KOKOMO, Ind. — Bullying is not just a middle school problem.
It happens everywhere, even on college campuses — but Indiana University Kokomo’s Student Union Board (SUB) works to prevent it and heal its affects, with Anti-Bullying week.
“Our goal is to engage students in a conversation, and to ask them to join us to create a healthy, safe and welcoming campus for everyone,” said Sofia Stout, communications director for the student organization.
Maria Ahmad, coordinator of student life and campus diversity, said they are encouraging all student organizations to sign up during Anti-Bullying week for Step Up! Training, which teaches how to intervene as bystanders if they see something happening.
“We’re asking everyone to be aware of what is happening around you, and if you see bullying, say something,” she said. “Bullying affects everyone, it’s not just a middle school issue. It has become part of our culture, but we can change that.”
Anti-Bullying week kicks off at noon Monday, October 13, with a presentation by comedian ANT, “Bullied, Bashed, but not Broken.” ANT, who has been seen on the Tonight Show and Last Comic Standing, will tell his story about being bullied for being gay and the son of immigrant parents, the peer pressure that led him to drugs and alcohol, and his recovery and success. The performance is in the Kelley Student Center, Room 130.
“He’s funny, but he has a serious message,” Stout said. “We hope students will attend, listen, and take it to heart.”
Wednesday, SUB will show TED Talk videos about bullying in the Kelley Student Center Commons, during lunch hour. Maria Ahmad, coordinator of student life and campus diversity, said the eight to 10 minute videos, featuring experts in a variety of subjects, are meant to inspire people to think and take action on the topic.
Students also may write on butcher paper on the walls, either to give messages of hope to people being bullied, or to apologize to someone he or she bullied in the past.
“Peer pressure still exists in college,” Stout said. “As our school grows, stuff like that will unfortunately happen. We want to come together as a community of care to provide education and healing.”
Activities are part of National Bullying Prevention Month.
Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.