Beat the bullies in Bullying Prevention Month

Here is another article that has been written by myself, and has been published by Keele University’s Concourse Magazine about raising awareness about bullying as it is something that is overlooked as we get older;

Not everyone will know that October is ‘National Bullying Prevention Month’, a topic that should be close to many students’ hearts.

Numerous students will have either fallen victim to bullying or know someone who has been bullied over the years.

Bullying can cover a wide range of different social mistreatments including: name calling; vandalism or theft of personal belongings; exclusion from activities; or even physical abuse.

As we get older we make the assumption that the number of cases of bullying decreases.

This is because bullying is usually associated with primary and secondary education and the classic idea of playground intimidation or isolation.

However, acts of bullying can persist throughout an individual’s life, through college, university and even into the work place.

This month is all about raising awareness of bullying and pushing for its prevention and what better place to start than on campus!

The first step to its prevention is in its awareness. Keep vigilant in and around University as the bullying may not come in the more obvious forms that we would assume to see.

As young adults, there are very few cases reported of students standing in open areas with many people milling around them, hurling vocal abuse at an individual and being encouraged by the laughter of onlookers.

Instead, as we grow up, the bullying does not disappear but instead becomes much more discrete and a lot less identifiable.

This is why its awareness is so important! Look out in halls of residence and accommodation for students who keep their heads down and walk past their peers and flat mates, or those students in the Student Union who appear to be on their own for extended periods of time.

Sometimes these students may just be homesick or be quite shy individuals rather than be the victims of bullying but either way you will have still offered them a friendly face and a helping hand which may be all that person needs.

In the case that the student is being bullied however, preventative measures need to be put into place in order to safeguard this student and get them enjoying University life again. Firstly, try and discuss with them what has been going on – this may not be an easy process and a long-term repertoire may need to be built with the student in order for them to open up to you.

This is a great opportunity to go for a coffee in Chancellor’s, or get lunch with them in Munch and offer them friendship as well as adding them to your own social circle at Keele! Secondly, offer them other people to talk to, perhaps a discussion with a personal tutor or visit the Student Support team who would be more than happy to help.

Student Support could help with a change of accommodation, if that is what is needed, or possibly professional counselling or a student mentor to talk to.

Overall, there are many options that Keele can offer a student who is struggling with bullies.

Finally, and possibly most importantly, you cannot force a student to seek help from the University or surrounding organisations and you will only isolate them further if you break their confidence and go behind their backs to do so.

This said, if you believe that a student is in danger to themselves or to others around them then you must report this to places like Student Support who can intervene if necessary to help a student who really needs it.

Keele University should be a safe place for all students. It should offer only friendly faces and exciting opportunities. Don’t let our University be brought down by bullying; think carefully about your actions towards others and look out for students who don’t look happy or content.

October is just one month, make people aware of bullying, and let’s prevent it not only for October but forever on campus.

The articles can be found at; http://www.concourseonline.com/lauren-haines/beat-the-bullies-in-bullying-prevention-month/

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