Brandeis celebrates 10th annual Kindness Day

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November 15, 2019

The Shapiro Campus Center (SCC) was decked out in pink and adorned with balloons spelling out the words “Be Kind” for Brandeis’ 10th annual Kindness Day on Thursday, where students, faculty and staff engage in different events that celebrate being kind to one another.

For Assistant Dean in the Dean of Students Office Stephanie Grimes, Kindness Day is a major pillar of the Brandeis community. 

“If we aren’t being generally kind to each other,” she says, “how can we then have an expectation that our community has integrity and is civilly nice to each other and can engage in dialogue, and can be all of the things that we hope and dream a community can be?”

Grimes was one of the deans attending Kindness with the Deans, where students could meet and drink hot cocoa with members of the Deans of Students office from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Thursday.

Kindness Day was started 10 years ago by an active faculty member, said Grimes in an interview with The Brandeis Hoot. That faculty member had a “vision to further connect Brandeis by promoting morale, building community and encouraging more small acts of thanks and kindness on campus,” according to the Brandeis website.

In the SCC, students could give roses to their friends, pick up reusable water bottles from the Brandeis Sustainability Ambassadors and design buttons with the Fashion Design Club. The SCC was packed with students, many of whom began to do a few Orientation Leader dances Thursday morning to music playing over one large speaker. 

Students could also write kindness cards to their friends, which would be deposited in students mailboxes. Many of the Kindness Day events involved community service. Students could make dog toys to donate, package personal hygiene products with the Waltham Group—a large umbrella group for several community service organizations at Brandeis—and students could register to vote with Brandeis Democrats Thursday morning.

Grimes reflected on how much the event has grown over the past 10 years: “There has become more student involvement in the program… as well as a greater acknowledgement of a greater part of our institution. We want to make sure that all members of our community are recognized on Kindness Day, not just portions.”

Inclusivity is an important part of what makes Kindness Day at Brandeis so unique, said Grimes. And Alex Rossett, assistant dean of student rights and community standards, noted that Kindness Day is important to the Brandeis student body during midterms. 

“Kindness Day highlights what’s best at Brandeis, really our core values. It can be a tough time of year with midterms and holidays, so it’s really important to key into the community,” said Rossett. 

Kindness Day is sponsored by “Academic Services, Admissions, Community Service, Community Living, [the] Dean of Students Office, Graduate Student Affairs, Human Resources, International Students and Scholars Office, Sodexo, Spiritual Life, Student Activities and [the] Division of Student Affairs,” according to the Brandeis website.

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