As the seasons change and midterms tromp past us like boots in the mud, Brandeis University takes a moment to acknowledge what we have to be grateful for with Kindness Week, happening Nov. 6 to Nov. 10. After enduring lab after lab, finally making it through a nerve-racking performance and putting Halloween costumes away until next year, it is important to give ourselves and those around us time to heal as we prepare for further challenges ahead.
As we approach Brandeis’ 13th annual Kindness Day, I’d like to give some history to the event to help us understand how we got to where we are today. In 2009, “the Kindness Day initiative was started by a faculty member with a vision to further connect Brandeis by promoting morale, building community, and encouraging more small acts of thanks and kindness on campus.” Since then, Kindness Day has grown from one singular “Kindness Day” to a whole week centered around highlighting and celebrating kindness on campus. The Kindness Day Committee—a group of students that plan and run Kindness Day annually—has recruited student volunteers and partnered with a number of Brandeis clubs and organizations to bring you, the student body, the experience you’ve been waiting for or, rather, the experience you never knew you needed.
In 2013, in order to spread awareness of the wonders of Kindness Day, the committee created its first official social media account on Facebook. To keep up with the times, the university group’s official Instagram page (@deiskindnessday) became another mode of communication. In addition to its social media presence, the Kindness Day Committee works to share information about what’s to come through club emails, posters and fliers around campus, and maybe even a Hoot article! Between all of these resources, you have no excuse to not know about all of the fun events on campus.
Consequently, the next question we must ask is: why must we spread the word? We’ve got a lot in store for you! Instead of just a singular day of excitement, Kindness Week offers a variety of events focusing on different aspects of kindness for yourself, your friends and loved ones, your community and the Earth! Our amazing event coordinators worked hard to plan events during the mornings, afternoons and evenings, so no matter what your schedule looks like, you can stop by, even if you can’t come to every event (busy Brandeisians… typical *eye-roll*). These themes can help you choose which events are best for you.
Starting with the theme of kindness for yourself, on Tuesday, Nov. 8, the Be Kind to Yourself Fair draws from the creative ideas of our club and organization partners to deliver a holistic self-care experience for students. Dance, laugh, pamper yourself with a face mask (a skincare one, not a COVID one) and enjoy the immaculate vibes; the Be Kind to Yourself Fair is for you, so wherever you are in the healing process, feel free to do what fits your fancy!
For our kindness for the community theme, Monday, Nov. 7 hosts the Service Fair, a place where service groups (i.e. Waltham Group, TRII, PAD, among others) on campus demonstrate their commitment to their causes with compelling stories and fulfilling activities. Furthermore, the Kindness Day Committee has put together a service project that will blow your mind!
In honor of the ”Year of Climate Action,” the Kindness Day Committee decided that we were going to highlight being kind to the Earth. Kindness Week provides an outlet for students to show their care for the environment at the Sustainability Fair on Wednesday, Nov. 9. Here, the Kindness Day Committee teams up with dedicated student environmental groups across campus to present a taste of Brandeis’ commitment to sustainability. What’s more, look out for fun activities to partake in and mementos to cherish (and keep an eye out for the Kindness Week table… the Event Coordinators have been waiting to plan this project for ages).
Last, but certainly not least, Kindness Day, on Thursday Nov. 10, finishes Kindness Week off with a bang. Your favorite clubs and student organizations will be tabling in the SCC for much of Thursday to show how much they care about the Brandeis community!
And this is not all! These are just some of the big day-time events. We have a bunch of evening events like Baking Night with the Service Committee, Thrift Night, a Dance Party and Open Mic Night with the a capella groups of Brandeis! Take a look at our super cute schedules for more information!
In conclusion, Brandeis’ Kindness Week provides students with the space they deserve to show everyone, including ourselves, that we are committed to Brandeis not only as a powerhouse of an academic institution but as a one-of-a-kind community that thrives off of its ability to be the change and to live and breathe kindness. Keep your eyes peeled for updates, and we’ll see you at Kindness Week!