On Nov. 6, Student Life and Community Experience (SLCE) organized several events to raise awareness for and celebrate Random Act of Kindness Day around Brock.
A random act of kindness is any act that makes someone else’s day a little bit better. Engaging in random acts of kindness has been popularized recently through the use of social media and many people associate the act with buying coffee for a stranger. Once an individual receives a random act of kindness, they’re also meant to “pay it forward,” showing their thanks that someone took time to do a random act of kindness for them by passing it onto someone else.
The events at Brock University were planned in affiliation with the larger Niagara Region Random Act of Kindness Day planning committee. Therefore, the SLCE team was able to reach out and strengthen connections not only internally on campus but also between Brock and the broader Niagara Region.
Students on campus were treated to free snacks handed out by the SCLE team and Kaptain Kindness: Brian Hutchings, Vice President of Administration at Brock. Later on in the day, Boomer lead a High Five March through the halls for all students, staff and faculty wanting to join in. The day of kindness ended with volunteers heading into St. Catharines to rake leaves for community members. The goal of the events was to spread kindness and show solidarity between campus staff, students and faculty.
According to Heather Wild, Events and Volunteers Assistant at Student Life and Community Experience, events like these are a catalyst for change which cultivate a more friendly and understanding atmosphere within a community.
“It’s everyday acts of kindness that creates community and that’s the reason students come to Brock and stay at Brock. It’s the atmosphere here that the students and staff create that makes this place so special,” said Wild.
One of the students on the receiving end of an act of kindness was Dori Wilner, who was given a free granola bar by Random Acts of Kindness Day mascot, Kaptain Kindness.
“It’s awesome that we have people planning stuff like this for students and staff! It made my day today,” said Wilner.
Despite the fact that Random Act of Kindness Day is over, Wild insisted that it’s up to students to continue to create an on campus atmosphere based on kindness.
“Take the time out of your day to get out of your comfort zone and talk to people. We’re obsessed with our phones and we’re scared to get out of our social bubble. We should try our best to get past it and make a connection. Without that connection we don’t have that sense of humanity, respect and camaraderie that is the essence of community,” said Wild.
The SCLE team to which Wild is a member is responsible for planning non-academic events on campus. The team claims that its aims and goals are congruent with Brock’s pedagogical philosophy because they endeavour to balance both sides of the brain on campus. Recently, the group has organized Brock’s Grape Stomp, Volunteer Fest, Experience BU, service learning, aleternative reading week as well as SMART Start.
We may take small and seemingly insignificant acts of kindness for granted throughout our overly busy lives, however, one smile or one person asking how your day is going could make a difference in someone’s day. Our kindness can truly be transformative as we create a culture based on the simple principle of caring for our fellow Brock community members.
Assistant Internal News Editor