Bullying not just for kids
Don’t do it to others, get help if it happens to you
Bullying is often thought of as something that happens only to kids and teenagers.
But it doesn’t magically stop after high school graduation. Bullying can occur while attending a post-secondary institution, and even beyond.
Whether it is from a professor or another student, or if you are bullying someone yourself, it still happens. Mount Royal University’s Code of Personal Conduct reads, “Our vision towards a respectful campus community,” and focuses heavily on respect.
But that’s not to say that bullying doesn’t happen here. It can take many forms. Physical bullying may include fighting, which tends to be thought of as the only form of bullying, and the other forms are largely ignored.
Cyber bullying is a relatively new and common form, considering how connected everyone is through social media and mobile phones. This is basically verbal bullying, calling names, starting rumours, etc. without actual face-to-face contact.
Karen Tercero, a fourth-year English student, admitted that she initially didn’t think bullying occurred in university, and shouldn’t happen because students are more mature.
However, after reflecting on the different forms of bullying, she confessed that she thinks it does happen, that there are still cliques, exclusion, and people talking behind other’s backs.
Janet Miller, the chair of student counselling said, “There is personal support available through student counselling. We don’t have the numbers on bullied students, but broadly, student counselling deals with sexual harassment, students being stalked and peer-to-peer relationship issues.”
Terrance Zeniuk, the manager of security at Mount Royal University, said that in his 16 months of working at MRU, security has seen people who feel threatened or think that their situation may lead to an assault.
He said that security “typically doesn’t get involved in the topic of bullying.” Rather, they try to prevent problems from getting to that level of conflict in the first place.
Zeniuk also said, “Mount Royal is a smaller community, (and students) value the community more and act responsibly because they’re a part of something special, but any time there is a large group of people, social interactions can take place that may be considered bullying.”
When there is a concern of bullying on campus, the issue is evaluated by the office of student conduct. The Code of Student conduct reads: “Mount Royal’s Human Rights Policy strives to create an atmosphere intended to remain free from behaviour which is reasonably interpreted as unwelcome including, but not limited to, remarks, jokes or actions which demean another person and/or deny individuals their dignity and respect.”
If you are a victim of bullying at MRU, there are resources available on campus to help people who are being bullied. The Encana Wellness Center in U216 offers personal counselling by appointment as well as group counselling sessions.
If the issue is harassment related to gender, race, sexuality, disability or other factors, consider talking with the diversity and human rights advisor, Stephanie Stone.