Anti-Bullying Awareness Campaign Kicks Off
In an effort to draw attention to newly passed state anti-bullying legislation, Student Development in March 2011 launched a comprehensive, campus-wide student awareness campaign at Atlantic Cape Community College.
The campaign committee came up with creative ways to draw attention to the program. Committee members included:
- Nancy A. Porfido, Director of Student Development and Judicial Officer
- Cynthia Correa, Assistant Director of Student Development
- Lynette Ingram, Counselor
"Dean of Students Carmen Royal asked me to chair the anti-bullying campaign after the state passed new legislation in October 2010," Porfido said. "The legislation also included an anti-bullying bill of rights, which we focused on."
'Are You the One?'
One aspect of the campaign was the mass distribution across campus during the spring 2011 semester of a promotional postcard designed by Mike Capen, Graphic Artist, with a stark black-and-white illustration of a brick wall with the graffiti-scrawled words, "Are you the one?"
"The committee came up with the idea for the postcard," Porfido said. "When we met, our first goal was to research what was out there, what the issues were, and to brainstorm about this law to come up with ways to capture the students' attention. We wanted something much edgier, without the college colors and logo. We wanted something with a 'street feel' to reach the students."
Another aspect of the campaign was a contest with the prize of an iPad, which was paid for through funding from institutional money and the Dean of Students' budget. The drawing took place May 3, 2011, in the Student Life Center.
"This was part of the second phase, to get the students a little deeper into the concept," Porfido explained. "Students had to go online and take a quick quiz; we raffled the iPad from the correct answers with a name pulled from a pool a few months later. We were able to reach a lot of students and get the word out. It was huge."
Continuing the Campaign
Student Development planned to host ongoing, twice-yearly anti-bullying awareness events, as mandated by the state, incorporating this into Buccaneer Day in October (which is also National anti-Bullying Month) and New Student days.
While bullying was not a major problem at Atlantic Cape in the past due to a threatening and violent behavior policy that was already in place at the college, this will enable students to become more educated about the effects of this insidious behavior in regard to various life situations.
"When people think of bullying, they think of smaller children," Porfido said. "But it happens to a lot of people, at all ages. Education and awareness really helps."