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Putting an End to Cyberbullying

Four Doane students have taken Twitter into their own hands and created a campaign to address cyberbullying on campus.

The campaign is part of a project for Communications Instructor Nathaniel Wilson’s Persuasion class. The class aims to teach persuasive strategies and their uses in advertising, politics and interpersonal and group interaction.

Seniors Abby Hahn and Brijesh Lawrence, junior Augie Sanchez, and sophomore McKehna Thiem worked to address cyberbullying after noticing a series of bullying incidents on Twitter.

“That was the main thing that sparked the campaign,” Hahn said. “Just the fact that people think that (bullying) is acceptable is a huge problem.”

In addition to a series of posters around campus, the group created a Twitter account (@DoaneCelebrates) and hashtag (#DCStopsBullying) to promote the campaign.

“We wanted to combat the issue by using the same medium used to create the issue,” Hahn said. “Twitter and Facebook is where the problem is, so we wanted to use those mediums to address it.”

The account currently has 24 followers, but Hahn said she wanted more students to interact with the account.

“We don’t have a lot of people tweeting at us yet,” she said. “The Twitter account is to celebrate people and recognize people on campus who are doing really great things. We want to advocate for celebrating people instead of putting them down.”

She said tweets could say anything, as long as they celebrated Doane students.

“We’re looking for anything. From the small ‘saw someone pick this piece of trash up,’ to big things like the track and field and tennis GPAC championships,” Hahn said.

Hahn said the group wanted people to recognize the benefits of rewarding positive actions instead of bullying for the bad or different actions.

Although the class will end soon, Hahn said the promotion would not end.

“There will be members of the group who are still on campus after this year, so hopefully they can keep it going,” Hahn said. “We would like the campaign to be something that can continue through the years to come because complementing and celebrating people should be something that never goes out of style. It should be something that can continue to grow.”

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PHOTO: Nate Knobel '14