Cyberbullying in Higher Education: The Experiences and Perceptions of First-Year College Students and University Administrators

Ashley Gutshall, University of South Carolina


The purpose of this study was to determine the policies regarding cyberbullying on college campuses in the Southeastern Conference (SEC) and the experiences of first year students with cyberbullying at the University of South Carolina. The descriptive research aimed to discover what policies are currently in place to protect students, what concerns college administrators in student judicial offices have regarding cyberbullying, and to document the self-reported cyberbullying experiences of first-year students at the University of South Carolina. Through a mixed methods survey of higher education institutions in the SEC, information was collected about polices and experiences. Through an anonymous, online and self-selected survey, first year students' experiences as victims, witnesses, and perpetrators were recorded. Findings reveal that while the majority of students do not rank cyberbullying as a concern, every student surveyed had experienced at least one instance of inappropriate digital communication and cyberbullying was a growing concern for administrators.