UPEI students start nice nominations campaign
© Guardian photo by Heather Taweel
UPEI students Jeremey Lamothe, left, Harlem Norg, Brady Sheehy, and Aaron Patton are encouraging fellow students to do good deeds through a Facebook site called #nicenominations.
Many UPEI students are snubbing a potentially dangerous drinking game by turning to a good deed campaign.
Aaron Patton, a second-year chemistry student, is lashing back at a game that has spread around the world on sites like Facebook. The game, called neknominations, involves people posting videos where they chug a beer or other types of liquor in unusual settings and nominate two others to do the same.
Patton, 20, needed to first be shown the error of his video-taped drinking ways before shifting to a more admirable course of action.
Jean Thompson, a residence life coordinator with Residence Services, was concerned to learn that Patton, who she describes as being “a strong leader with lots of friends’’, was using his influence in a bad way.
Thompson says she chatted with Patton, making the student realize the potential negative consequences of the neknominations video that he had posted.
“My concerns stemmed first from the fact that we had some students participating in what could have been a binge drinking competition,’’ she says.
Patton took the concern to heart.
Realizing “how stupid it was’’, he took his video down. A couple friends took down their neknomination videos as well.
Now Patton and friends Brady Sheehy, Jeremy Lamothe, and Harlem Norg are promoting #nicenominations.
They created a FaceBook site Wednesday night that encourages people to record a good deed on video and nominate two others to pay it forward by also doing something nice.
The campaign has been quick to catch on with students. Already some 750 have committed to taking part in #nicenominations.
Videos are up on the site capturing students bringing cheer to strangers by passing out flowers, gift certificates and hugs among other good deeds. T-shirts emblazoned with the nice nomination sentiment are even going on sale in the campus book store.
Patton says he has been pleasantly surprised with the success of the campaign that has driven home to him and his friends how spreading goodwill is far more productive than encouraging foolish - and potentially dangerous - behavior.
“It kind of opened our eyes,’’ he says.
Lamothe had already been given a strong illustration of just how bad this social trend can go when his friend in Ontario had to be rushed to hospital after passing out when taking part in a neknomination.
Thompson lauds Patton and his friends for spearheading #nicenominations.
“Oh I think across campus it has already taken off...there is quite a bit of excitement,’’ she says.
“I’m really proud of them. They are really great guys.’’