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UVU Communication Students Launch Awareness And Education Campaigns To Reduce Childhood Bullying

6 February 2013 No Comment

February 6, 2013

For Immediate Release

University Marketing & Communications: Mike Rigert (801) 863-6807

Written by: Karissa Neely (801) 863-6807

Utah Valley University has two teams of communication students competing in the Public Relations Student Society of America’s Bateman Case Study competition this year. Representing UVU, the students join 70 universities across the nation in a commitment to end bullying by encouraging children to report it.

One team, using the slogan, “Be Cool, Not Cruel,” is partnering with Karl G. Maeser Preparatory Academy in Lindon, Utah, during the month of February to raise greater awareness of youth bullying through a public education campaign. The other team, under the banner “Pick on This, Make a Change,” will be at Dixon and Centennial middle schools in Provo, Utah, throughout the month to accomplish the same goal.

The Be Cool, Not Cruel campaign will educate kids, families and teachers about the harmful short- and long-term effects of bullying. It will highlight steps for children, parents, teachers and community members to take when struggling with bullying, including: be aware, be a voice and be the change. UVU students will also meet with teachers and administrators to help them identify signs if students are being bullied or are bullying other children.

The city of Orem including the mayor’s office, the public safety department and the Orem City Council will partner with the Be Cool, Not Cruel campaign to curb bullying. At the Orem City Council’s Feb. 12 meeting at 6 p.m., Orem Mayor James Evans will declare February as Be Cool, Not Cruel Awareness Month Against Bullying in the city.

“Bullying is a serious problem among children and teenagers, and it affects everyone in one way or another,” said Jon Ingalls, a UVU student working on the campaign. “We want to teach children, parents and teachers of the short and long-term effects of bullying. The Be Cool, Not Cruel campaign is an easy way to remind children how cruel bullying really is. We hope to decrease bullying by challenging not only children, but their parents and families to live bully-free, too.”

The Pick on This, Make a Change campaign also seeks to increase awareness of the long- and short-term effects of bullying, and outline steps to report and prevent bullying. Students will work with Dixon and Centennial middles schools to educate students and staff on how to recognize bullying, and then how to report it and address it.

“Bullying has become a big problem in our society and as an advocate for positive behavior, I support the Pick on This campaign to improve this issue,” said Miss Utah 2013, Kara Arnold. “As someone who’s had first-hand experience with bullying, I understand that the impact can be severe. Changing behavior now will improve the outcome later.”

Both UVU campaigns will work hand-in-hand with students and school staff, while also utilizing multimedia, including YouTube videos, to further their messages.

Students in UVU’s Communication Department participate annually in the Bateman Competition, competing against other universities and colleges nationwide, to create and implement winning public relations campaigns on a common theme.

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About UVU

Utah Valley University is located in Orem, Utah, and is home to more than 30,000 students. UVU began as a vocational school during World War II, and in the seven decades since has evolved into a technical school, community school, state college and, finally, a comprehensive regional teaching university. UVU is one of Utah’s largest institutions of higher learning and offers programs ranging from career training to high-demand master degrees, with emphasis on undergraduate education.

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