Winona State University Students Create an Anti-Bullying Campaign


Tammy Swenson-Lepper talks about bullying on Winona State University’s campus and what the University is doing to end it.



Bullying isn’t the toughest kid on the playground scenario anymore. With all the advances in technology things like cyber-bullying have become a problem in younger generations.

Cyber-bullying gives people the option to tear someone down via the Internet. This type of bullying can be seen in social media outlets and chat rooms, and has become a fast-growing issue.

According to John Otis, a member of the Project Positivity campaign, said after conducting research the group found bullying has mental and physical health issues. A few of these are: anxiety, depression, anorexia and bulimia.

Kids can now say rude things to someone without having to look at their face.

In a sense this makes bullying easier. Kids can say things to another and never give it a second thought because they never have to see that person again, said Otis.

In the past year cyber-bullying and bullying in general has been an issue at Winona State University. From nude photos leaked to rude comments on peoples’ Facebook photos.

“Sometimes the University cant do a whole lot because these issues are done over the Internet,” said Otis.

This is where Project Positivity helps. Project Positivity is a campaign put on by a group of students for their communications studies class. Otis is the person in charge of their social media. The campaign is geared towards ending all forms of bullying on Winona’s campus and among its student population.

Tammy Swenson-Lepper, the professor teaching the communication class, said the campaign is taking a new approach to health issues and is different from campaigns she has seen in the past.

Swenson-Lepper has had meetings with the university’s anti-bullying task force and asked them what they thought her students could do to help. Once her students were inspired to create this campaign by the bullying from last fall.

Swenson-Lepper described things the university is doing to do their part in the fight against bullying on campus.

She explained in addition to the anti-bullying task force WSU is working with incoming freshmen about bullying.

“I think that the school is doing a lot to help with this issue compared to other schools that have has bad cases of bullying,” said Swenson-Lepper.

Swenson-Lepper said that usually schools just punish the kids that are doing the bullying, but WSU is taking it further by creating the anti-bullying task force. The task force consists of students, faculty, and staff that want to end bullying at WSU.

The WSU students in class created a Facebook page for the campaign. On the page they encourage students to share things that make them happy and things they are doing for one another. At the end of the post students can tag the campaign, and at the end of the week certain posts win prizes.

The group of students also created an ad-like video against bullying that made it’s way around campus.

According to Otis, the group is also working with orientation leaders and classes to reach incoming freshmen since most of the incidents last fall involved freshmen.

Otis explained when coming up with the campaign idea the group wanted to look at an area of health wellness that isn’t always in the spotlight.

They also wanted a more positive vibe on campus. They thought a campaign against bullying was the perfect fit for both areas.

“We all understand that students can get stressed out and start feeling negative, said Otis, we aren’t our campaign to help work against that.”

The campaign will run until May 1. Otis said they already have had 500 posts since launching their Facebook page and hope the steady involvement continues.

John Otis a member of the Project Positivity Campaign talks about why he and his group started the project in the first place.



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