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We Can’t Ignore it Anymore

As of recently, the bullying epidemic has been taken into serious account by universities all over the country.  High-level forms of violence such as assault and murder are frequently receiving great amounts of media attention Bullying consists of three types of abuse – emotional, verbal and physical and is characterized by an individual behaving in a certain way to gain power over another person and the more powerful individual or group abusing those who are less powerful.

Last month, Rutgers University student Tyler Clementi, committed suicide because of cyber bullying. According to reports from Fox News, Clementi’s roommate posted a message on his Twitter saying “Roommate asked for the room till midnight. I went to Molly’s room and turned on my webcam.  I saw him making out with a dude. Yay.”  Clementi’s roommate Dharun Ravi and accomplice Molly Wei posted a live recording of Clement having sexual intercourse with another male.  Ravi did so again two days later and on September 22, 2010, Clementi posted a message on his Facebook page saying, “Jumping off the GW Bridge sorry.” Clementi was just 18 years old.

Zack Graczyk, an outfielder on the C.W. Post baseball team, notices bullying on a daily basis. “I think people bully to make them feel better about themselves and feel strong. I also feel like people bully to make peers and friends laugh at the expense of others.”  Clementi’s story shows that homosexuality tends to be an even bigger target for bullying. It’s a reoccurring theme with bullying that students who are not homosexual tend to emotionally attack those who are homosexual.

However, C.W. Post student Eric Pietrangolare has never felt targeted personally. “I do feel that gays are targeted more than straight people.  I really don’t like being segregated from other people, so I would take homosexuals and straight people and put them on two sides of a room.  The only difference they would find in homosexuals is their sexuality. Other than that we are all the same.”

Pietrangolare feels as though when he was a kid in elementary school, the trend was bullying boys against girls. In middle school, it was the popular students bullying the “nerds”. But now that we are older, sexuality, race, ethnicity, and religion are all targets for bullying. This is when bullying is at its most dangerous because, as we can see with Clementi, we all have our breaking points. According to a recent study at Yale University, bully victims are 2 to 9 times more likely to commit suicide.

As college students we are all witnesses to bullying. But now we are adults and it is time to grow up. We must stop judging people based on sexuality, race, ethnicity and religion. Bullying does not just happen in schools anymore. It’s everywhere, including mobile phones and the Internet. It’s an ongoing problem that seems to never end. People need to look themselves in the mirror and ask themselves, “Who are we to judge anyone?” It’s a question that can’t be ignored anymore, and something needs to be done.

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