March 22, 2011

Learn How to Fight Bullying

By William S. Bike

“ENOUGH IS Enough: Taking a Stand Against Bullying" will be the subject when all interested APs join Chancellor Paula Allen-Meares, Dr. Stacey Horn, students, faculty, and other employees as they reconfirm UIC's tolerance for diversity and share information about how to respond to and prevent bullying.

THE EVENT will be held Wednesday, April 6, from 1:45 to 2:45 p.m., Room 302, Student Center East, during the University’s Wellness Center’s “Enough is Enough” week. Free pizza and t-shirts will be available. It is being coordinated by the Chancellor’s Committee on the Status of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Issues.

“THE COMMITTEE is acting in a response to a string of suicides in the US last fall that were the result of bullying,” said R. Scott Boots, co-chair of the committee. “The purpose is to share information and promote affinity among different people and tolerance at the University.”

COMMITEE MEMBERS designed and created a t-shirt “that affirms UIC’s commitment to tolerance and diversity,” Boots said. About 800 shirts will be available the day of the event.

THE FRONT of the shirt says “Take a stand against….,” leading reader to the back which contains terms such as “intolerance,” “oppression,” “ethnocentrism,” and many more.

“WE’VE RECEIVED encouragement and financial support from the Chancellor and other Chancellor’s committees,” Boots said.

COMMMITTEE MEMBERS are hoping for a large turnout from Academic Professionals, faculty, students, and other employees. Volunteers are needed to greet attendees and hand out t-shirts. “Everyone is invited,” Boots said.

CHANCELLOR ALLEN-MEARES will make opening remarks, and then a panel of people who have suffered from bullying will speak. “One person was cyber-bullied; another was bullied as a youngster because she had braces on her legs,” Boots said.

MODERATING THE panel will be Dr. Horn, Associate Professor, Educational Psychology, who has a Federal grant to study bullying in school.

“EVEN THOUGH the LGBT Chancellor’s Committee is taking the lead with this, actually, that the number one reason for bullying is documented to be due to physical appearance,” Boots noted. “So anyone and everyone can be affected by bullying.”

STUDENTS FROM the College of Education also will participate. “They are our future teachers, and this event will help remind them about resources and ways to identify and respond to bullying, and that they have resources and can prevent bullying,” Boots said. “Illinois has an anti-bullying law of which teachers and the public should be aware.”

FOR MORE information, contact the Wellness Center at (312) 413-2120.

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