Though bullying has recently become more prominent in the mainstream news with the upcoming release of the film Bully, the issue remains a major concern in schools and on campuses nationwide.
Just yesterday, several members of the Delta Upsilon fraternity at the University of Wisconsin, Madison were accused of yelling racial slurs and throwing bottles at two black women.
Members of the fraternity have a history of inappropriate, and sometimes racially charged, behavior. From September to March, the fraternity had been on alcohol probation for serving alcohol to underage students. Prior to the September incident, members of the fraternity also hung a dark skinned, life-size Spider-Man doll from their balcony.
According to Althea Miller, a senior at the school, the racially motivated incident is not surprising. Miller also expressed that there has been an “a lot of racial tension” at the school this year.
In response to this week’s events, Kevin Helmkamp, associate dean of students, told the Wisconsin State Journal that he wants to improve the process of reporting and dealing with racial bias and other types of bullying.
The university’s current system for handling such reports could be improved, Helmkamp told the Wisconsin State Journal, by transitioning to a more electronic process. Helmkamp believes that an electronic reporting method would not only be easier for students to use, but would also make the process of tracking and following up with incident reports more efficient for the university.
Though the university hopes to make adjustments in the future, for the time being, all they can do is temporarily suspend the Delta Upsilon fraternity.
Meanwhile, the film Bully will be released on Thursday, March 30. The film follows five families over the course of a year and documents the struggles they face as a result of bullying. Originally given an R rating by the MPAA, controversy surrounding the rating, which would limit the film to an older audience, led the Weinstein Company to distribute it as "unrated." Check out the trailer below.