|A candlelight vigil on the OCU campus makes a strong statement against bullying.
More than 100 students and staff and faculty members recently rallied against bullying. Their witness on Oct. 20 on the OCU campus lawn gave visible support to a national anti-bullying campaign.
Their candlelight vigil was held to call attention to recent cases of bullying that have been associated with the suicide deaths of young gay people, and as a testament to the safe and caring community that is Oklahoma City University.
The event was organized by the SPECTRUM student group, with support from a number of other campus groups, including the Multicultural Student Organization, Sociology Department, and OCU Law Student association.
Jessica McArthur, SPECTRUM co-president, reported more than 100 purple ribbons were distributed that day to students and staff, as well as fliers with information on suicide prevention hotlines.
Liz Donnelly, associate vice-president of Student Affairs, noted that the OCU Student Code of Conduct strictly prohibits bullying and other uncivil behavior. It specifically prohibits hazing that endangers the mental or physical health of a student and regards acquiescence in the presence of such acts as a violation of policy. The university also provides in-service training on the issue of preventing bullying.
Of the vigil, Donnelly wrote, "It was very moving to witness passionate young people sharing their past pain and future hope. It is inspiring to collaborate with student leaders who regularly put their commitment to action."