Smile, be happy, UofSC

Hayley Geis wants to make you smile. If she had her way, the freshman would have everyone on campus smiling. Something she wants to go viral on campus as she starts a Random Acts of Kindness organization.

Geis, a biology and Honors College student, began brainstorming ideas for making a difference at the University of South Carolina before she even arrived.

“When I was in high school, I used to write these goofy sticky notes with inspirational sayings and put them on people’s cars,” she says. “I wanted to bring that on a wider scale because I think random acts of kindness is the best way to change campus.” 

She started on a smaller scale with the Greek Village, organizing a week of events in February. Fraternity and sorority members wrote anonymous compliment cards that Geis redistributed to other houses within the village.

During the snow days on campus, Geis also handed out “pay it forward” cards at the Russell House, reminding students to do something small for someone else on campus.

“If people just pick their heads out of their cell phones and just acknowledge someone, it can change someone’s entire day,” she says.

Now she wants everyone on campus to smile.  Geis hopes to work through the steps to becoming an official student organization and getting all students to participate.

“I want to make it big,” she says. “I think the campus would be a lot happier. Random acts of kindness doesn’t just make others feel good, it makes you feel good while doing it.” 

The response so far as been heartening, she says, with interest growing. For now, though, Geis is continuing to encourage people to do random acts of kindness from the Greek Village to Capstone. You might even see a happy sticky note on a wall, door or bathroom mirror across campus.

“I really believe a smile can alter someone’s day,” she says. “I get personal fulfillment out of seeing people smile even if I’m not recognized for it. Watching people be happy, makes me happy.” 

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