Bullying and College Students

by Eileen Estudante, Lead Teacher: BSU Children’s Center

Do you remember what it was like when you were a child in school, and everyone was afraid of the classroom bully?  Thanks to the well dynamic and engaging presentation of Meghan McCory, M.Ed., Program Coordinator of MARC (Massachusetts Aggression Reduction Center), we have learned that cyber-bullies are ever present right here on campus!  Bullying behaviors of the past are transferring themselves onto the web and coming out in more technological form, most notably in the social network sites that offer anonymity.

Meghan brought with her current research findings from the MARC program, taken straight from our very own BSU students.  These findings show that in fact, many of our students are or have been involved in some form of this behavior –either as victims or as perpetrators.  Many of our students have confessed in the past to taking part of or being the victim of behaviors that include: creating false profiles, lying about friends, creating rumors/gossip and sexting.  She also discussed in detail the motivations behind these types of behaviors and shared with us the belief that the climate for tolerance of these kinds of actions must be changed.   Meghan helped us to understand that cyber bullying is widespread, growing fast and may already be the predominant form of bullying.  This may be perhaps in part because it is done from a perceived distance and because it is difficult to detect.  This was a very informative and well presented topic that is surely applicable to college campuses nationwide.

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About cindykane

Director of @BSUInvolved and interested in leadership and professional development strategies. Mom, scholar-practitioner, looking to make an impact! http://www.linkedin.com/in/CindyWKane
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2 Responses to Bullying and College Students

  1. Chris Jachimowicz says:

    Cindy,

    With regard to changing the social norms for such behavior, you might want to look at an interesting theory from Icek Ajzen called the “Theory of Planned Behavior.” I see it as something of a counterpoint to Social Norms Theory.

  2. Amanda Surgens says:

    I remember in school the mentality when people saw others being bullied was, “as long as it’s not me being picked on, made fun of, kicked, or mocked I might as well keep my mouth shut… for if I say anything, I’ll be the very next target”…
    Does this continue for cyber bullying? How do we teach our students (and children – for those of us that have young children) to be active bystanders? How do we get them to stand up for each other and put those “bullies” in their places?

    I think we need to focus more on that! That’s me as a mother and me as the AD of Residence Life and Housing speaking!

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