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Tips for Bringing NO MORE To Your Campus

By Jake Comito|

Jake Comito, a junior from Rutgers University, is fighting two battles: on one front, he is changing the way people perceive and react to sexual assault on campus. On the other front, he is combatting the negative publicity shadowing Universities as incidences of violence on campus gain greater attention. Jake has been using his influence as a Resident Assistant, Teaching Assistant and Supervisor for Recreational Sports to disrupt violence on campus. He speaks about how he used the NO MORE campaign to spread awareness at Rutgers and how YOU can spark the conversation at your school too. Check out his work on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram by searching the hashtag #RUSaysNoMore! 

1) Using the NO MORE Toolkit:

17921_front_saynomore_courtesyofjakecomitofThe celebrity posters from the NO MORE Toolkit started my campaign at Rutgers.  I was inspired by Amy Poehler’s, “Well, she was drunk,” poster. I thought to myself, as the world’s greatest Parks and Recreation fan, that I could say NO MORE just as Amy Poehler had. I felt connected to the cause because of Amy, and then I researched NO MORE and their work to raise awareness about these crimes.  These posters, along with workplace fliers, postcards and the NO MORE symbol, create a necessary conversation about the cause.

What can you do? 
  1. Research NO MORE and articulate the campaign’s mission and vision 
  2. Print the posters and fliers
  3. Post the posters and fliers in dining halls, Resident Living Spaces, Libraries and Student Centers 

2) Creating an Event and Working with Local Businesses:

Posters are passive and while their influence is strong, it’s also limited. I created an event to actively promote the cause and to encourage student involvement. I wanted to “put students onto the poster” by replacing the celebrities with us—normal Rutgers students.

I teamed up with GlobalSoft Digital Solutions, a Digital Marketing and Printing Production company located in New Jersey. I re-created the NO MORE posters, without the celebrities, and then sent the PDF file to GlobalSoft to produce (picture the celebrity posters with a blank center). They printed the digital file onto foam core poster boards and then donated the boards to me. They were willing to stand behind the cause and to contribute to the campaign and the University. It was an easy sell – businesses are frequently looking to get involved with local campuses. Now that I have the foam core boards, I am able to take pictures of students standing in front of the boards, crop the pictures and splash colors onto the pictures to make it seem like the students are on the poster (see the attached picture).

What can you do?
  1. Pick a date, time and place for your event 
  2. Contact local business and explain to them your campaign and your vision for spreading awareness on campus
  3. Figure out their production capabilities and/or ask for donations – make a strong case! 

 3) Involving On-Campus Organizations:

Residence Life was, and still is, instrumental to my campaign. My hall staff has contributed to the campaign by spreading awareness, taking pictures and distributing the NO MORE lapel pins. I have also received support from fraternities and sororities, ethnic groups and special interest groups. These groups have taken the NO MORE pledge and they have demonstrated their support for the cause.

What can you do?
  1. Speak about the NO MORE campaign at your student group’s executive board meetings 
  2. Generate interest within the members of the group and begin conversations about the cause
  3. Meet with other on-campus organizations and work in tandem with them to spread awareness on campus 

 

 4) Utilizing Social Media:

I took over 120 pictures of students who had “put themselves onto the poster” within the first week of the campaign. We prompted everyone to post their pictures online with the hashtag #RUSaysNoMore to curate the posters on social media. It was a hit – within days, students and faculty members were using the hashtag to talk about sexual assault and to say NO MORE alongside each other.

What can you do?
  1. Post pictures of yourself on social media saying NO MORE
  2. Create a school-wide hashtag (for example #(YourSchool)SaysNoMore) 
  3. Join the conversation online and see what other people are saying and doing with NO MORE 

 

 5) Recognition from Administration:

Rutgers University pledged to end sexual assault this year. I wanted to prove that students and administration share visions for our school, not only academically, but also socially. I have been using lessons and themes imposed on us to display our united front. I have also sent emails to Campus Directors, scheduled meetings with Vice Chancellors and Senior Leadership Figures and extended my reach to the school paper. Their support and their recognition has helped me spread the cause.

What can you do?
  1. Schedule meetings with hall directors to seek advice for advertising, promoting and positioning
  2. Speak with members of your campus’ administration and ask for their involvement 
  3. Reach out to the school paper, radio shows, magazines and social media accounts

 

 Final Words of Advice:

Universities have been under scrutiny for their investigation tactics and inadequate responses to sexual violence on campus. As students, it is important to draw attention to the problems that we care about, but it is even more important to offer solutions to these problems and to become part of the change.. We need to unify our student bodies and urge everyone to stand up and say “NO MORE”. We can lead by example, prompting Universities to follow our progress.

Do you want to put yourself and your school onto the poster? Contact Jake Comito at jake.comito@rutgers.edu to learn more and download the free NO MORE Toolkit.

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