Anti-bullying celebrated on Pink Shirt Day at Langara College

B.C. students and professors face bullying in higher education, according to SFU study

Vivian Ng wears bunny ears for Pink Shirt Day at Langara College. Photo by Gina Rogers.
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By Rui Yang Xu

Wyn Daquigan is usually great at defending others from bullying but when a classmate made comments regarding her ethnicity in university, she didn’t know how to respond.

A fourth-year criminology student at SFU, Daquigan has dealt with verbal bullying throughout her time at the university. She said the worst of the bullying took place in 2018, when classmates would often make racist comments regarding her ethnicity, likening her people to dishwashers.

Photo by Gina Rogers.

For Daquigan and many others, they know that despite what some may think, bullying is still very common in university and college.

“I usually am great at standing up for others when they’re getting bullied,” said Daquigan, who was born and raised in the Philippines. “When it happened to me I was frozen and I didn’t know what to say.”

According to a 2014 SFU study, one in five undergraduate students has experienced cyberbullying. Bullying can also extend to professors, who sometimes find rude or even defamatory remarks on professor-rating websites.

Langara’s director of internationalization, Daryl Smith, poses at the college on Pink Shirt Day. Photo by Gina Rogers.

Reba Noel, manager of student engagement at Langara College, said that Pink Shirt Day on Feb. 26, brings awareness to bullying in post-secondary and “helping people understand it’s not okay and what it looks like.”

For Erin Hagen, the student conduct officer for the Office of Student Conduct and Judicial Affairs at Langara, this means educating students on the school’s definitions of bullying.

“If it wasn’t meant to be bullying, trying to explain to someone why it was perceived that way, it’s still really important,” Hagen said.

While many elementary and secondary schools focus on Pink Shirt Day, students like Daquigan say awareness still needs to be raised about bullying at universities and colleges.

“I think it’s prevalent,” Daquigan said. “It’s just not a lot of people are talking about it.”

 

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