January 25, 2012

“What you say doesn’t go away”

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This week I came across an email from high school student, Torin Havander who wants to make a huge difference in his school and community as it relates to bullying.  He has a great message and method for gathering his peers together to make a difference in their community.  See what he had to say.


Dear experts, my name is Torin Hovander and I am a senior at Sandia High School. For the past 10 years I have witnessed and felt the effects of bullying. As you may know the effects of bullying are low self esteem, an inclination towards violence, and low performance in school. After seeing all three occur in my school a few students got together to fight bullying. At the beginning all we had was a motley crew of about 5 students. Over time with perseverance and dedication we became one of the largest clubs in the school. One of the reasons why the club was so successful is that we are a self-governing, self-funded entity that had a clear unified message. The message we made is summarized in the saying. “What you say doesn’t go away”, these few words made a statement that what teenagers say and do to each other have a long-term negative effect. Only a few weeks after starting this club our school has seen an increase in reported cases of bullying. Another victory was the fact that students became aware of the awesome effect bullying has on people. With the use of social media we hope to expand our campaign to all 13 high schools in our city. Having an anti-bullying club in each school will bring up a massive youth movement that will change the culture of our generation.  Here is how it can be done:

The Younity Method

This method is designed for teenagers who may not have a great deal of money but want to have a big influence on a situation. There are two groups. Group A are the ones who have the singular focus of just the cause nothing else. Group B is made up of other clubs that send representatives. For example if a group of students wants to help their school become a better place then group A must be established first. After a few weeks group B will begin to form. The way to do this is for group A to send messengers to other clubs asking for two representatives. If that club says yes then they will send people to the meeting. At the meeting group A will help coordinate will the representatives from group B on what needs to be done. Group A may not tell the members of group B what to do but instead strongly suggest actions they can take. An example is if a school I trying to help homeless people. Group A will organize and examine what the problem is and what needs to be done. After the data of the problem of homelessness is collected then group B comes into the game. At the meeting group A can say we need food, clothing, and housing. After a few minutes of discussion the representatives from group B will take their own jobs. Say the baseball club wants to do clothing they will do that while the chess club does the food and the cheerleading club does housing. Each club does their own jobs until the next meeting.  At the next meeting each club from group B will give their progress. If the cheerleading club is having trouble with their assignment then group A will offer immediate assistance at the advisory of the cheerleading club. If the Younity method is used properly then students will see very big results very soon.

group ab






One of the problems of this method is that it takes a lot of dedication and a lot of time. But what it does not take is a lot of money which is very useful for young people. Since this method does require so many people there may be problems with who can do what and when. As an example let’s use the baseball club and the cheerleading club. They both have competitions to go to so they can’t help with the cause at the moment. In that case Group A will take on one of the assignments such as the food. For awhile, the effect of the campaign will be not as effective but after awhile the baseball and cheerleader clubs will come back. In that time the Campaign will have a low point were very little can be done but there still is a focus on the problem. Since Group A is only focused on fighting, bullying meetings should be once every week. Since group B has other concerns, a meeting with the representatives should be arranged once a month. Constant and unrelenting attention to the problem is how a group can create a better situation than what they had. At the end of the day, making the situation better a little bit at a time is the essence of progress.



Torin and his classmates have done a great job mapping out a strategy for how to build an effective team with common goals as well as making a difference for themselves and others. 



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