By Dan Flahive
SGA held its Week of Kindness from Nov. 9 – 13. The events sponsored during the week were intended to spread kindness and strengthen the FSU community, according to SGA’s Social Events Coordinator Jack Capello.
The idea was proposed by Claire Ostrander, the director of Student Involvement and Leadership Development (SILD), said Capello. He added he does some work over the summer thinking of ideas for the week, but generally, it is a two-month planning process.
The Week of Kindness consisted of many events around campus, including Sodexo workers passing out free coffee, a donation table for Wounded Warriors which raised roughly $260 in honor of Darius Theriault (a student who passed away during the summer), and an interactive event which allowed students to draw whatever they would like in a heart in the McCarthy Center Lobby.
The events were sponsored by many different clubs, including the Community Service Club and SGA.
FSU is one of the only schools in the area which has the Week of Kindness, according to Capello. “It’s outreached to a lot of local high schools and elementary schools. Our [SGA] President Dan Costello just went out today to go talk about the Week of Kindness and about how we can spread it.”
Costello said he visited Dover-Sherborn Regional Middle School and talked to the students about what is done for the Week of Kindness at FSU and why it is important to be kind to everyone.
Capello is given a budget of around $6,500, but the full amount is not used, he said. This year, he estimated spending about $4,000, which mostly was allocated to the Kindness Celebration Carnival on Friday, Nov. 13.
Free shirts, popcorn, cotton candy and stuffed animals were given away at the Carnival being a fun way to end the week, according to Capello.
Capello added that the week is planned after Homecoming and before Thanksgiving so more students can be involved in it, and also because SGA is able to utilize Veterans Day to go around campus all day handing out refreshments and kind notes.
Junior Michaela Parkman said, “FSU’s Week of Kindness helps support my candy addiction. I end more sweets scattered around McCarthy than necessary, and I love it.”
Sophomore Marquis Sims said, “I feel really connected with the campus seeing everyone with matching shirts. It makes it feel more like a family than anything.”
Capello added the week is really about bringing the FSU community together. “We’re just trying to get people to come together, to make new friends, all that fun stuff,” Capello said. “It just shows we’re a very progressive school, that we’re here to give back to our students and we go out of our way to get this place feeling like a community.”
The Memorial Grove Ceremony was held on Thursday, Nov. 12 during the Week of Kindness. The Memorial Grove is located next to Larned Hall, and is intended to be a place for remembrance for students, faculty and staff who have passed away.
At the ceremony, President F. Javier Cevallos said, “I think it is very important for a university to have a place for memory – a place to keep our memories of our students and our people.”
SGA President Dan Costello said, “It is important to us that we reflect in order to keep alive the memories of our past classmates and friends, so they may forever be a part of Framingham State.”
He added, “There is great solace in knowing that this space exists to aid, guide and strengthen the FSU Community.”
Dean of Students Melinda Stoops said it is now possible for anyone to buy a brick at The Memorial Grove in memory of students or faculty members who have passed away.
The ceremony also consisted of the reinterring of Asako Mazawa’s ashes. Mazawa was a student who passed away in 1997. There was a memorial garden dedicated to her before construction began on the new Hemenway Labs. Due to the construction, her ashes and memorial garden were temporarily relocated.
When asked about what goes into the planning of the Week of Kindness, Capello said, “A lot of hard work, a little bit of crying and long nights at the office. But it really is worth it at the end of the week when you see everyone who has been touched by it.”