UNL Smile: Small Moments in Life Everyday
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Politics and Activism

UNL Smile: Small Moments in Life Everyday

UNL Smile: Small Moments in Life Everyday

UNL Smile is a new club on campus that was started by Derek VanLaningham and Brock Rezny. SMILE is an acronym for “Small Moments in Life Everyday.” Derek and Brock started the club hoping for people to realize to enjoy those Small Moments in Life Everyday.

The club is relatively new—it became recognized on October 3rd of 2013. This Small Moments in Life Everyday didn't have it's run of the mill beginning.

“Brock and I were driving 18 straight hours back from Spring Break. We had a lot of time to talk about our dreams. What we wanted to do for the rest of our lives. Pretty deep stuff,” VanLaningham said.

He went on to say Brock and him both realized their dreams were similar—“Making the world a better place to live in and literally changing the world with acts of kindness, one smile at a time.”

 The goal of UNL Smile is simple. They want to make students smile. Both Derek and Brock believe that a positive mindset can change your day and someone else’s day when passed on. 

Everyone is encouraged to go to UNL Smile meetings, which are held on Tuesdays at 9 p.m. in the Union. Check the Union roster for the meeting room.

“If you want to do something awesome to help the campus community, we are going to help run with your idea and put all the pieces together. It’s all about being positive and making a difference,” VanLaningham said.

UNL Smile also has a Facebook page and an Instagram account called, “HumansofUNL.” Freshman Megan Skelly of Phi Mu is in charge of the “HumansofUNL” account. Humans of UNL is modeled after Humans of New York, which is now a famous blog about people in New York and a quote about that person’s life. Megan says that people can get involved by, “following one of our large projects, Humans of UNL on Instagram and find them on Twitter by searching, @UNLSMILE. Also, if someone were to do something nice or positive, we want to hear about it, tag us by using #UNLSMILE on any social media platform.”

UNL Smile has achieved a lot what they want to do on campus. The club handed out hot chocolate on a cold Tuesday and offered hugs. Plus they had a pillow fight at the Union to help relieve stress.

“Our motto is, ‘Make Today Great!’ and if we accomplished making people smile, and somebody’s day great with our positivity, then this dream has been a success,” VanLaningham said.

Someday, Derek and Brock hope to expand the idea of UNL Smile to other universities around the nation, and they eventually would like a television documentary to be made about the club which would spread the cheer all over the nation.

“By the time this article runs in The Odyssey, we will have had our Valentine’s Day Event,” VanLaningham revealed. 

He says that UNL Smile doesn’t want to release too many details, but he, “hopes it will be a surprise to a couple thousand UNL students.”


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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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