V.A.L.U.E.S. team ‘Pays it Forward’

Tayler Critchlow

The Georgia Southern University V.A.L.U.E.S. team is beginning a new campaign to spread awareness about what they stand for and to reward selfless, kind acts done by students and faculty.

From now until the end of the semester, whenever a member of the V.A.L.U.E.S team witnesses a kind act performed that symbolizes what V.A.L.U.E.S. stands for, the team member will give the do-gooder a silicon bracelet, similar to the popular Livestrong bracelets, imprinted with “Eagles Sharing Values.”

V.A.L.U.E.S. is a motto that is mentioned during the SOAR session and stands for voices, accountability, lasting traditions, unity, ethical behavior and scholarship.

Students would be rewarded for acts done not because people are watching, a selfless act, Julie Cantor, coordinator for Student Conduct and advisor for the V.A.L.U.E.S. Team, said.

If someone is walking down the pedestrian and drops all their books and papers, then if a person went out of their way to help them, that would be worthy of a bracelet, Cantor said.

The concept is “pay it forward.” Once a student has been rewarded with a bracelet, it becomes their job to pass it on to another student or faculty member who is caught doing a selfless act.

“V.A.L.U.E.S. is about ethical behavior on and off campus,” Shannon Snell, junior majoring in information technology, said. “We hand out the bracelets to encourage ethical behavior and being a good person.”

“I think it will be a fun thing for students to be a part of, even though we are already a friendly campus. I think it will promote small good deeds,” Meghan Madison, junior majoring in public relations, said.

The idea for V.A.L.U.E.S. was put into place two years ago due to the question posed by the Office of Student Conduct.

Issues that the team wanted to address to the campaign included what they wanted to incorporate into the community and how they can relate to what GSU stands for, Cantor said.

The V.A.L.U.E.S. Team consists of around 12 volunteers that applied for the position.

The entire idea for this campaign came from the V.A.L.U.E.S. students, Cantor said.

This project was started because the V.A.L.U.E.S. team was astounded by the number students who were getting into trouble so they wanted to try to get people excited to go out of their way to help, Snell said.

“It shows that students do care about others, and they want to start something that they entire community adopts,” Cantor said.

Snell said that the team chose the silicon bracelets because it would be something that everyone could wear.

Most students believe that the idea will go over well with the student body.

“Georgia Southern is a nice place already,” Khadijah Muhammad, sophomore biology major, said.

“This university has a positive affect on people, and people are generally happy and care about things like this,” Sarah Nicholson, freshman chemistry major, said.

“I think students will accept (the campaign), but they may have a hard time getting it rolling because it takes a lot of publicity to get the student body to want to participate in something that isn’t academic or sports oriented,” Kristin Love, freshman outdoor recreation major, said.

Snell said, “The main thing is that we are rewarding people for doing good things and to show that the deeds aren’t going unseen, and (the deeds) are worth doing.”