Fraternity starts kindness week on campus

With the help of another brother, Davenport, Iowa, senior Anna Williams tapes plastic bags of change to parking meters. Williams is a brother in the co-ed honor fraternity Phi Sigma Pi. Members of the fraternity have been performing random acts of kindness as a week-long service to WKU.

Ella Burnside

On Oct. 22, Phi Sigma Pi launched its first Random Acts of Kindness week. Each member of the fraternity —which is based on a tripod of ideals that includes scholarship, leadership and fellowship — will do five random acts of kindness on campus.

Davenport, Iowa, senior Anna Williams, one of the brothers in the co-ed fraternity, said she found the idea on Pinterest. She and the other members thought it was something they could all do because it was an activity they could each do on their own time.

The fraternity members thought of several creative ways to do kind things for others, like buying coffee or using their meal plans to pay for the meal of the person behind them, returning lost ID cards to the owner’s dorm, and leaving change on parking meters and vending machines around campus.

When asked why they wanted to do this, Williams said kindness is contagious.

“Once you have the mindset of doing kind things, you’ll do kind things without thinking about it,” she said.

Hendersonville, Tenn., junior Chris Storath said he’s seen the kindness firsthand.

“One of our brothers was in class with a girl who spilled coffee, and he helped her clean it up,” Storath said.

The fraternity went to the Bowling Green Humane Society to walk the dogs and play with the animals at the end of September.

The 30-member Honors fraternity founded at WKU in 1995 describes itself as a service-oriented fraternity. The brothers have traveled to Joplin, Mo., five times to help with disaster relief and will travel to Indiana this November to help with more disaster relief for the communities affected by this year’s tornadoes.

Savannah, Ga., senior Jeff Cowart said the fraternity has a common belief.

“We all agree that it can be the small things that make the biggest difference,” Cowart said. “It can be really simple but for the person receiving it, (it) really could change their whole outlook on that day.”

The fraternity hopes as they continue this new tradition over the next few semesters that it will catch on among students and make WKU a more community-minded campus.