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It’s On Us at the Smith Opera House

This past Tuesday, March 22, Hobart and William Smith students gathered at the Smith Opera house in downtown Geneva with one collective mindset: to work to stand up against sexual assault.

After producing a music video with their cover of Lady Gaga’s Til It Happens To You, the women’s a cappella group, Three Miles Lost (3ML), worked to begin a conversation about sexual and domestic violence on campus. Their music video was produced in February to enter a contest Lady Gaga is sponsoring in conjunction with the “It’s On Us” organization, called “Sing for Survivors.”

The video was posted on YouTube on February 29 after Bree von Bradsky ’16 teamed up with 3ML and filmed and edited the video. It received astounding attention online and went viral practically overnight, racking up an overwhelming number of 220,000 views on YouTube. Jacki Zehner, one of the Executive Producers of the film The Hunting Ground commented on the video, “I want you to know that the whole team has seen this. I cannot speak on behalf of everyone, but on behalf of me, thank you. May this be an example for all Universities. Your talent is amazing.” Lady Gaga also tweeted, “Watch them as they rise up. SURVIVORS all around you. You won’t believe it #TillItHappensToYou,” accompanying the link to the video.

3ML’s event included many different student performers, all with the common goal to stand in solidarity against sexual abuse. In conjunction with 3ML, the Hip~NotiQs, Perfect Third, Kathleen Fowkes ’18 and HWS dance all preformed. The evening ended with an incredibly powerful and first public viewing of their music video.

The Smith opened its doors for the event at 7pm and had different organizations from the campus and Geneva community offering information and guidance regarding the subject. Organizations included Geneva’s Safe Harbors of the Finger Lakes, HWS’ Title IX office, Family Counseling Services of the Finger Lakes, the One Love club of HWS, the Counseling Center and the Women’s Collective club had tables set up in the foyer and offered students information on how to get involved with the issue and do their part in the fight to end sexual assault. 3ML also sold “It’s On Us” T-shirts.

The venue, combined with the compelling student performances, created a perfect opportunity for students to continue learning and expanding their knowledge on the subject, as well as band together with others who also pledge to stand in solidarity. Students were offered the opportunity to sign a pledge on a banner, which will only help spread the word throughout the community and work as a catalyst for change.

Lucy Carr ’17, member of 3ML, explains how the a cappella group, “was in awe by how much support [they were] receiving from the video.” They wanted to use their platform to “make something even bigger and worked to create the event. [3ML] wanted the conversation [about sexual assault and relationship violence] to spread even further, and getting the community and more students involved was amazing.”

Continue the conversation and join the fight to end sexual assult, and begin by watching 3ML’s video and voting here:

http://www.thehuntinggroundfilm.com/contest/three-miles-lost/

Use the video to begin the conversation with others, and let’s combat this together.

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