Random Acts of Kindness Week brings cheer to campus

| Staff Reporter
Students in Lambda Sigma make root beer floats for members of the University community on Thursday in the Danforth University Center’s Tisch Commons. The event was held as a part of Random Acts of Kindness Week. (Matt Mitgang | Student Life)

Students in Lambda Sigma make root beer floats for members of the University community on Thursday in the Danforth University Center’s Tisch Commons. The event was held as a part of Random Acts of Kindness Week. (Matt Mitgang | Student Life)

Sophomore honorary Lambda Sigma held its annual Random Acts of Kindness Week, offering free bagels and hot chocolate, as well as compliments and hugs. Members of the group planned the events in an attempt to encourage other acts of kindness around campus.

“I came up with this idea a few years ago, because to me it’s important to do little kindnesses for everybody everyday if we can,” said Lambda Sigma faculty adviser Darla Dale, assistant dean in the College of Arts & Sciences.

According to Dale, this year’s members of Lambda Sigma planned to be more visible than prior years’. The theme for the week was based on Andy Warhol’s quote, “I think everybody should like everybody.” Events included painting the sphere at the underpass with Warhol’s message and Residential College Appreciation Day on Monday. Members handed out free bagels and orange juice at the Underpass and gave free hugs and compliments at the Bunny on Tuesday. Wednesday was Dean Appreciation Day, and members gave out free root beer in the DUC on Thursday.

“The group started doing [the week] on a small scale, but this year’s group has really taken the idea to a new level,” Dale said.

“We planned for this to be more visible than last year,” said co-president Spencer Goodman, a sophomore.

Dale came up with the idea for Random Acts of Kindness Week after finding a Web site dedicated to random acts of kindness. The week has become an annual tradition since then.

According to Dale and Lambda Sigma co-presidents Goodman and Sasha Yan, the main goal for the week is not only to improve the general morale and mood around campus with individual acts of kindness, but also to encourage students to perform small acts of kindness for each other, which Goodman cited as a reason for painting the sphere.

“[Painting the sphere] wasn’t really to advertise Random Acts of Kindness Week, but to get out the random acts of kindness message and reinforce that this is Random Acts of Kindness Week, and it’s not just for us to do stuff for everyone else, but for everyone to take it upon themselves to be nice to other people too,” Goodman said.

Timing also helped influence some of the feedback and activities for the week, due to the highly stressful weeks between Thanksgiving break and winter break.

“The jokes and compliments are just to get people in a better mood, since people are stressed about finals, if people are in a good mood ready to spread the love,” Goodman said.

The week began with Resident Appreciation Day, in which Lambda Sigma members placed colorful gift boxes and balloons in the lobbies of Residential Life buildings urging people to have a great day.

“It’s Monday after Thanksgiving and not everyone’s really happy to be back, so it’s a good way to kick off the week and get people in a better mood,” Yan said.

Goodman and Yan noticed positive feedback when they staffed the breakfast booth at the Underpass on Tuesday.

Dale also emphasized the importance of the message of the week—that anyone can make a small but positive difference around campus by doing something as minor as holding a door or giving out a compliment.

“The idea is to raise awareness about how something very small can impact someone,” Dale said. “Sometimes when you’re having a bad day but someone takes a minute either to open the door or say, ‘Thanks,’ or, ‘You look great’—whatever it is, it can be the smallest thing to make your day, which you can pass on to other people.”