A kean University in Florida has created a program that allows students to share stories of harassment and bullying to raise awareness.
The students are given a list of “bullying resources” for students to refer to.
“We want to empower our students to stand up for themselves and support other students,” said Kate Baskin, dean of the Kean School of Arts and Sciences.
Baskin is one of the school’s three administrators, along with executive vice president and chief marketing officer Chris Pritchard and principal of Kean University Melissa Dominguez.
The other administrators are associate vice president of administration John Kuchera and vice president for student life Michelle Leggett.
Dominguez said the program has been successful.
“I think the biggest thing that really helped the school, as a whole, is the fact that we were able to find out what we had and put it together,” Domingue said.
“We actually made the decision to work on this together.”
She said she is proud of her school for putting together a campaign to share the bullying stories with students.
“It’s an opportunity to empower the students to say, ‘Hey, I’m being bullied by other students and I’m having to deal with it, too,’ ” Dominguisaid.
She said that students also have a role to play in the program.
“There are certain things we can do in order to be able to take on a bullying problem, which is an important part of the overall strategy,” she said.
“But the students themselves are not only the ones that can take on the role of being the bully, but also the ones who are the source of the problem.”
The Kean College Students’ Union launched a petition calling for a campuswide “zero tolerance” policy for harassment and the expulsion of perpetrators of harassment.
The petition had garnered more than 1,400 signatures.
Students said they wanted the school to take more of a stand against harassment.
“You need to be on your guard, students need to know how to deal and how to stand against the bully,” Dombro said.
The Keapons’ program will begin in early April and will be expanded in the coming weeks, according to the school.