Spreading kindness across campus, one baked good at a time

Spreading kindness across campus, one baked good at a time

February 14, 2014


Sebastian Gorlewski and Michelle Kennedy, both dons in
Watts Hall, worked with rector-elect Mike Young to distribute
baked goods to staff and students at Queen's.

By Rosie Hales, Communications Officer

Three students brightened the days of members of the Queen’s community by distributing baked goods across campus.

The deed was carried out as part of a “raknomination,”  a nomination for a person to do a random act of kindness (rak). Raknominations were developed in response to the viral drinking game “neknomination,” which involves quickly consuming alcohol, posting the video to Facebook or Twitter and nominating someone else to do the same.

Michelle Kennedy (Nurs’15) and Sebastian Gorlewski (ArtSci'14), dons in Watts Hall, and rector-elect Mike Young (ConEd'15) have joined many others across Queen’s campus making it their goal to complete a random act of kindness after a nomination.

The trio spent an evening baking treats and making notes with positive messages or quotes for staff and first-year students. The next day, they dropped off the treats and notes to different places on campus, such as Queen’s First Aid, Campus Security and the Peer Support Centre.

Their random acts of kindness were caught on film and were accompanied by smiles and hugs from grateful, and pleasantly surprised, recipients.

“Mike, Sebastian and I saw a huge trend of neknominations on the Internet and we really wanted to address them because we didn’t like the peer pressure and excessive drinking that seems to surround them,” says Ms. Kennedy, a third-year Nursing student. “I’m happy that we’re starting to see so many random acts of kindness at Queen’s. It seems like they’ve really taken hold on campus in the last few days. I hope people keep it going all year long.”

Ms. Kennedy added that students on her residence floor in Watts have responded well to their raknominations and have already posted many photos and videos of their own random acts of kindness.

Health Promotion Co-Ordinator Kate Humphrys says raknominations are a great way to turn the viral neknomination trend into something positive.

“This video is a wonderful example of the critical role that students play in promoting health and well-being in our community,” says Ms. Humphrys. “I am so pleased to see these student leaders have recognized the link between alcohol misuse and mental well-being and have taken the initiative to address a concerning trend in a positive way.”

A link to the team’s video can be found here.