Spreading good cheer, rather than beer

Jim Day
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UPEI students start nice nominations campaign

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.’’


Organizations: Residence Services

Geographic location: Ontario

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Recent comments

  • Wendy
    February 10, 2014 - 11:30

    THANK YOU! When I saw a video of my nephew on Facebook doing the beer I was very upset. I am very proud of you young men and I hope to help in spreading the word . My niece is a don at a university in Ontario and I am sending her your article and one to my nephew also. They are both great kids or I should say ADULTS and have done lots of volunteer work with habitat for humanity etc. But peer pressure is very powerfull. Good luck and God bless all of you.

  • Bob Suoivbo
    February 09, 2014 - 21:12

    Chugging one beer isn't going to kill anyone. I don't know why so many people are freaking out about nothing.

    • skeptic
      February 10, 2014 - 10:58

      You think "chugging beer isn't going to kill anyone"? Well yes it certainly can when overconsumed like this! Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant. Over-consumption like this can cause respiratory failure, meaning you can't breathe. Without oxygen, your heart and brain cease to function. When that happens, we call you Dead. I have seen this happen to numerous teens over the years and it's a totally senseless way to die. I'm proud these fellows had the good sense to turn this into something so positive. Kudos.

    • Bob Suoivbo
      February 10, 2014 - 22:08

      You seem to lack reading comprehension skeptic. I said ONE beer. Obviously chugging beer until you're organs are overburdened and dying isn't a great idea. I think it's great that people are doing nice things instead of drinking beer, but let's not take things out of context. Quoting something that wasn't said isn't very smart either. Cheers.

  • Proud islander
    February 09, 2014 - 17:26

    Now THIS is a story from PEI that I would be proud to see go national!! You're giving PEI young people a good name! Way to go!!

  • Made my day
    February 08, 2014 - 19:18

    This story made my day. Thank you for printing good news stories. I think nicenominations will take off.

  • ME TOO
    February 08, 2014 - 17:30

    Me too, "I am really proud of them. They are really great guys." They are smart and caring toward their friends and peers. Young people are the very best, selfless and growing in Wisdom.