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Bullying at College
College Bullying on Campus:
A Ticking Time Bomb
By Latricia Wilson
Most people tend to assume that bullying occurs in neighbhoods and schools among young children and teenagers. Many people assume that an individual is no longer a potential target of bullying once they have entered the adult phase of their lives. Individuals holding these false assumptions and especially parents of young adults need to know that the evil spirit of bullying does travel to college campuses. Individuals that may have never experienced being bullied in elementary, junior high or high school find themselves being either a target or victimizer in bullying abuse once they move into a dorm room on a college campus.
Residence life departments in universities and colleges often attempt to create an environment free of extreme hostility and rampant physical altercations among students having been assigned to share dorm rooms and apartments. However their attempts to create and maintain such an environment for all of their students residing on campus is often unsuccessful.
Evidence of college residence life departments unsuccessful attempts to maintain hostility-free environments among the students housed on their campuses lies in media coverage of homicides and suicides having occurred on college campuses. The 2010 suicide of Tyler Clementi of Rutgers University and the violent murder of Dominique Frazier of Bowie State University reveal that college residence departments cannot always control the intense level of hostility that often erupts between the students sharing rooms and apartments on college campuses.
A few months, weeks or even seconds of an unresolved conflict between roommates can have fatal consequences when two individuals have been assigned to share an apartment or one-bedroom space with someone they had never seen or spoken to prior to the first day the individual opens the door of their shared dormitory and says, "Hi, I am your new roommate."
Even the best college residence departments cannot prevent instances of intense verbal and physical altercations from occurring on campus. College residence departments cannot always always deter a person from feeling extremely isolated from their roommate or stop a roommate from emotionally isolating another roommate when individuals are assigned to live with other people who may have different sexual orientations, religious practices and cultural values. Furthermore, residence life departments and the students they assign to share dorms with other people are not always informed of the poor conflict resolution skills and mental illnesses an individual has that they have assigned to live in shared student dorm rooms and apartments.
Bullying at college that occurs between
students living on campus is the result of
an internal ticking time bomb having been
implanted inside of an individual.
It is impossible for an individual being assigned to live with a person for a few months or even a year to know all of their roommate's pet peeves or how their roommate reacts when they are angry, sad or even feeling lonely. Unfortunately, a college student has no way of knowing if and when they will be bullied by their roommate. They can't predict what tactics their roommate will use to harass them. Therefore the individual is unprepared mentally and emotionally to cope with being harassed over an extended period time or being the victim of a sudden inappropriate act of cruelty by an individual they have been assigned to sleep a few feet away from.
Dominique Frazier did not know that the verbal altercation she and her Bowie State roommate, Alexis Simpson, had over an iPod Simpson had shut off (belonging to Frazier) would infuriate Simpson to the extent that she would stab Frazier to death.
Tyler Clementi was emotionally unequipped to handle his former roommate, Dharun Ravi's repeated attempts to view his sexual encounters. These individuals were caught off guard by the disgraceful behavior of their roommates. Clementi and Frazier represent the hundreds to thousands of campus college students that are caught off guard when their roommates invade their privacy and verbally or physically attack them.
Bullying at college that occurs between students living on campus is the result of an internal ticking time bomb having been implanted inside of an individual. The bomb was already implanted in the college student who is the only child of their parents and is accustomed to getting whatever he or she wants years before the child was old enough to attend college. The bomb also was already implanted into an individual who learned from their community and families that they must wage a personal mission to condemn and expose an individual that chooses to have a romantic or sexual relationship with someone of the same-sex, years before they ever filled out their first college application. The bomb is also being implanted into every boy or girl that will one day become a young adult who has been taught that offensive language and violent actions are the only method that an individual can use to resolve a dispute or force others into seeing their point of view.
In order prevent tragic fatalities of homicide and suicide from occurring on campus we as a society must stop implanting and setting the timer for bombs in children that often explode when the individual moves into a college dormitory.
Latricia Wilson is an OvercomeBullying.org
guest writer. If you are an expert in a field related
to school or workplace bullying and would like to
contribute to our efforts and promote your website
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