Compliments are often said without much thought. They are given as a simple reaction rather than a thoughtful process. However, one campus organization argues that complimenting others is an art form with a lot of power and potential.
For the month of January, the Student Justice Centre (SJC) is organizing a compliment campaign centred around National Compliment Day on Jan. 24 with the goal of getting people to rethink how they compliment others .
“Complimenting somebody on their appearance is easy, but we want to focus on a compliment that would really mean something to someone – something that shows that they are valuable,” said Kailey Kelly, Marketing and Campaigns Manager of the SJC.
The campaign will run on Jan. 12 and 13 in Mackenzie Chown A Block and on Jan. 19 and 20 outside the Computer Commons. It will feature a word bubble board as well as slips of paper with compliment ideas to hand out to people.
The idea behind the campaign is that most people generally only compliment others on their appearance. While the compliments are often genuine, physical appearance itself is only superficial and doesn’t necessarily reflect a person’s character. The campaign wants to have people honestly reflecting about another person and their value. Complimenting someone on an aspect of their character is truly encouraging and means a lot more.
“Someone once said to me, ‘I love your sense of humour,’ and that compliment got me through the day,” said Kelly. “It meant so much to me compared to, ‘Oh I like your hair’. That’s not really about me as a person. I want to make others feel equally empowered.”
“My goal is to get people to be more creative and to put more effort into complimenting people. It’s important to positively enforce the people you like being around. You probably like them not because of how they look, but because of their personality.”
The campaign revolves around the themes of self-esteem and self-love. The SJC said that encouraging others and empowering them is an important part of each person’s role in a society, especially in such a social environment as a university.
“The SJC campaigns focus on targeting issues that Brock students can relate to. Ignorance is a very big problem and sometimes something as simple as an educational campaign can go a long way in addressing the misconceptions that people may have towards different groups or issues,” said Precious Niko, a frequent volunteer with SJC campaigns.
The January campaign follows on the success of the pizza campaign held in late November. Using the metaphor of ordering a pizza, the campaign dealt with consent and aimed to change the language around the issue.
“Most consent campaigns focus on ‘No means no’,” said Kelly. “We wanted to focus on more positive language, in that ‘yes means yes’, and we wanted to encourage a more natural dialogue.”
While most consent campaigns are aimed at the female demographic, lots of guys stopped by at the campaign table in Mackenzie Chown A Block where free pizza slices were handed out to illustrate the metaphor.
“It’s great to see that ‘adfdfdddha’ moment and to see that click,” said Kelly. “We wanted to disrupt the normal thinking pattern of guys.”
The SJC is always looking for interested students to help out as volunteers with their monthly campaigns.
Besides these campaigns, the SJC is very active in other domains as well. It runs a food bank where students can come by three times a semester and pick out seven food items and three hygiene items for free. The items are collected through donations.
The SJC also runs the Collaboratorium, a large space with microwaves and tables for students to come in and do homework or study. Additionally there are staff members available for any student who wishes to drop in and speak in a confidential setting. All these services are located in the Thistle hallway beside the Scotiabank.
Finally, the SJC organizes the WHSK program, a refugee program which sponsors one to two students a year to come to Brock and earn a degree.
For more information or to contact the SJC, email firstname.lastname@example.org