According to a press release by Montclair State University, staff are being trained on how to resolve conflicts surrounding bullying.
The press release cited a book titled, “The Sociology of Bullying: Power, Status, and Aggression,” which was edited by a sociology professor at Montclair State, Christopher Donoghue.
Donoghue explained how schools could expand on anti-bullying policies.
“What we should be doing is spending a lot of time talking to children about how to identify [bullying] and letting them know there’s an environment in which they can speak up and describe what they’re experiencing,” Donoghue said in the press release.
Dawn Soufleris, vice president for student development and campus life, cited what Montclair State currently does in order to prevent bullying.
“Students who are found responsible for discriminatory harassment, intimidation or bullying face a minimum sanction of probation and a maximum sanction of expulsion,” Soufleris said.
When looking toward the future of anti-bullying on campus, Soufleris elaborated on these policies.
“The safety of our community members will always remain our most important priority,” Soufleris said. “As is the case with all of our policies, we will consistently evaluate what we have implemented, including the education we are delivering on these issues, and ensure we are evolving to continue meeting the needs of our community.”
Students also gave their input on how Montclair State handles bullying on campus.
Brian Mikolajczyk, a senior fashion studies major, explained that he feels bullying is not prevalent on campus.
When asked if he has experienced bullying himself, Mikolacjzyk expressed that he has not faced many issues.
“I am very lucky because I haven’t experienced a lot of bullying on campus,” Mikolacjzyk said. “I’m very comfortable with dressing feminine so I haven’t had any problems with people making comments.”
However, Mikolajczyk also emphasized that bullying is an important problem and that Montclair State can improve on their anti-bullying tactics.
“[Montclair State] can always do something better,” Mikolajczyk said.
Anaiis Lee, a freshman film major, also felt that bullying is not common on campus. However, she has noticed it on social media.
“Maybe on the Montclair [State] stories on Snapchat, they go at it a lot,” Lee said.
Despite seeing bullying online, Lee feels that the Montclair State campus is comforting and full of diversity.
“[Montclair State is] chill and diverse,” Lee said.
Some students have not experienced any bullying on campus and therefore have not looked into anti-bullying policies.
Katrina Lagasca, a freshman visual arts major, shared that she has not noticed bullying on campus at all and is unaware of any campus policies Montclair State has.
“I’m not sure what they do with bullying because I haven’t looked into it,” Lagasca said.
Soufleris highlighted the importance of inclusivity at Montclair State and how it affects the anti-bullying policies set in place by the school.
“Creating an inclusive campus culture is part of everything we do, and will continue to be so,” Soufleris said. “We will continue working towards this goal while also fulfilling our duty as a public institution to ensure community members can exercise their rights to peacefully express themselves under our Policy on Expressive Activity.”