Dean of Students Susan Hopp addressed, in an Oct. 11 e-mail, the recent bout of bullying problems and tragic suicides that have cropped up in the U.S.
In the e-mail, Hopp asked students to stand up for victims of bullying. We should not be silent bystanders. She called for students to support and defend each other in these sad times and asked that harassment be reported to trusted officials.
We at the Review could not agree more. We are saddened by the news of suicide and harassment and can only hope that Linfielders have trusted people they can talk to before taking drastic measures.
It seems that a lot of people have an attitude of “things like that don’t happen to me” or “that never happens here,” but the truth is that bullying can happen to anyone at anytime and anywhere. And, yes, just as recent incidents demonstrate, it can happen to college students, too.
With the advance of the Internet, the concept of bullying has evolved into cyber bullying. For example, 10 or 15 years ago — before the days of Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, texting and blogs — a bully may have been depicted as shoving a classmate into a locker or stealing lunch money.
However, in this day and age,bullies can take advantage of people in new ways. This could mean posting a degrading Facebook message or sending inappropriate or embarrassing photos of an individual via text message or webcam.
Bullying was once limited to hallways and playgrounds, but now bullies use the Internet to enter victims’ homes and create problems outside of school. This is especially true in college.
The bottom line is that bullying is a serious issue, and it needs to be addressed. We ask that if you see someone being bullied, take a stand and confront the person or people who are involved. Confronting a peer may not be the most comfortable option, but it is important to do what is right.
At least go and get help if you’re uncomfortable. Help put a stop to this issue before more people take their own lives because of it.
As Hopp said, “When in doubt about how words or actions might be perceived, there’s nothing quite like the golden rule: Simply treat your fellow Linfield Students like you would like to be treated.”