By Lauren Offner

It’s a concept our families have engraved in our minds since we were children: kindness. But in today’s world, it’s a value that can be hard to find on a daily basis. People are so focused on their careers, money and personal issues that we tend to forget our fellow man and their own struggles. We easily forget concerns outside of our own bubbles and forget to perform small acts of kindness that can change someone’s day. However, the University of Wisconsin–Stout’s Ally Initiatives is doing something to change this mindset.

“It can be something like picking your friend up when it’s a crappy day out so they don’t have to walk,” says Ally Initiative junior Shelby Schuppe.

Ally Initiatives and the Stout Student Association are organizing a campaign to improve the overall impression of UW–Stout to students and visitors alike.

“We’re starting to develop it around the campus style,” said Schuppe. “We’re starting out by just taking pictures of people doing small acts of kindness, it could be just picking up someone’s pencil or holding the door for them. Next year we’re going to develop into the service opportunity side of campus and encourage volunteering, getting out in the community and helping community members. We’re starting out with a very small scale of it and then building it up.”

For now, the focus is to initiate small acts of kindness at least once a day to improve people’s outlook of UW–Stout. Ally Initiatives also plans on taking the photographs and turning them into a banner that will be visible to students every year as they move about the Memorial Student Center.

“UW–Stout right now is very career focused,” said Schuppe. “We’re trying to build it up to be volunteer focused. We are encouraging out-of-classroom service to others and civic responsibility.”

Students are encouraged to find lists of service opportunities by logging onto OrgSync or contacting Ally Initiatives with different ideas and opinions on ways to improve the campus and Menomonie community.

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