This Week at MIT: Random Acts of Kindness

by Julie Barr on March 28, 2016 · 1 comment

in Campus, Campus Culture, Events, Student Life


Founding planners of RAK Week, Bettina Arkhurst (left) and Cory Johnson (right), with volunteer graphic designer Daniel Sanchez (center). Photo: Barbara Lipohar Staples.

If you’ve ever been on the receiving end of a kind act, you know that the impact is immeasurable. Many actions—a compliment, a card in the mail, a hug, a quarter in an expired meter, paying the toll for the car behind you—have the potential to transform someone’s day. With students returning from spring break today, what better way to ease back into campus life than with MIT’s very own Random Acts of Kindness (RAK) Week?

RAKWeekRAK Week, March 28–April 1, is a chance to connect members of the MIT community through simple acts of kindness. The founding planners, Bettina Arkhurst ’18 and Cory Johnson ’18, made this week possible thanks to a team of fellow kindness advocates and funding from the MindHandHeart Innovation Fund, offices of Minority Education and Dean for Graduate Education, and the Baker Foundation.

“RAK Week celebrates the strength, creativity, and compassion of the MIT community,” Chancellor Cynthia Barnhart told MIT News. “I am proud of the students behind this effort for focusing on coming together and giving back during what can be a particularly stressful period in the semester.”


Furry First Friday will be happening at Hayden Library as part of RAK Week.

Special events are planned by many departments around the Institute, like Student Support Services (S-Cubed), MIT Medical, and MIT Libraries—with activities like Furry First Fridays (dog therapy program) and cookie decorating. The scheduled events offer daily opportunities to help rally people around the theme of the week, but also to encourage students to change their routines and take time to carry out random acts of kindness.

Be sure to use #MITRAK to share acts of kindness on campus on social media and tag @mindhandheart.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Alan Friot March 28, 2016 at 8:07 am

The 1st time it happened to me was a couple of years ago in a Dunkin Donuts line. I arrived at the window to pay for and pick-up my coffee and they said it was paid for by the person ahead of me (who I did not know). It was quite shocking and pleasant to me! It has happen a couple of other times since then. I too have done it but I don’t keep score. I find it is a pleasant experience from either end.


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