How to Effectively Address Bullying on Campus | Part One

Posted by Shelley Kilpatrick on 7 July 2016 |

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5 Reasons Why Students Bully Each Other

students bullying campusBullying isn’t just something that happens at K-12 schools. It happens on college campuses too. It’s important for your campus to understand why students bully each other and have a plan in place that includes effective strategies for addressing and preventing bullying.

Before you can create a plan to prevent and respond to bullying, you first need to understand why college students bully each other. Nobullying.com, an online forum dedicated to helping stop bullying, provides some answers:

1. There is less control and authority over students.

Parents aren’t there to watch what their children are doing, and other adults on campus are not as focused on students at an individual level. For example, faculty members can interact with hundreds of students every day and campus security is focused on stopping violent crime, such as sexual assault.

This doesn’t mean that faculty and staff don’t care, but they don’t have the same level of authority as a parent. Plus, students are over 18 and expected to act like adults, and because of this, they are given more autonomy.

2. The anonymity of the internet.

The rise of the internet and social media has been great for expanding resources in colleges and universities. Unfortunately, it’s also made it easier for bullies to remain anonymous and engage in cyberbullying.

Even if the students are not physically together, they can still engage in bullying behavior. And because the bullying happens online, it’s harder for the victims to escape—and harder for the schools to locate and punish the perpetrators.

To learn more about cyberbullying, check out a previous blog we wrote here.

3. To cope with their own problems.

Many times students turn to bullying to cope with their own insecurities. They might tear down others to make themselves feel more in control or powerful—especially in situations where they feel powerless or uncomfortable.

For example, students could feel out of place in a new city, with new peers and teachers, which could make them turn to bullying to feel more in control of their situation.

4. Students spend more time together.

When they are living on campus in the dorms, students spend more time together than ever before. And this might not be by choice. The students might not get along, which can escalate to conflict and bullying.

Additionally, when students are living together, they might be more hesitant to speak up when they witness bullying. In order to keep the peace, they may participate or ignore what they see happening.

5. It’s a high pressure environment.

Students in college live in a high pressure environment. One example is academic pressure:

  • Competing with more people
  • Needing to maintain a certain GPA for financial aid
  • An increased workload
  • Keeping up with school while working

This academic pressure, and the added stress, can cause students to bully each other. And that doesn’t take into account peer pressure. In order to fit in, students might participate in bullying that is completely out of character.

Stay Tuned for Part Two to Learn About How to Help Bullying Victims

These are just some of the reasons a student might bully another. But having an understanding of even some of the reasons why students bully can help with bullying prevention.

Come back next week for part two to find out about strategies for helping students who have been bullied on campus. And in the meantime, if you are interested in learning about Campus Answers’ bullying prevention training, schedule a demo today.

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