You may have seen a “Punish a Muslim Day” poster around the campus. Chancellor Debasish Dutta urged Rutgers affiliates to show kindness and solidarity with all of those in their Rutgers family regardless of religion, sexual orientation, nationality, or any identity in response to this viral flyer calling for savagery against Muslim individuals. The flyer goes on starting with “They have hurt you, they have made your loved ones suffer…” and added that people will be given some points as a reward, according to Rowaida Abdelaziz.
On April 3rd, 2018, Dr. Felicia McGinty, a Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs announced a “Love A Scarlet Knight — Let's Combat Hate with Love” campaign to encourage Rutgers students to spread the love with other Scarlet Knights. In brief, as we should not judge a book by its cover page, it would be unfair and illogical to boycott a specific group of people from the society. Especially, the United States of America is the county of immigrants, belief or not. America is great together, not by itself. Since the #LoveAScarletKnight campaign has announced a “bingo game” challenge, I would like to throw out some cool ideas to get involved.
Top 20 cool ideas follow:
1. Group hug selfie
What this world needs is a group hug. It would be a great way to share positivity with other Scarlet Knights. You may ask random people campus to be a part of your group hug selfie and then post on social media with #s and tags.
2. Lunch/dinner with a scarlet knight or with faculty
You always wanted to thank someone who you workout within the gym, a tutor, or a faculty member, you can invite them for a lunch or a dinner. You may get to explore your career path by learning from a faculty or a new friend. You would have an excellent conversation.
3. Wave and say, "Hi! How are you?" to at least 10 people on campus
It just takes about 30 seconds to ask someone how are they doing? It may sound like something so simple but can make someone’s day. Someone having a bad day would have a smile on their face after you would wave to them.
4. Bake something delicious as a gift for your friend
When in doubt—bake! Homemade bakes always make the delicious gifts. You don’t have to be a MasterChef. Cookies are a great option. Your friend would definitely appreciate your effort because he/she cares about you.
5. Give a genuine compliment to a stranger around the campus
A compliment could be as simple as ‘You look great today!’ or ‘I like your shoes or dress!’ Who does not love a compliment? No one! For most of us, compliments are like a cherry on the cake. Who knows, you might become good friends.
6. Share a list of things or people you are thankful for on social media
Social media is an excellent platform if it's being used for the right cause. For most of us, it would be easier and faster way to reach out someone on social media. Hence, you can take this opportunity to thank your friends and show gratitude for them.
7. Help someone carry something or hold a door for them
If you’re going in the same direction or not, it wouldn’t cost you to carry a bag for someone. You may feel great after helping someone in need. Also, you would not get late if you would hold a door for someone behind you. Personally speaking, I hold a door for people because I don’t want them to hit by a door like me back then.
8. Volunteer your time at a non-profit organization
You may or may not realize what you have gained from your community, so it’s always great to give it back. Lots of people work so hard behind the scene, but their work never gets appreciated by others. If you are fortunate to have something others don’t, it’s on you to help them and make them feel special.
This is my favorite. I love to smile and also love to see people smiling. If someone is smiling, I will smile no matter what. Since a smile is contagious, you are going to bring a smile on lots of faces. Sometimes it’s ok to smile without a reason, just for fun.
10. Send a card to someone in the military overseas
It’s probably easy for us to make comments and just talk about people who risk their lives protecting ours, but we should thank them for providing us a 24/7 protection. So, if you see a person in a military dress, you should thank them for their service. They would love it.
11. Drop off a game or toy at a hospital
Since kids love to play with toys, they will love your gifts while they have to stay in the hospital. They just don’t need someone to take care, but someone to play with. I love to spend time with kids and they give it all back in return.
12. If you have a car, help out someone in your dorm who doesn’t
If you live in a dorm and you don’t have a car, you would understand what I’m trying to say. I live off-campus, btw. However, sometimes you just want to relax in the back or you genuinely need a ride.
13. Give directions to someone who looks lost on campus.
You were probably in their shoes once. It feels worse because you don’t know even whom to ask. Hence, you will love to help others to get wherever they want to be by showing them right directions.
14. Study with someone after class
To get involved with someone who shares similar interest as you, you should hang out after class with your classmate. You would not just make friends but also get to learn from each other to do it. Don’t be shy!
15. Say “Thank You” to bus drivers for their service
You just have to do this because driving in the same boring rout for about 20 times per day would make anyone miserable. It must be an annoying job to do, so they definitely deserve appreciation.
16. Wear a customized t-shirt with positive thoughts on it
If you want to be stand out and show some of your creative skills, this is a great opportunity. A group of people wearing a unique design shirt would definitely attract lost of people to notice you. It’s not just about getting noticed by others but for good cause, if you promote some non-profit or an organized group activity. For instance, #LoveAScarletKnight
17. Go to "Rutgers Dance Marathon" even if you’re not a dancer
It’s coming soon! You should get your tickets ASAP! It’s one of the biggest events at Rutgers and you would love it regardless if you’re a dance or not. In Dance Marathon, you would just go in your party style clothes and keep dancing till you want. It raises money and increases awareness for Embrace Kids Foundation. In fact, they have raised $1 million last year.
18. Donate used books to the library
Books don’t belong in your garage or a recycle bin! It belongs to a library so go and donate it.
19. Pay meal for next person in line
Just for fun, you would get to see all kinds of response from people positively. It’s a great thing to share a meal with either a stranger or your friend.
20. Spend some time with yourself by doing what you really enjoy
Last but not least, sometimes you just have to make sure that you are happy with what you do in your daily life. You can assign a specific period for yourself, so you don’t forget it. Besides whatever you do for others, you should make sure that you’re happy first.
In short, these are just a couple of ways to get involved with the campaign but the limit is sky. You can be super creative about this. Start a blog and spread your own take on positivity and motivation to the world (Sound familiar?) Then, Do it by joining the Odyssey community at Rutgers. The main purpose of this campaign is to spread positivity among students for other students. See you next week!