A group of Delta State University students and community members are set to host Keep Calm and Stop Bullying to help combat bullying.
It is set to take place on the Delta State University Quad on May 6 at 5 p.m.
Co-coordinator Jae R Norris said this event was organized due to a recent occurrence of cyber bullying.
"Our whole purpose for hosting this campaign is because several friends of mine have been being cyber bullied and verbally attacked on two social apps called Gaggle and Yik Yak," said Norris.
Norris said the apps were not designed for bullying but some individuals have been posting inappropriate information on the apps and targeting specific individuals.
Gaggle is a learning platform for the classroom.
It was specifically created for K-12, Gaggle features built-in processes and classroom workflows designed to promote educator and student productivity.
Teachers can easily create, assign, collect and correct assignments on their schedule, while promoting student engagement and embracing the benefits of social networking in a safe and controlled environment.
Yik Yak acts like a local bulletin board for communities, by showing the most recent posts from other users.
It allows anyone to connect and share information with others without having to know them.
Yik Yak was intended for individuals to create quality content and receive 'up votes' from other members of their community.
Although the purpose of these two social apps is harmless, individuals have been using them to spread rumors, which is a form of cyber bullying.
"Bullying is not okay in any setting. Everyone should feel protected and not have to endure bullying. We want to raise people's awareness and let them know that bullying does happen on college campuses, it does not only occur in junior high or high school," said Norris.
According to the American Psychological Association, bullying is a form of aggressive behavior in which someone intentionally and repeatedly causes another person injury or discomfort.
Bullying can take the form of physical contact, words or more subtle actions.
The bullied individual typically has trouble defending him or herself and does nothing to cause the bullying.
"Bullying can cause individuals to feel self conscious about the way that they look or act and what they do or say. It can also cause individuals to feel like they are not at peace with themselves," said Sigma Alpha Epsilon member, Justin Hunsucker.
"I feel that this event is important because I do not think that a lot of people realize what they are doing. Sometimes people think that they are just goofing around or just being funny but in actuality they are being mean and hurtful," he added.
The American Psychological Association said victims of bullying might suffer mental and physical consequences even after bullying occurs.
A new study in the journal Pediatrics finds that bullying is associated with poor physical and mental health among children, particularly among those who were bullied in the past and are being currently bullied.
The effects were strongest among children who were bullied continuously, in more than one grade, particularly in terms of psychological health.
"If people have been bullying, hopefully this event will give them the confidence to step up and come forward so that they can receive help. We want to get a handle on this before it starts to spread any further," said Norris.
"I don’t think people are abreast of the situations that have been occurring. Bullying can spread like wildfire, especially in small communities. We just want people to know that bullying does not have to happen and when it does, it can be stopped," she added.
"I am not saying that bullying will be stomped out forever but starting with this event, we want to at least prevent it from spreading any further than it already has. "Hopefully, this will be the first of many rallies and events that we will have," she continued.
This event is sponsored by the Exchange Club of Cleveland and it is open to the public.
Participants are asked to wear white T-shirts because during the cookout, they will they write positive statements about the person that is wearing the T-shirt.
Hot dogs will be sold for $1 and all proceeds from the event will be donated to the Exchange Club of Cleveland for Child Abuse Prevention.
Organizers are seeking sponsors and further assistance with the campaign.
For more information or to become a sponsor, contact Norris at 601-624-3275.