Butler students promote anti-bullying for this year’s Bateman Competition

Butler students competing in this year’s annual Bateman Case Study Competition approach the end of their campaigning and programming this week before submitting entries for national judging.
The competition, sponsored by the Public Relations Student Society of America, pushed Butler students to form teams and address the competition’s theme of anti-bullying.
The teams conducted research, built relationships with clients and actively campaigned using specific tactics to raise awareness of bullying and act to prevent it.
“We developed a PR campaign, and we’re judged as competitors against other schools based on the goals we set ourselves and how well we implement those goals,” said senior Lexi Chopp, member of the Quest for Respect group.
Quest for Respect developed a curriculum for fourth and fifth graders in Carmel elementary schools. Students were taught about the bullying triangle and what to do when assuming the role of a bystander to a bullying incident.
“We’re working with the Carmel Clay Parks and Recreation Center, and we’re going into the schools through their after-school program,” said senior Allyson Dobberteen, Quest for Respect team member and vice president of the Butler PRSSA chapter. “We want kids to know what to do when they witness bullying, so we came up with a little slogan: ‘See something, say something, do something.’”
Team members said they have seen immediate results with the elementary students they have worked with, often hearing comments after sessions about how much it meant to them for Butler students to come in and talk about such a relevant issue in the community school system.
“I had a handful of students come up to me after the program and say, ‘Thank you so much for talking to us,’ that ‘some kids just really don’t understand,’ and that ‘you really did a good job,’” Chopp said. “I really appreciate it because I’ve been bullied before, and it made me feel really good to hear it.”
The Bateman Competition fosters room for professional developments in the respective fields participating students are working toward. For both public relations and communication majors, students have the ability to implement what they learned in class in a hands-on campaign setting.
“The Bateman Competition is a great way for us to get real-life experience doing a campaign,” said senior Molly Kordas, member of the Leave Your Paw Print group. “A lot of what we do in the classroom is bits and pieces of putting together a campaign.”
Kordas and her group took a stance to promote bullying awareness among student-teachers associated with the College of Education’s Kappa Delta Pi fraternity. They plan to start a round table discussion on bullying and work to train student teachers before they set foot in the classroom.
“We did some research and found student-teachers aren’t really taught too much in the classroom about what to do when they see bullying,” Kordas said. “We’re trying to increase their awareness before they get into the classroom and open communication between teachers, student teachers and Butler faculty about bullying so they can start talking about it now.”
Students participating in this year’s Bateman competition face opponents from colleges nationwide. Last year a Butler team received an honorable mention. Bob Schultz, Butler adjunct communication professor and Borshoff vice president, said he has confidence in this year’s teams as well.
“We have very talented and bright students at Butler, and all three teams are bringing it to the competition,” Schultz said. “The proof is not only going to be in the execution but in their ability to meet their objective and to move the needle based on their objectives.”
After teams submit their entries in late March, they will await  judgment sometime in April. Regardless of the outcome, Chopp said the experience has been rewarding.
“It’s taught me how to make things happen for myself and not sit around and wait for someone else to do it,” Chopp said. “It’s been very personally rewarding to see the difference that we’ve made and the difference we hope to continue to make.”

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