It was the September of 22nd of last year that a student who was a College of Music student of Chung-Ang University, committed suicide. It is believed that the reason that she committed suicide was due to bullying and a vicious rumor about her. She got the brush from her peers and seniors because of this, and finally when she couldn't stand it anymore she chose death. This news became known to the public through SNS posts which her intimate friends wrote to let people know of her unfair death. It sent out a shockwave. While this pitiful news was covered here and there, the outcast and bullying problem at the university received attention, due to the similarity of this incident in other universities too.
1. Do Outsiders Really Exist at Universities?
a. Voluntary Outsider
Do outsiders really exist at universities? Of course, they do. Like the aforementioned suicide incident, there are not only the outcasts from bullying but also different forms of outcasts. In a university, we usually call an outcast 'an outsider', who is someone who perhaps feels, or is made to feel 'out of place'. They attend school alone and don't hang out with other people often. The reasons why they may become an outsider are various, and include individual and social reasons. However, some of them just choose to be alone, without any bullying taking place, and we call them 'voluntary outsiders', and it refers to people who want to be alone and do not socialize with people from the university.
b. Bothering, Bullying, and Abandonment
On the other hand, there are people who become outsiders due to being bullied, unlike voluntary outsiders. The group or one person causes him/her to feel alone by bullying them and spreading malevolent rumors. It can evoke an extreme result. The bothered victim can become very stressed and anxious by the situation. The horrible experience might cause some people to feel the impulse of suicide as well as depression, so this outsider problem is not only a problem from within the university, but also all of society. Wherever we are located, bullying prevails in Korean society.
2. The Severity of Bullying
a. A Frog Might Die with the Stone That We Throw for Fun
According to MBC's program, ’PD’s Notebook’, shown last year, on the 1st of December, in one local college, military discipline culture and harsh behavior happened and spread to cause outcast problems. Due to the discipline establishment in university, the order of rank, some seniors indicate to juniors to hate some juniors who do not follow their instructions and make them the outsiders. As you can see, there are many outcast problems in other schools as well as CAU. Among many of the Korean sayings, there is a saying 'A frog might die from a stone that we throw for fun'. An assailant who bullies other people doesn't know how distressed the victims become. The bullying they do maliciously for fun can make the victim die.
It is clear that the assailant is the main cause of all problems. However, the bystanders who ignore the situation that they may have been observing cannot be called innocent either. If you see bullying happening, you should try to help the alienated student and ask how you can help them although you don't know him/her well. It is also a guilty action to stand by and watch the situation without helping. Of course, it is hard for everyone to help thoughtlessly the victims. So, announcing this situation others as well as helping them directly can be helpful for stopping the bullying in the school like reporting to the police. Don't hesitate to do the right thing. Act out ‘justice’ as you believe it. This is our role of helping victims.
3. The Happy Days
a. No More Outsiders
Now our fellow students who have suffered loneliness and bullying must cease at our university. We have to vindicate them in the name of 'the outsider' and take care of them. The most important thing is certainly their will. If they are not about to overcome the situation by themselves and are settled for their present position, they won't escape from the situation even though there is help. But, if we share the joy with many friends together, the joy will be doubled and the distress will reduce. The second important thing is to ask close friends for help about bullying. You can talk about the harass you have suffered with your best friends. After they heard of your stories, they will help you completely.
b. Need for Stronger Punishment
Above all, it is possible to establish defamation when people spread false information about the victim. Defamation is a crime that can run a person down. As stipulated by Article 307 Section 1 of the Korean Criminal Code, "the person who harms somebody's reputation or hostiles truth uselessly would be imposed fine not exceeding five million won or go to jail for up to five years" So, if someone is damaged in anyway by false information, he/she can sue for slander. Furthermore, we can penalize the assailant by reporting it to the police. Actually, the basic solution of these bullying problems depends on the victim's decision. If he/she wants to cope with the situation only by themselves, we should respect it and support them when they want to need some help from us.
Student Guidance Center
It is desirable that a university should become a place where the school tries to protect students and provides a good environment to focus on their studies. Thus, Chung-Ang University has a guidance center run by themselves. If students have a hard time getting along because of bullying problems, or they feel isolated, they are able to receive counseling directly here. In fact, both the bully and the victim can get counseling.. You can get counseling once a week as a general rule, but, if you want to receive counseling more frequently, then it is possible for you to make more appointments. If you tell your difficulties to them, you can receive proper treatment and advise because there are experts who are counseling psychologists.
Service Hours: During semester - Mon ~ Fri 9:00~18:00, on vacation Mon ~ Fri 09:00 ~17:00
Lunch Time: 12:00 ~ 13:00
Location: Student Culture Hall, Seoul Campus (206 Hall) first floor
Contact Number: 02) 820 - 6363 / Homepage: http://guidance.cau.ac.kr
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