Chimes Week aims to promote greater empathy on campus
This year’s Chimes Junior Honorary’s week encourages students to share personal stories while focusing on the theme of empathy in order to help foster a greater sense of connection within the Washington University community.
“Empathy can help bring us together as a student body,” junior and Chimes member Courtenay Willcox said. “When you empathize with someone, it helps you get to know them better and brings you closer.”
All the money raised from the events of the week will benefit the St. Louis Crisis Nursery, which aims to provide children from birth to 12 years of age who are going through emergency or crisis situations with a place to stay.
According to junior and Chimes member Brendan McIntyre, the philanthropy the group decided on helped inspire the theme of the week.
“The nursery emphasizes empathy through the emotional support and high quality of care that it provides for each child in need,” McIntyre said. “The staff sees the potential in each child and understands that every family in need is worthy of love and respect. They exemplify empathy by connecting this understanding to action and ensuring that the children are provided with a loving home until their families can get back on their feet.”
The fundraising events during the week are a benefit night held at Crushed Red and Seoul Taco on Tuesday night and a silent auction held on Thursday in College Hall, with donations from a variety of local companies—such as Chipotle and Sky Zone Indoor Trampoline Park—and performances from several University student groups.
Other events include a “By Name, By Story” event on Monday, featuring WU-SLam, in which students are invited to engage in discussions in order to learn the personal stories of their peers. On Wednesday, various faculty members and students will partake in a panel discussing personal experiences revolving around empathy.
“Recognizing our differences and biases but working past them to reach that point of empathy is an important quality for Wash. U. students who are supposed to be the future leaders of the world,” junior and Chimes member Chelsea Whitaker said.
According to junior and Chimes member Michael Tarazi, one of the main goals of the week is to promote and spread awareness of its theme.
“I think it’s an important week because the idea of empathy has been arising on our campus lately, and I think it’s an important discussion for the student body to have,” Tarazi said. “We’re all so different, yet we’re all here for one goal that we have in common, and how often do we get the opportunity to share our stories? It just helps us understand that we’re all different and get to know each other better.”