A display was set up on a short table detailing their ethos. Flyers were handed out to advertise upcoming events. The staff was friendly and ready to help participants make a button. This was “Pay It Forward,” an event held by the Women’s Center last Tuesday, Jan. 21 in the Student Union Atrium.
Created by student Dan Morgan last fall, the goal of the project is to “create an avalanche of goodwill and positivity on campus by encouraging small, random acts of kindness,” said Kate Steven, programming coordinator at the Women’s Center. Students are able to add their proposed acts of kindness (such as “volunteer for an advocacy group” or “speak up when homophobic remarks are made,” in addition to their own personal ideas) to a whiteboard for all passersby to see, and then create a button they can wear exhibiting the same message.
“Last semester we did this on the Quad, and we’ll probably do it again when it gets warmer,” said Steven. “It had a pretty good response out on the Quad. About 10 or so students have stopped by today to create a button or write on the whiteboard (so far).” And this is only the first hour of the event.
Asked what they do to pay it forward, “I think about it a little bit every day. I find it a lot when I’m watching television or a movie with my friends, and something weird happens,” said Steven. “(For example), in the movie, someone makes a rape joke, and I say, ‘Oh, did you notice that?’ or ‘What did you see here?’ Starting those conversations with friends and family is something I know I can do (to pay it forward).”
“I think of little things like holding a door open for somebody or noticing someone’s meter is about to run out, and I have a quarter in my pocket. It’s not necessarily needing to use this big, grand gesture (of kindness), but it’s something else that can make a really big difference in another person’s day,” Megyn Rodriguez, outreach coordinator said.
But how does one get involved with coming up with cool programs like this? “Students are constantly thinking of ways to create programs for other students, and the Women’s Center has those resources,” Rodriguez said.
“As Program Coordinator, I help students create the programs. We have a list of programs coming up that are all student-led,” said Steven.
“Yes, and not only are we putting on events, we have a number of volunteer opportunities, too,” said Rodriguez.
To find out more about the Women’s Center and upcoming events, visit them on the second floor of the SUB or visit womenscenter.boisestate.edu.