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The North Wind

The North Wind

The North Wind

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Hannah Jenkins
Hannah Jenkins
Copy Editor

Hi! My name is Hannah Jenkins, and I am one of the copy editors here at the North Wind. I am a sophomore at NMU, and I love all things writing and editing-related. I am proud to be a part of this great...

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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

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Anti-bullying campaign: NMU Stands Strong

This semester students may notice a rise in awareness  against bullying across NMU’s campus.

According to Director of Communications and Marketing Cindy Paavola, the anti-bullying campaign is a collaboration between the NMU Communications and Marketing Department and the Dean of Students Office to inform students about how bullying affects everyone, even on the college level.

“The campaign was originally proposed by the Dean of Students Office,” Paavola said. “But I believe it had been discussed by several areas on campus over the years as the awareness of bullying became a bigger national discussion.”

Dean of Students Chris Greer said Northern views bullying as an unacceptable behavior that can result in Student Code charges.

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“We have had cases of bullying and cyberbullying and we have seen the toll it takes on the victims,” Greer said. “They often leave school because they feel attacked and ridiculed, uncomfortable in their home and in class.

“It can cause depression and anxiety,” Greer said. “It is horrible behavior and has no place on this campus.”

Both Greer and Paavola advises that students should stand up and speak out when it comes to seeing someone that is being bullied.

“Please step in and try to stop the behavior,” Greer said. “Tell the bully it’s not OK, we don’t treat each other that way here, that they need to stop. And then give support to the victim, make sure he/she is okay.”

It’s amazing what a bystander can do when he/she decides to take a stand. Do it in a group if you don’t feel comfortable on your own.”

“Students should not stand passively by when they see bullying,” Paavola said.  “They need to speak up, whether that means stepping in immediately at the site of the bullying or at least telling someone about what they witnessed.”

“So many times it takes just one brave person to stand up and tell a bully to knock it off to set off a chain reaction of people willing to stand up and assist,” Paavola said. “So don’t be shy, say something – to the bully or the person being bullied.  Do what you would want someone to do for you if you were the one being bullied.”

NMU offers several options when seeking help about bullying Paavola said.  Some areas trained to assist with different aspects of bullying include the Dean of Students Office, Public Safety and Police Services, the NMU Counseling and Consultation Center, the NMU Health Center and the Enrollment Management and Student Services Division.

“Students who are being bullied should know that there are many people on the NMU campus and the Marquette community who are ready to help,” Paavola said. “ They should not suffer bullying without seeking out help.  They should speak with an NMU faculty or staff member who they feel most comfortable confiding in and those faculty and staff members will help them get to the right area on campus for help – resident advisers and other student leaders can also help someone find the right people on campus to help.”

ASNMU President Amber Lopota said ASNMU is also working with NMU to spread awarness about bullying.

“If a student is being bullied, they should talk to someone they trust in to take action to get them the resources they need to feel safe,” Lopota said. “I would absolutely welcome ANY student feeling threatened in any way to reach out to ASNMU, either by emailing us at [email protected] or by contacting a representative.

“We would be able to point that individual in the right direction of campus to find the help they needed, and would be able to advocate for them along the way. Resident students have resident advisers and Resident Directors on hand in each building, as well. These individuals go through a rigorous training each year to ensure they know how to assist students being targeted for bullying.”

 

According to Paavola, NMU is planning to do annual events to keep spreading the awareness of bullying on campus.

“This year we’ve set a goal to put a new anti-bullying poster for NMU community members to consider every couple of months,” Paavola said. These include reaching out to students through social media.

“We’ve started to develop a series of short, student-produced videos for the NMU You Tube channel and the anti-bullying website.  These are meant to look at bullying from a lot of different angles, but most importantly from a college student perspective.”

Also, part of the campaign is to do one special event each academic year that puts a focus on bullying.

This year, it’s the student art contest and SAG exhibit.  We’ve also discussed doing a slam poetry event, bringing in expert speakers to present on the topic, put together speaking panels for the UNITED Conference.”

For more information about the anti-bullying campaign, visit www.nmu.edu.antibullying.

“We’d love to hear what kinds of special events the students would be most interested in participating regarding the anti-bullying campaign, and we’d love to hear any ideas they have for the campaign, whether it be an idea for a poster, video, a website page or social media post.

“But most importantly, we hope they take on the attitude that bullying is simply not the Wildcat way and it simply won’t be tolerated.”

 

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