Coupons for a free milkshake at Hawk's Nest were handed out to students during random acts of kindness week, Feb. 13-17. Student Auxiliary Services was one group that contributed to the week's celebrations. (Photo Illustration by Roshan Giyanani/B&W Staff)

Random acts of kindness raise spirits around campus


As Emma Stein, ’20, walked on campus Friday, a car of three Lehigh students pulled up beside her and asked if she needed a ride.

When she got in the car the students asked her trivia questions, and once she got to her destination she was awarded a Hawk’s Nest coupon.

Stein was in the “cash cab”, which drove around campus Friday awarding students coupons for answering trivia questions as part of the second Random Acts of Kindness Week, which took place on campus from Feb. 13-17.

Lehigh administrators organized the events of the week with assistance from students in the Community Service Office as well as Dining Services, Student Activities, Human Resources, University Communications and Student Auxiliary Services.

The week was filled with free giveaways, baked goods and free parking to promote kindness around campus.

RAK week intended that someone would get “RAKed” and then pass along an act of kindness to someone else.

David Joseph, the executive director of Student Auxiliary Services, said the goal of the week was to spread kindness within the Lehigh community.

“The world can be a nasty place, a bitter place, a not so happy place at times,” Joseph said, “We’d like people here to smile more often and appreciate each other more often and show kindness more often.”

Some notable events that took place during the week included free cookies at the University Center on Valentine’s Day, free hot chocolate and coffee in Grace Lounge and coffee and milkshake coupons for Hawk’s Nest.

Mary Kay Baker, a member of the organization committee, said her favorite event of the week took place the second day.

“Day two was one of my favorites, we gave away a cookie and then you got a cookie to give away,” Baker said.

On “Wellness Wednesday,” free five-minute massages were provided in the libraries. Catered breakfasts and lunches were hosted for housekeeping staff, landscapers, janitorial staff and other service workers.

“There are service workers here that are not often appreciated by people, so I think it’s nice that we singled them out a little bit,” Joseph said.

Random Act of Kindness Week was covered on Twitter with the hashtag #LehighRAKweek. Students and staff were encouraged to tweet their random acts of kindness using the hashtag.

Joseph said students around Lehigh could take simple actions to promote kindness every day. He said smiling, complimenting each other and volunteering in any way can help make our community more positive and filled with kindness.

RAK week included similar events this year as last year, with the addition of the massages. Joseph said they think the week will be something that will be continued every year.

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