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Ohio State club sets out to prove ‘chivalry is not dead’

Courtesy of The Boo Radley Society

Chivalry is not dead at Ohio State, and one club on campus set out to prove it on Thursday.

Founded at OSU Spring Quarter, The Boo Radley Society has dubbed itself the “random acts of kindness club.”

The club hosted 12 events of random acts of kindness in its first quarter at OSU, and grew from five original members to 71 members as of Thursday. Events ranged from handing out free frozen treats on the Oval to chalking sidewalks with positive messages.

On Thursday, the club hosted Chivalry Is Not Dead Day, an event in which the club’s members handed out 400 paper flowers on the Oval, held doors open at the Ohio Union, and pulled out chairs for people at the Union Market from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Adam Battle, a first-year in physics and astronomy, said the club is different than anyone else out on the Oval.

“We don’t expect anything in return,” Battle said. “We don’t want you to make a phone call or sign a petition, the only thing we expect is for you to have a good day.”

Some students, like Leeza Filonenko, a second-year in English and marketing, found the Boo Radley Society to be a pleasant surprise.

“When I saw the group (on the Oval), I was hesitant, because you never know what it’s going to be, if it would be political or something I’d want to avoid on the way to class,” Filonenko said. “But this was a nice surprise, especially because nothing is attached.”

The club made about 400 flowers out of pipe cleaners and tissue paper, and handed them out on the Oval until they ran out around 1:30 p.m. on Thursday.

Filonenko said she thought the flowers were pretty and brightened her day.

The group did hit a snag at one of their planned locations for the event, however.

The members originally planned to open doors and pull out chairs for customers at Mirror Lake Creamery and Grill, but were asked to leave by a manager due to a failure in communication.

A manager at Mirror Lake Creamery said they are required by the university to receive advanced notice before any events take place there, although if they do receive the notice, they are not likely to say no.

Founder and president of The Boo Radley Society Marygrace Ashdown, a second-year in business marketing, said she didn’t talk to a manager before planning the event to take place there and next time she will make sure everyone knows what the group is trying to do.

Despite this, Ashdown said she thinks the club has been very successful for its first quarter in existence at OSU and she is proud of the event.

“Everyone we talked to or gave flowers to was really receptive,” Ashdown said. “It was a big hit.”

Ashdown cited the club’s success to having “so many creative people, great ideas and really compassionate people who are enthusiastic about being kind.”

Battle said he joined the club because of this message of compassion and kindness.

“I thought it was cool to do random acts of kindness solely to brighten people’s days,” Battle said. “We don’t expect to get anything back except to make people happy.”

Ashdown said she is proud of the club and excited for the future.

“I would say that we’ve really hit the ground running and I’m so looking forward to next year,” Ashdown said. “I want to be a huge organization on campus, and I want to be really well-known, so I think we’re on our way.”


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