Two critical issues that lead to a negative climate for and experience of diverse students are cultural acts of insensitivity and “bullying.” Making fun of or degrading individuals and the groups to which they belong is considered an act of cultural insensitivity. Bullying is defined as unwanted, aggressive behavior that is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. Bullying is repeated, deliberate and disrespectful behavior that has the intent of hurting someone else. Teasing, making fun of, laughing at or harassing someone over time is bullying. Bullying hurts, creates a negative climate and can disrupt another student’s ability to function, sleep, concentrate and to be academically successful. Below are some guidelines for the awareness of and prevention of acts of cultural insensitivity and bullying at USD.
1. Teasing and laughing at someone on the basis of weight/height, race/ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation and other personal group characteristics is a form of bullying. It violates the university standards and values of diversity and inclusiveness. Moreover, this type of bullying can lead to disciplinary action by the university.
5. Using university property (i.e. the USD Internet server) to bully other students (cyber bullying) or express feelings of hatred via Facebook, Twitter, email or other forms of social media is not allowed per university policy that governs the use of USD resources and facilities.