Since November 2010, SGA, alongside other Marist clubs and organizations, has been spreading the message of civility across campus and throughout the community. You may have seen some of the events around campus in the last few weeks as part of February’s “love your neighbor” theme.
Class of 2014 president Deborah Akinwunmi is at the head of SGA’s contribution to this campaign. “Earlier in the month we did the flower sales for Valentines Day. Following that we did the Free Hugs equals Free Lollipops campaign and now are beginning the love wall,” she said. “The love wall is open to anyone to write a message of love or appreciation to another student, a faculty member, an administrator, or anyone really on a post-it note and stick it on the wall.”
This is all in an effort to make Marist a “nicer” place to go to school, according to former student body president Matthew Lubrano, under whose administration the campaign started.
Recall that back in the fall of 2010, cyberbullying was in the headlines after Rutgers student Tyler Clementi committed suicide due to an online video posted by his roommate. Not long after this incident, Marist kicked off its civility campaign with a candelight vigil held in the student center rotunda as a tribute not only to Clementi, but to all victims of this type of behavior and a call was made for spreading kindness.
“Whether it’s not cleaning up your plate in the dining hall, belittling or degrading a classmate or co-worker, or even arguing with a security officer over a minute issue, there are times when respect levels just aren’t where they need to be,” Lubrano said. “My goals for the program were to replace these rude and obnoxious behaviors with friendlier ones. I wanted to improve the tone around campus.”
The effort has spread beyond the Marist campus boundaries and into the community. Today, members of SGA and various other clubs will be heading to the Lunchbox soup kitchen in Poughkeepsie to volunteer as well as to donate clothing and toiletries they have collected in recent weeks.
Other clubs and organizations that are involved in these events include MCCTA, Kappa Lambda Psi, Asian Alliance, Teachers of Tomorrow, Dance Ensemble, and Theta Delta Chi.
If you or your group are interested in participating in this campaign, SGA is interested in helping out. (Phone extension is x2206)