By Stephanie Clue 
BELLEVILLE – Students who have gone above and beyond in helping others had the chance to nominate each other for prizes, including a gift basket full of Loyalist goodies this week.
“We like to recognize people being kind to each other and doing supportive things for fellow students,” said Dawn Szolopiak, a student success mentor at the college.
Random Acts of Kindness Week  runs from Feb. 12 to 18 and celebrates the good in people and the connections made through kindness.
For the last four years Loyalist College  has been participating, and this year the school has events set up in the student success hub from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Thursday.
Kiosks called validation booths were set up above the SAL computer lab, where students can nominate their classmates.
“We have what we’re calling appreciation booths, where students can nominate each other for random acts, or for classmates they think have gone above and beyond,” Szolopiak said.
Students, who are nominated, have a to be entered into a draw for either a Tim Horton’s gift card or a dining hall gift card.
“We also have a guessing game set up, we’ve filled up a jar of jelly beans and cinnamon hearts. Whoever guesses the amount closest to what’s in the jar, get to keep either the jelly beans or cinnamon hearts,” she said.
Other events being out on by the college include a Food for Thought program, where students are asked to donate non-perishable food items. All donations received will be given to the Gleaners food bank. Anyone wearing red on Tuesday will get a small prize, and Valentine’s cards are being sold with treats inside of them, and all of the money goes back into the school to help students.
A random act of kindness doesn’t have to come from a stranger. It can come from a friend or someone you love.
“I’ve participated in Random Acts of Kindness week before and it was a lot of fun. I think it’s something that everyone should do more of in the world. One random act of kindness can turn someone’s day around, why be negative when you can make a positive change,” said Bethany Flood, a Loyalist College student.
Something that sticks out to Flood the most happened recently between her and boyfriend Parker.
“My favourite thing at the moment is the fact that we both surprised each other with ski trips for our birthdays,” Flood said. “He promised he would teach me to ski, and we’re both really excited.”
Being kind to one another isn’t just confined to one week of the year. There are many ways to show someone how much you care.
“Well, there are little things like holding the door and cooking each other dinner. But the biggest thing is showing each other our unconditional support and love, even when we aren’t particularly happy with one another,” said Flood. “I think this is one of the biggest acts of kindness you can do for someone.”