U. groups inspire change on campus


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Photo by Tianfang Yu |

The Office of Student Involvement organized “Random Acts of

Changemaking” yesterday on the College Avenue campus. Student organizations handed out free gifts to students throughout the afternoon.


Receiving a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with a note that reads, “you live only once, if you do it right,” is not what students might experience everyday, said Saad Shamshair, a School of Arts and Sciences junior.

Rutgers Circle K spent yesterday handing out 108 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to students on the College Avenue campus as a part of Rutgers University Students Life’s event, Random Acts of Changemaking.

Random Acts of Changemaking was a part of the Changemakers Week that began on Monday.

Krista Kohlmann, assistant director for Student Involvement and Community Services, said the office granted $50 each to 10 student organizations on campus that they could use to perform a “random act of change making.”

Photo: Tianfang Yu

Ten student organizations performed random acts of changemaking at various locations on the College Avenue campus.

Students handed out flowers and sandwiches with inspirational notes and bought free coffee for strangers, Kohlmann said.

Shamshair, president of Rutgers Circle K, said their team spent all Sunday making the sandwiches and writing quotes and messages such as “you miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take” and “don’t worry, be happy.”

Inyoung Hwang, a member of the coed fraternity Alpha Phi Omega, gave free hugs, candies, pretzels and popcorn to students moving in and out of the Rutgers Student Center’s lobby.

“I would say 60 percent of the people who came were cooperative,” said Hwang, a School of Arts and Sciences junior. “Some got interested, while other people looked cold and sad.”

This was the second time Random Acts of Changemaking was held, Kohlmann said. The only difference apart from being concentrated on only the College Avenue campus was the increase in social media response.

“We moved to a only one campus this year so we could have a big impact in one place,” she said. “This time we have had students posting a lot of pictures and messages on social media.”

Rutgers Circle K team handed a peanut butter and jelly sandwich to a commuter, Shamshair said. She felt happy that they were saving commuter students money for lunch.

He said he liked the idea of distributing sandwiches every week like his friends do in other schools. At Rutgers, it is not a consistent event, but it would create a positive environment if it happened more often.

“I think it’s very encouraging — it creates a positive environment,” Shamshair said. “If it happened more consistently, it would boost morale and increase pride in the school.”

He said while most students were happy on getting the free sandwiches, even those who refused were thankful and polite.

Hwang said many appreciated the free candies and snacks they gave out. They also gave free hugs to two people.

“Well the weather is really cold, so free stuff might create like a little spark, a little change,” she said. “And you never know, it might make their day.”

Kohlmann said actions like these inspire positive reaction and are also fun because they are performed in a group.

“Ideally, we want students to think about how their actions can impact others,” she said. “Their actions would inspire others and have a chain reaction.”


By Vaishali Gauba

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