5 Methods to Prevent Bullying in College


Apart from our moral and social responsibility, for educators, bullying in college simply cannot be tolerated. Under Title IX, your responsibility is clear: educators must provide a safe and harassment-free environment that allows students to participate and benefit from your programs. The best way to prevent bullying on college campuses is by instituting anti-bullying prevention training and programs on your campus.

Is There Bullying in College? It’s Not Just a K-12 Issue

Bullying is often thought of as an issue that happens in K-12, and that once kids “just make it through” the high school years, they will be free to start fresh at college.

However, that is a painful misconception. There are bullies in college. Without the support of family and the added stress of living alone for the first time, worrying about loans, a heavier course load, and a new lifestyle, the impact of bullying in college can worsen.

If college bullies are not taught to take responsibility for their actions or are not disciplined, they will bring these tendencies with them to college and repeat their behaviors.

6 Different Types of Bullying

According to verywell.com, the six different types of bullying are defined as follows:

  • Physical bullying: Physical bullying is the most obvious form of bullying in college, and it’s the easiest to identify. It occurs when people use physical actions to gain power and control over their targets. This can happen anywhere on campus or in the classroom. There are even instances of bullying in college sports.
  • Verbal bullying: Perpetrators of verbal bullying use words, statements and name-calling to gain power and control over a target, and they often do it when adults or authority figures are not around. Typically, verbal bullies will use relentless insults to belittle, demean and hurt another person. They choose their targets based on the way they look, act or behave.
  • Relational aggression: This is a sneaky and insidious type of bullying that often goes unnoticed by parents, teachers and authority figures. Sometimes referred to as emotional bullying, relational aggression is a type of social manipulation where bullies try to hurt their peers or sabotage their social standing.: This is a sneaky and insidious type of bullying that often goes unnoticed by parents, teachers and authority figures. Sometimes referred to as emotional bullying, relational aggression is a type of social manipulation where bullies try to hurt their peers or sabotage their social standing.
  • Cyberbullying: Technology, specifically social media, and texting, enables bullies to say things that they do not have the courage to say face-to-face. As a result, online bullying is often mean and cruel—and the consequences significant. To the targets of cyberbullying, it feels invasive and never-ending. Bullies can get to victims anytime and anywhere, often in the safety of their own homes.
  • Prejudicial bullying: Prejudicial bullying is based on prejudices tweens and teens have toward people of different races, religions or sexual orientations. This type of bullying can encompass all the other types of bullying including cyber-bullying, verbal bullying, relational bullying, physical bullying and sometimes even sexual bullying.
  • Sexual bullying: Sexual bullying consists of repeated, harmful and humiliating actions that target a person sexually. Examples include sexual name-calling, crude comments, vulgar gestures, uninvited touching, sexually propositioning and pornographic materials. For instance, a bully might make a crude comment about a girl’s appearance, attractiveness, sexual development or sexual activity. In extreme cases, sexual bullying opens the door to sexual assault.

Title IX Training for Faculty and Staff

Vector Solutions (formerly Everfi's Campus Prevention Network) is prepared to provide your faculty and staff the critical training that will prepare them to identify, address and help prevent sexual assault, domestic and dating violence, and stalking.

How To Deal With Bullying in College

College Bullying is a real issue and needs to be identified and addressed on campuses. A great way to deal with bullying on college campuses is with victim support and training on anti-bullying. Reports indicate that victims and bullies have a higher risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors than those who haven’t been involved with bullying.

Here Are 5 Ways to Stop Bullying on College Campus:

  1. Clearly Communicate Campus Policy on College Bullying

    Create a campus policy and clearly communicate it to faculty, staff and students. If bullying behavior is detected, you should determine if the behavior violates campus policies or laws. Review student codes of conduct, state criminal laws and civil rights laws.

  2. Encourage Students to Seek Help

    Encourage students who are getting bullied in college to talk to someone they trust if they face bullying situations. Although they do recognize it as a serious issue for their age group, young adults may be reluctant to seek help for bullying in college.

  3. Report Criminal Acts to Campus or Community Law Enforcement

    Students, faculty, and staff need to be trained on what acts of college bullying should be reported to campus or community law enforcement. Prompt enforcement will help ensure the safety and health of the bullying victim and campus community.

  4. Integrate a Title IX Coordinator into College Bullying Prevention

    Consult the college’s Title IX coordinator to help determine if the college bullying is possibly discriminatory or categorized as sexual harassment. Also, an ombudsperson can help direct students to appropriate campus resources to report bullying.

  5. Prevent Bullying in College with Impactful Training

    Conduct anti-bullying online training that teaches faculty, staff, and students about the different types of bullies, the methods they use, the causes and effects of bullying and safe ways to intervene. Online training helps with the prevention of bullying on college campuses by sending a strong message that bullying is unacceptable.

Need Help Preventing College Bullying on Your Campus?

Vector Solutions provides training for students and administrators that includes college bullying, discrimination, and sexual harassment prevention. We are dedicated to helping higher education institutions provide impactful training and meet key compliance requirements. Our curriculum covers 10 key topics that maximizes student safety and creates a positive academic workspace for staff. Read more about our courses and learn why over 1,500+ higher education institutions nationwide trust us to provide critical skills curriculum to their campuses.

Student Sexual Assault Prevention Training Trusted By 1500+ Institutions

Vector's Sexual Assault Prevention Suite is a comprehensive education and training solution. Our courses use realistic scenarios students can relate to as well as interactive elements that keep learners engaged throughout the course. Most importantly, the training is written by prevention education and compliance experts.

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