Pacific and Asian Studies student Camisha Jackson has started an anti-bullying campaign called “Eliminate Us Vs. Them” at UVic. According to the campaign’s Facebook page, its goal is to spread awareness that bullying may continue outside of high school.
“’Eliminate Us vs Them’ is a campaign showing how bullying hurts everyone and can leave mental and physical scars which can lead to self-harm, substance and alcohol abuse, poor decision making in the future, and even death,” states the Facebook page.
After experiencing bullying last semester (Fall 2013), Jackson says that she realized bullying wasn’t something that only happened in high school. She started the campaign to raise understanding about the issue.
“People still aren’t accepting of other people’s different experiences, and people don’t agree with other people’s experiences or decisions that they have made,” says Jackson. “Which, quite frankly, is none of their business. But, people have a need to criticize or make fun of [people] or give their opinion when there’s no opinion needed.”
UVic does have a policy in place that is meant to prevent discrimination and harassment from taking place on campus. Under this policy, any person who feels that they are being harassed or discriminated against can file a complaint to the university. They may either file a formal complaint in writing, or they may file an informal one with the intention of finding a solution to the issue. An informal complaint will not result in determination of whether or not the discrimination and harassment policy has been violated.
The policy states, “The purpose of this policy is to prevent Discrimination and Harassment from taking place, and to act upon complaints of such behaviour promptly, fairly, judiciously and with due regard to confidentiality for all parties concerned.”
Jackson’s campaign started on Jan. 19, and Jackson has so far been working to gain support and funding for the campaign as a whole. In addition, the campaign has been trying to do more community-based outreach to raise awareness of its enterprise. In general, Jackson says people have been very supportive of the initiative so far.
“It’s not an ageist campaign, so anyone can join,” says Jackson. “Whether you’re five or 50, it does affect different people in different stages of their lifetime.”
Members of the group showed their support of Anti-bullying Day (Feb. 26) by sporting the iconic pink shirts. Unfortunately for Jackson, she was unable to participate due to illness. Custom “Eliminate Us Vs. Them” apparel may appear soon, however. According to Jackson, the campaign has been working on t-shirts that should be available now.
To get involved with the campaign, or find out more, go to the Anti-Bullying Campaign: Eliminate Us vs. Them Facebook page.