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On-campus support helps beat back bullying

Submitted by Hillary Perkins on October 9, 2013 – 1:10 pmNo Comment

Many college students all over the country have experienced some type of bullying. Some children from grade school who were bullied ended up committing suicide, harming someone who bullied them or turning into bullies themselves. Bullying includes verbal abuse, physical abuse and emotional abuse.

People may bully other people because of inner hurt. Sometimes, bullies have been bullied themselves. Because of this, they take their pain out on their victims. They feel that being a bully is the only way that people will be able to take them seriously.

People may be bullied because people are jealous of them or because they do not have enough confidence to stand up for themselves.

When children are being bullied they don’t have much power, and generally that is where bullying starts. In college, students deal with different levels of bullying such as hazing, sexual violence, cyber bullying and harassment.

The victims usually suffer from low self-esteem, anxiety, depression, poor academic skills, lack of sleep and loss of appetite. “It can affect every aspect of your life if you don’t feel at ease,” said Michael Kirk, the head counselor of the Counseling and Career Planning Department. Sometimes the victim will turn the violence on to those who have bullied them.

There are institutional repercussions behind bullying. The bullying policy falls under the harassment policy. If bullying is reported, action will be taken under the harassment policy. The consequences could result in suspension or expulsion.

There are also ways to put an end to bullying. When a student is being bullied on campus, he or she should report it to the Department of Public Services, Counseling and Career Planning Department and the dean of students.

UALR launched a program called the Green Dot Strategy in the spring of 2012.The purpose of this program is to educate students how to help administrators on campus aware everyone about bullying and use different strategies to put an end to it.

“We try to empower our students to help us help them bring awareness,” said Richard Harper, the assistant dean of students.

The program consists of the 3D approach: direct, distract and delegate. While the green dot is a positive symbol, there are also red dots, which is a symbol of negative behavior.

The Green Dot is also consisted of three components: choose a time to have a voice; choose a vision to have the power to use that voice to take action; use that action to influence peers to have use their voices to take action as well.

“It shows many ways to prevent bullying wherever you are,” said Kara Matthews-Brown, the diversity programs director.

There will be a documentary about bullying shown in the Donaghey Student Center leadership lounge on Oct. 3 from 3 to 5 p.m.

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