LIVE: Biden speaks on supporting survivors

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  • Attendees wait in line to see Joe Biden speak at the It's On Us presentation.

  • Joe Biden speaks at "It's On Us" rally Thursday. 

  • Crowds gather and the Marching Illini waits on the balcony during Thursday's "It's On Us" rally. 

  • Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan addresses the crowd at Thurday's "It's On Us" rally.  

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By Daily Illini Staff Report

2:15 p.m.: Joe Biden visited the Alma Mater before going back to Washington.

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1:55 p.m.:  The event has ended and the crowds are leaving CRCE.

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1:35 p.m.: Sexual assault statistics have not changed in the past 20 years, Biden said. 

He urged people to speak up because he said silence is a form approval. 

“What kind of man does it take to do that? What kind of society?” Biden said. 

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1:20 p.m.: Vice President Joe Biden, actress Jessica Szohr and Student Body President Mitch Dickey took the stage just after 1 p.m.

Dickey spoke first and said the Illinois Student Senate and the Women’s Resources Center has pushed the campaign more than other schools. 

Biden’s speech began with a thank you to Rep. Rodney Davis. He went on to address the issue of assault and abuse. He used the example of soldiers coming home from battle. These soldiers can have PTSD, and so can women abused by their husbands. 

Biden commended survivors for stepping up and sharing their stories stating, “enough is enough.” 

He went on to urge student leaders, athletes and Greek members to stop sexual assault and sign the “It’s on Us Pledge.” 

“Once you make America look at this dirty secret… They can no longer engage in plausible deniability,” Biden said. 

The speech used the example of a case where a model was sexually assaulted was asked by the prosecutor what she was wearing while in court. 

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1:10 p.m.: Rep. Rodney Davis spoke just before 1 p.m. 

Davis spoke about his personal connection with the “It’s On Us” campaign. Davis has a daughter going to college in the fall and he said he is terrified. 

To fix the problem of sexual assault “there is no democrat solution, there is no republican solution.”

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1 p.m.:  The Marching Illini are performing following Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s speech, which began the event.

The event’s crowd is at approximately 300 attendees. Marching Illini director, Barry Houser is conducting the Marching Illini, which is performing from the gym’s track surrounding the gym.

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12:40 p.m.: Air Force 2 has arrived at Willard Airport carrying Vice President Joe Biden and Rep. Rodney Davis.

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12:30 p.m.: Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan not only praised the crowd for their support of the campaign, but went on to address the importance of supporting victims of sexual assault.

“If somebody tells you they’ve been a victim of sexual assault, I want you to believe them,” Madigan said. 

She also mentioned that the Illinois House of Representatives passed a bill yesterday that will help survivors of sexual assault statewide.

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12 p.m.: Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan is presenting along with campus figures to an excited crowd awaiting Biden’s presentation. Musical performances and other speeches are biding time until the vice president’s arrival.

Madigan is praising the crowd on the work done on the campaign.

“You’ve done a lot more than just take a pledge,” Madigan said. 

Attendees are standing in the crowded CRCE gym as more people file in from outside.

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11:50 a.m.: Actress Jessica Szohr has arrived at CRECE. The actress of “Gossip Girl” fame will be speaking alongside Biden and Rep. Rodney Davis as a spokesman for the campaign. 

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11:15 a.m.: Protestors are chanting against Biden’s appearance because of allegations of previous “handsy” behavior by the Vice President.

The line is moving and attendees are filling the CRCE gym and finding their seats for the speech.

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11 a.m.: Doors are about to open for Joe Biden’s speech. The line is stretching down Dorner Drive by the tennis courts and McKinley Health Center. Protesters have also arrived at the event.

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10:20 a.m.: Tickets for the speech do not guarantee admission into the event. Attendees will be let in on a first-come, first serve basis. People who RSVP’d to the event received an email that can be printed and used as a ticket.

Vice President Joe Biden will be accompanied by actress Jessica Szohr on his Thursday visit to the University to stress accomplishments made by students at the University and recognize the importance behind Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month, according to a press release.

According to the White House, 200,000 people nationally have taken the It’s On Us pledge. 

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10 a.m.: Students are beginning to line up for Vice President Joe Biden’s speech about the It’s On Us campaign. Biden is scheduled to arrive at Willard Airport on Air Force 2 this morning and travel to Campus Recreation Center East.  

Those going to the event must have a physical ticket to enter. An online RSVP without a ticket will put attendees on a waiting list. 

Attendees will go through airport-like security and should not bring liquids, sharp objects or large bags. 

The Marching Illini are performing following Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s speech, which began the event.

The event’s crowd is at approximately 300 attendees. Marching Illini director, Barry Houser is conducting the Marching Illini, which is performing from the gym’s track surrounding the gym.