An average day at San Diego State is a bustling mini-city where students and staff are briskly walking to and from classes, either texting or on the phone as they remain in their bubble of solitude. Most people no longer take an extra moment to hold the door open for someone or go out of their way to help a fallen student.
Assistant Dean of Professional Studies and Fine Arts Randi McKenzie has created a university-wide campaign called “Be Civil Pass it On,” which encourages a supportive culture of caring.
The movement’s simple goal is for students, faculty and staff be more kind to each other. SDSU is considered a very “green” and environmentally friendly campus, but McKenzie wants to stress the necessity for kindness not only to the earth, but also to each other.
Currently there are 6,000 green “Pass it On” bracelets in circulation on and around campus. If you have a bracelet and you see someone partake in an act of kindness, you simply give that person your bracelet.
Each bracelet is individually numbered and there is a Facebook page called “SDSU Be Civil Pass it On” where one can follow their bracelet’s number.
“My guardian angel is Alisa. She found my lost day planner, contacted me and returned it. I passed on my bracelet to her,” read a Facebook comment.
All artwork and design were created by two recently graduated art students, Michael Vecchio and Mikayla Tavernese. Both of these students worked closely with Mckenzie the past year to finalize the finished product for the design of posters, fliers and bracelets.
According to McKenzie, Associated Students, Residential Life and the Aztec Recreation Center have been major enthusiasts to the Pass it On Campaign. Although these organizations have been handing out flyers and bracelets, McKenzie encourages others to step in and support the cause.
“When campus is nicer and a little kinder, it’s a happier place,” McKenzie said. “If we look out for each other, we will look out for our campus, and could decrease things like vandalism.”
McKenzie and SDSU’s Civil Core truly believe in the benefits of this campaign. McKenzie has invested $8,000 of her own money to the effort and is not seeking any type of reimbursement.
The movement hopes to promote people to go out and look beyond their two feet and actually care for one another.
“Civility is quiet and gentle and it slowly becomes part of the culture,” said McKenzie.