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EDITORIAL: Kindness is a key component of campus climate

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Illustration by Rob Gebelhoff/robert.gebelhoff@marquette.edu

You race out of your building, running late for class. Your hair is a mess, you still have assignments due before the end of the day and have work tonight. These are the markings of a bad day lurking ahead. You continue walking to class with a furrowed brow and your head down.

As you approach the crosswalk to the academic buildings, you glance at the time and realize you’re about to be tardy … for the third time already this semester.

Could things get any worse?” you think to yourself. It seems as if the world is against you.

Until a car stops and waves you on.

Wow, that was nice,” you think.

You get to Cramer Hall and a classmate opens the door for you.

Thank you,” you say.

You sprint into the classroom right as the clock hits time, and instead of a frown from your professor, you are greeted with a “How are you?”

Maybe you were wrong. Maybe today will be a great day.

At Marquette these events have the power to change someone’s attitude and promote a positive and caring community. We believe kind acts on campus are an important aspect of Marquette’s culture that we often take for granted.

We believe not every college campus, or every community for that matter, has as many random acts of kindness as Marquette. This positive atmosphere is often not very noticeable, but its subtlety has a far reach into all campus life.

The Midwest is known for its cheery disposition and polite attitude. Marquette is no exception, and we think the student body is a great example of Midwestern kindness, even though many members of its student body come from other areas of the country and world.

Now that we are a month into the school year, we are set in our schedules and know more of our classmates. We encourage our readers to value these relationships and take it upon themselves to brighten someone else’s day. A simple act such as complimenting a friend or having a conversation with the stranger in line next to you at Walgreens can change someone’s entire day.

These positive interactions can cause a chain reaction. One good deed leads to another.

As we approach midterms and stay busy with school, it is important to acknowledge the benefits of a happy campus. Don’t take out your frustrations on others. Find a release for your stress and focus on helping other members of the Marquette community. When we surround ourselves with positives, we are more likely to be happy, and happiness has many proven benefits.

In a study published by the American Psychological Association entitled “The Benefits of Frequent Positive Affect: Does Happiness Lead to Success?”, three university professors examined individuals defined as “successful” and studied their dispositions.

They found that happiness and a positive attitude can yield greater success in life.

In this article, we reviewed cross-sectional, longitudinal and experimental data showing that happy individuals are more likely than their less-happy peers to have fulfilling marriages and relationships, high incomes, superior work performance, community involvement, robust health and a long life,” they reported.

Apparently we’re not the only people who think your happiness is important. So do your best to have a positive effect on those around you, and do what you can to stay happy. It can lead to a healthier life mentally, emotionally and physically.

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