Deborah Barany Photograph


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Beautification of Hamilton

February 21, 2010   One otherwise normal Wednesday morning, I walked through the KJ atrium and was greeted to a wonderful awakening: streamers lining the railings, candy and tablecloths on the tables, post-it notes on the walls, balloons in the (at the moment waterless) water feature.  Overhanging the balcony were signs saying things like "Spread the Love" and "Have You Told Your Friends How Much They Mean to You?" 

Over in the Science Center atrium, a similar beautification project had taken place.  There, the trees inside (yes, there are trees in in the Science Center) were transformed into "Dream Trees" where you could write any thoughts or wishes for the future on a note card and put it in the tree.  Everyone on campus took notice, many people participated in writing on the note cards/post-it notes, and whether they admitted or not, everyone just seemed a little more cheerful.

Fortunately, I was privy to the secret email sent out the night before and knew a little bit about what was going on.  It truly was a group of "random students" trying to spread joy and foster an "appreciation and authentic connection on the hill." 

Had I not had a long week of tests ahead of me, I would have been there at 7 am to help set-up all the balloons and signs and loveliness.  Nevertheless, it was simply refreshing to see people getting together to do something positive just for the sake of doing something positive.  The event was not meant to be an isolated occurrence, but rather a rebirth of random acts of kindness on campus.  Call it corny, hippie, whatever, but it sure brightened my day.

On a separate, unrelated note, I saw three deer prancing around outside my suite common room the other day.  It was a sight to see, no beautification required.