Grown-Up Bullies: Conflict Past the Playground

People may think of bullying as an act meant to intimidate another person, but may have specific views on how it is done. This could be the classic thought of a popular scene from a movie such as Spiderman where a man waits to fight him in the cafeteria. The reality is, bullying does not end after high school and is just as likely to happen on a college campus.

Dr. Margaret DelGuercio, professor of English, knows quite well that bullying happens anywhere and to anyone. “I have seen students do it to students, but also teachers to other faculty members. It is sadly a part of nature, but today I see more of a focus to educate younger kids about it and colleges get overlooked.”

This is especially important for campus the size of the University’s. Although people may be generally friendly does not mean there is no bullying here. Annie Siegel, a freshman resident of Elmwood Hall knows that bullying can indeed happen at the University because “it is very easy to spread rumors about events and others differences.”

For example, someone who has a special need that requires him or her to do something a bit differently and can be grounds for inappropriate behavior. Most of the time, however, it is not as direct as it is in high school because everyone is on a different schedule. Nonetheless, bullying occurs and can often be more subtle than in the past.

Megan O’Donnell, a sophomore in Redwood said that, “Yes there are cliques here and bullying still happens. It does not end upon high school graduation.”

Another area where this is likely to occur is in roommate relationships, particularly when one roommate has a significant difference in personality than the other person or if they are in a relationship. This could involve issues with space and guests in the room because one roommate may expect to be close friends with the other.

With so many high school grads going to college, it is surprising that there has not been much of a focus on bullying education. However, there is some awareness regarding topics such as gay marriage and people with disabilities to help prevent this from happening.

Nothing, however, can completely stop this nasty side of human nature, but people can be mindful of helping others when they are down. Freshman Alexandra Snyder recalls a student with disabilities being the target of bullying while in high school and notes a significant difference between the environment there and here at the University. “My experience of bullying in high school was brutal, to say the least. A group of boys would mess with an autistic boy. It was disgusting to watch. It was shameful to live in a community where it was almost accepted,” said Snyder.

She continued, “I personally have been against bullying since I can remember. I also have been personally bullied in my town because people thought I was stupid. I remember how bad it hurt to feel the way people would make me feel. The last place I wanted to go to was a college that allowed that kind of disgusting behavior. I’m impressed with how I have not even seen any bullying at Monmouth University. It’s a very open environment and also not judgmental.”

The University is a very friendly campus where many people feel welcome. Students should also know where to go for help if a situation involving bullying arises. The Psychological Services department can help with these issues.

Associate Director of Psychological Services, Tom McCarthy, said, “We help all students both at the undergraduate and graduate level.” This is a place where students can go and discuss a matter privately, something that many may not know exists at the college level or feel embarrassed to do so.

The University is ultimately a friendly place, but it is important to be mindful that bullying does happen here. We all must do our part to help prevent it.

IMAGE TAKEN from dv.is