Leadership Quote

Leadership Quote
“I think that hate is a thing, a feeling, that can only exist
where there is no understanding.”
~Tennessee (Thomas Lanier) Williams in
Forward to Sweet Bird of Youth
Leadership Lesson
Celebrate and Support Difference
In light of the recent attention being given to the anti-gay bullying movement following a number of
recent gay youth suicides, it seems a good time to ask ourselves how we can best celebrate and
support the differences that surround us on campus.
As a student leader and student organization on campus, how can you combat hateful acts and
harassment within your own campus community? We all come from a variety of backgrounds.
However, these differences may play a larger role in some people’s lives than others.
College Bullying Does Exist
It may surprise some, but bullying doesn’t disappear after middle school or high school. Bullies are
found in workplaces, sports teams, volunteer groups and colleges. College bullying can be
demonstrated through things such as:
• Hazing
• Sexual Harassment
• Racial Harassment
• Cyber Bullying
• Any unwelcome, humiliating, demeaning act which is based on an individual’s specific identity,
status or orientation
What Can You Do?
There are specific things that anyone that is being bullied, or witnesses bullying, can do:
• Report harassment to college officials such as: hall directors, group advisors, faculty, counselors,
coaches, security office, dean of students, etc.
• If being bullied, keep a record of each incident. Save emails, voicemail messages, website contacts
and take photos of vandalism, etc.
• Seek help! Whether being bullied, or helping a peer who is being harassed, always remember that
there is help on campus.
• Remember that retaliation is not the answer. As hard as it may be, do not seek revenge as it may
make matters worse long-term, even if it feels better in the short-term.
• If there is a fear of physical injury or worse, avoid being alone, find friends to serve as a “buddy”
while walking on campus or use the campus escort service if available.
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• If the bullying activity is based on gender, race, sexual identity, disability, physical ability or religion,
it may be considered a hate crime in the U.S. and may require legal advice.
• Bystanders can report bullying just as much as victims of bullying. Friends can lend an ear and
provide a gentle reminder to victims that it is not their fault. However, contacting a school official is
strongly encouraged.
What Can Your Student Organization Do?
Simply celebrating differences can serve as a deterrent to harassment. Identify ways to place
diversity and social justice topics in the everyday flow of your organizational life. For instance:
• Have a “diversity moment” on each meeting agenda where you share a new fact about a specific
population or issue.
• Highlight an important diversity fact in your group newsletter or on your website.
• Sponsor a bulletin board in the office or the student center where anyone can post quotes, articles
and more related to diversity topics.
• Send out bi-weekly emails that feature news items, ideas for cultural theme month programs,
spotlights on prominent people and more.
• Make diversity a natural topic during every one-on-one meeting you have with officers.
• Give monthly awards for the best diversity/social justice programs or ideas presented.
Chances are your group has some initiatives already in place. By keeping these issues at the
forefront, we can all continue challenging ourselves and others to become honest, humble, and
This week's reflection....
The Self-Bias Quiz
A website sponsored by Teaching Tolerance offers a self-bias quiz that participants can take on their
own time to raise awareness of hidden biases.
There are no right or wrong answers – it’s intended to build awareness, not resentment or anger.
Consider checking it out for yourself.
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