Community Development and the Office of the Vice President and Dean of Students' decision to survey students on bullying and harassment is a significant step towards maintaining and improving the quality of student life at Seton Hall.
Last fall, America was shaken by the deaths of multiple youths who were bullied and harassed either because of their sexual orientations or because of their perceived sexual orientations. As a result of one of the deaths, that of Rutgers student Tyler Clementi, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and the state legislature passed what is widely regarded as the toughest anti-bullying law in the country. The law, which goes into effect in September, applies to public schools and parts of it to public colleges, according to the New York Times.
U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg and Congressman Rush Holt have proposed national legislation requiring that all colleges and universities that receive federal funding prohibit bullying and harassment, recognize cyber-bullying as harassment and have a policy in place to deal with complaints.
Community Development's survey on bullying and harassment has the opportunity to put Seton Hall ahead of the curve. It will allow groups like the National Coalition Building Institute, an international leadership institute that works to eliminate all forms of racism and prejudice, University Counseling Services and University administrators to tailor their services to best eliminate bullying and harassment at Seton Hall.
We hope that, when the survey results are compiled at the end of the semester, they are made available to the general student body. Making the results public will help students recognize the areas we could improve and help to ensure that Seton Hall is a welcoming and safe space for all of our students.