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AN INDEPENDENT STUDENT NEWSPAPER SERVING THE GW COMMUNITY SINCE 1904

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Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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PAUL closes in Western Market
By Ella Mitchell, Staff Writer • April 22, 2024

Rizzotti speaks at White House sexual assault prevention summit

This post was written by Hatchet reporter Barbara Alberts.

Women’s basketball head coach Jennifer Rizzotti participated in a panel discussion about sexual assault for the “It’s on Us” campaign summit at the White House last week.

Rizzotti, alongside Atlantic 10 Commissioner Bernadette V. McGlade, spoke on a panel called “Changing the Culture Through Sports.” Panelists motivated students to take a stand against sexual violence and to prevent sexual assault. 

Other members of the panel included the NCAA Chief of Staff Cari Van Senus, Jen Zudonyi of Major League Baseball and Temple University football player Jacob Martin.  The panel was moderated by Neil Irvin, the executive director of Men Can Stop Rape.

The “It’s on Us” campaign began three years ago with the goal to change how sexual assault is talked about on college campuses. University president Steven Knapp signed onto the campaign when it launched.

Rizzotti said in an interview that as the women’s basketball head coach she feels a responsibility to use her position to help spread the message of the “It’s on Us” campaign and to battle the stigma around sexual violence.

“It’s important when you’re a role model in the community to make sure that you stay involved in anything that can make a difference,” Rizzotti said.  “As a college basketball coach, where you’re daily in touch with 18-to-22-year-olds, certainly part of my job is to make sure I make a positive impact on their lives in ways other than [on the court].”

Rizzotti said her position in D.C. makes her even more motivated to contribute to social causes.   

“Part of the decision for me to move from Connecticut to D.C. was to make sure that I wasn’t in an insulated lifestyle where I wasn’t able to make an impact beyond just my own family and my women’s basketball team,” Rizzotti said.  “Being in D.C. I feel an increased responsibility to be socially conscious and to make sure I’m participating in things that really make a difference.”

Rizzotti’s team has also inspired her to continue to use her voice to help bring change to the GW community, she said. 

“I’ve been impressed with my own student athletes and how much they care about what’s going on in the world around them,” Rizzotti said.  “I want to make sure I’m living up to my part in that as well.”  

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