In an effort to combat the ever-growing problem of bullying, a panel of speakers gathered in Beeghly Hall on Monday, collectively discussing fruitful ways to address the issue.
Among the panelists were John Beshara, Youngstown State University Chief of Police; Sylvia Imler, interim director of diversity & multicultural affairs; Thursday Wilson, a YSU graduate assistant; and Minnijean Brown-Trickey, a motivational speaker of the Little Rock Nine Foundation.
The discussion focused on the causes of bullying, what needs to be done to prevent it and some of the factors that motivate bullying: race, gender and age.
Imler discussed some of the ways to help stop bullying. She said that the most efficient way is to contact the police.
“Sometimes it’s a matter of just yelling out ‘Stop it!’ or ‘I’m getting ready to call [the police]’, but people are afraid that they’re going to come after them. If nothing else, use your phone to call 911,” Imler said.
Beshara said that he believes a lack of trust and communication between people and law enforcement plays a role in people’s inaction to stop harassment.
“We are a community. We have to trust each other. If there’s no trust here, back and forth, why would you tell me anything?” Beshara said. “There are many crimes that probably could get solved, but there is no trust. There are witnesses who don’t want to come forward.”
Beshara added that wherever YSU students go, be it the mall or away at home, they still represent the university, regardless.
“When you become a Youngstown State University student, that day until you graduate getting that diploma in your hand, you represent something more than yourself. With that comes rules and procedures and regulations and conduct. So whether it be here on campus, whether it be out at the Southern Park Mall, or that weekend at home, you represent our university,” Beshara said.
The presentation, sponsored by YSU Student Diversity Programs, served as a part of YSU’s ongoing non-violence week, which spans Oct. 5-10.
The remaining events of the week include screenings of the movie “Bully” in James Gallery of Kilcawley Center on Thursday at 10 a.m., 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. as well as a series of workshops throughout the day in Kilcawley Center on Friday.