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Minnesota State University, Mankato
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Students test anti-bullying effort

Students at Minnesota State University, Mankato develop campaign.

Amanda Dyslin, Mankato Free Press, 2-17-2013

MANKATO — A group of five Minnesota State University students have developed an anti-bullying campaign, called “Own Your Role,” as part of a nation­wide public relations compe­tition.

But they’ve also started putting the campaign to practice locally at Garfield Elementary School in North Mankato, said Elise Konerza, MSU Public Relations Student Society of America president. And their next stop is Franklin Elementary.

“Our goal is to generate a full-blown public relations campaign surrounding the idea of raising awareness of the consequences of bully­ing,” said Lindsay Peterson, vice president of the MSU PRSSA.

The primary audience of the campaign is students, and they selected sixth­grade as the major focus because that’s the age when bullying, and especially cyber-bullying, become more prevalent, they said.

During the students’ first visit to Garfield recently, they gave a short presenta­tion on “Own Your Role” and what it means to be a victim, a bully, a bystander and a cycle-breaker. They also performed a skit.

The MSU students are returning to Garfield Friday to have the sixth-graders sign “Own Your Role” pledges to help stop bullying, Konerza said. The pledges are good for free tickets to a Maverick men’s basketball game Saturday, where the public is encouraged to wear orange in support of the campaign.

The group will visit Franklin Wednesday for presentations and student pledges.

The students have documented and submitted the campaign to The Bateman Case Study Competition, which is conducted annually by the Public Relations Student Society of America and challenges teams of students across the nation to conduct a public relations campaign with varying themes each year. This year’s theme is bullying, and it’s the first year the MSU PRSSA students participated.

“We wanted to be really ambitious, and the theme of the campaign was anti-bullying, and so we thought it would be a very powerful message, especially in Minnesota with the (Bullying) Task Force,” Konerza said. Search for Own Your Role on Facebook or visit for more information.

The entire version of this story can be read in a print copy of the Mankato Free Press. Call the Mankato Free Press at 625-4451 or (800) 657-4662 to find out how to purchase a print copy. The Free Press also prints select stories online at

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