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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Students rally to celebrate community-wide Kindness Day

Published: November 16, 2012
Section: News

Debby Brodsky, Editor

Thursday marked Brandeis’ third annual Kindness Day, modeled after national Kindness Week, where students, faculty and staff had the opportunity to show friends and colleagues how much they are appreciated by sending smiles and giving hugs.

Kindness Day at Brandeis is organized by a committee of representatives from students, Human Resources, Dining Services, Student Activities, the Office of the Provost, Community Service and the Intercultural Center. This year’s Kindness Day slogan is “Kindness: Pass it On.”

“Originally Kindness Day was brought to Human Resources by a faculty member in the Sociology Department. She found out that World Kindness Day existed and wondered why Brandeis didn’t celebrate kindness as an institution where social justice is ingrained into our values. From there it has evolved,” said Rebecca Bachman ’13, one of two undergraduate student representatives on the Kindness Day committee.

Bachman has represented the undergraduate student body on the Kindness Day committee for three years, since its start at Brandeis. She and Gabby Zilkha ’16 are this year’s undergraduate student representatives.

“This committee spreads out in a web across campus, which enables us to reach as many people as possible on Kindness Day,” Bachman said. “The goal of Kindness Day is to feel appreciated. There are so many people who do different things for each other around campus that are taken for granted that you may not think about. The real goal is to reach out to students, faculty, staff, facilities and dining services. Everyone who makes this campus run.”

All week, leading up to Kindness Day, students have the opportunity to fill out postcards in Usdan to be sent to friends through intercampus mail expressing their appreciation for one another. Students can even send Kindness Day e-cards to one another.

“Tuesday through Thursday there is tabling in Usdan during lunch and at those tables students can sign big cards that’ll be presented to the mailroom, Sherman and Usdan. People really look forward to the intercampus postcards and get excited about that. At the the tables there will also be pie sales. You can buy a pie and a dollar from that purchase goes to the Community Day Center in Waltham. We will also have collection boxes for Hurricane Sandy,” Bachman said.

On Thursday, students were able to participate in various service projects in the Shapiro Campus Center to benefit the Waltham community as well as the greater Boston community. Student Events provided free coffee and munchkins outside Usdan in the morning, Waltham Group’s Kid’s Club held a bake sale to benefit kids with cancer, the Intercultural Center provided hot cider as well as a chance to win 15 pages of free extra printing and students could stop by the SCC all day long to help make no-sew blankets for infants with Cradles to Crayons.

According to Bachman, Brandeis Kindness Day evolves each year. This year, Brandeis has made a Twitter hashtag and encourages students to take pictures of Kindness Day flowers and events to tweet or Instagram with the Kindness Day hashtag.

“Students should feel the warm sense of community in a stronger way than they feel every day, knowing that everyone is a part of this incredible place that is Brandeis and that everyone here really does make a difference,” Bachman said.

During her time on the Kindness Day committee, Bachman has seen an overwhelmingly positive student body response to Kindness Day activities.

“Whenever I tell my friends that Kindness Day is coming they get really excited. People like that extra appreciation and getting a postcard in their mailbox. It’s really spectacular that there will be a service project that anyone and everyone can participate in all day,” she said.