University hosts summit to address bullying, spread compassion
Published: Tuesday, September 25, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, September 25, 2012 07:09
While bullying has become a universal issue, prevalent on many college campuses, West Virginia University is working to address students ways for students to put an end to it.
Though physical bullying may not be a large issue for many college students, cyber bullying has evolved to become one of the main types of bullying students will encounter.
Alan Goodboy, Associate Professor for the Department of Communications Studies, said he was interested in understanding how communication studies could potentially help the situation.
"We are interested in bullying as a problem in society, and basically, how communication studies can help the problem – so, we are interested in things like how parents communicate to a bullied child, how they respond to it and how the administration handles it,"he said.
The Stop the Bullying program, run by the University’s Human Resources Department, provides an opportunity for students, faculty and the
general public to learn about bullying as well as ways to help avoid and prevent it.
Joy Faini Saab, chair of Curriculum and Literacy Studies and Director of the Office for Diversity and Global Initiatives within the Human Resources Department, said the idea behind the Stop the Bullying program is provide participants with ways to counteract bullying.
"We wanted it to be the nature of an intimate interactive seminar that people from different colleges, public schools, business – wherever there’s a concern about bullying – could come together and address the issues, to continue the study of bullying and the measures we can use to counteract bullying," she said.
Saab said she encourages everyone who witnesses instances of bullying to take action and put an end to violence.
"First of all, if you see it happening, intervene and try to prevent further escalation, but sometimes, because of your physical stature, you may not want to jump right in, you may want to go and request assistance from law enforcement that is nearby," she said. "It does make a difference when people say ‘hey, you know that’s not cool’, and express it to someone who is doing the bullying.
Sometimes that is enough to change what will occur and to register the idea that other people don’t agree with what is being said or done."
Saab said she was excited for the series to continue so members of the WVU community could learn more about a variety of topics.
"Sharing in the research, having experts in social studied education and counseling, a talk about adverting school shootings; just a variety of speakers we’ll have as panelists, who have had various experiences,"she said.
The next event will be held on Oct. 17 at 3 p.m. in Allen Hall, room 802B on the Evansdale campus.