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Best of OSU: Boo Radley Society wins best student organization

Members of the Boo Radley pose for a photo with Dr. Javaune Adams-Gaston at an event at Easton Town Center. Courtesy of Cassie Smith.

Devoted to random acts of kindness since its inception, the Boo Radley Society at Ohio State works to bring smiles to the faces of students across campus.

“I wanted to join this organization because I saw its mission of spreading kindness to other people as something that I feel the world really needs,” said Cassie Smith, president of the Boo Radley Society and a fourth-year in communication.  

The group is named after the character in Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird,” who is originally viewed as a horrible person, but is later revealed to actually be behind the random acts of kindness seen throughout the novel.

Since the group’s creation five years ago, Boo Radley has planned more than 30 random acts of kindness around the campus community each semester. On an individual basis, Smith said group members strive to bring happiness to students who might be struggling with the everyday stressors of life and college.

“There’s some times where you get so consumed with studying and stress that you forget to enjoy the moments of life,” she said. “I feel like Boo Radley is a really awesome opportunity where we can use candy or high-fives or really simple stuff to have a really meaningful impact on somebody’s day.”

Members celebrate getting through a week of classes with high-five Friday, where they greet students on The Oval with high-fives.

This year Boo Radley collaborated with the men’s glee club for “Chivalry is Not Dead Day,” an entire day dedicated to courteous acts of handing out flowers and singing to students on The Oval.

The group’s acts of kindness aren’t limited to special events. During finals each semester, group members pass out candy and notes across campus to help encourage students throughout the week.

Ali Little, a second-year in dental hygiene, said the best part of being in the group is sharing positivity and kindness with others.

“I think it makes campus a better place if we have a more positive vibe,” she said. “I know how important it is for a lot of people for one person to say hi to them or give them a smile.”

Smith said the Boo Radley Society firmly believes that the simplest gestures of kindness can generate a big impact on a community and in turn make the world a better place. The organization hopes that its acts of positivity encourage others to do the same.

“This mission of kindness is truly applicable in any facet of campus regardless of whether you’re a student, a teacher, faculty, or staff member,” Smith said.

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