaulted.

It's an alarming statistic, and one that the student-athletes at the University of Rhode Island will not stand for. With this in mind, URI's student-athletes have taken an active role in the University's new URI Standers group.

In 2001, Keith Labelle started the Peer Advocates program at the URI Women’s Center. The mission of this group is to educate students about sexual assault and domestic violence.  Now, the organization has taken a new identity, splitting into two segments – URI Standers and Peer Educators.

URI Standers is a bystander intervention program. Like Peer Advocates, URI Standers has a goal of informing students around campus about heavy topics such as sexual assault, domestic violence and stalking. In addition, the Standers aim to not only inform, but to end these very real issues, to teach individuals to step in and say something when they are a witness.  

“One in four women is sexually assaulted and one in four women is physically assaulted,” Labelle said, “When that statistic becomes one of your personal one in four, it becomes even more real.”

Recently, the URI Standers became involved with the “It’s On Us” Campaign, which is a pledge that is being taken at colleges across the country to raise awareness and put an end to sexual assault. The video (featured below) is the work of student-athletes from every team at URI who have pledged on behalf of their teams to take a stand against all of the issues mentioned.  As a community, Rhode Island Athletics has teamed up to be a voice, to encourage the rest of campus, and to put an end to domestic violence for good.