Editor in Chief
Hey. Hey there. You. Yes, you. Hi.
It is a tradition unlike any other at Springfield College, but saying “hey” to people around campus is something that Nicole Madera and Brianna Collins feel could use some work. The age-old tradition is passed along to each incoming freshman class during New Student Orientation, yet there are more heads buried in cell phones or just staring at the ground every year.
“Say Hey” Day, which will be taking place on Saturday, April 26, is an event that strives to pick those heads up and renew the friendly vibe that is so crucial to the campus of Springfield College.
“It’s tradition for this campus to be super friendly and for people just to say hi to each other,” said Madera, who serves as the president of Students Against Violence Everywhere.
Springfield’s tradition of saying “hey” has had to battle with the likes of an increasingly closed-off world, where people are more likely to communicate via Snapchat, texting or Facebook rather than through one-on-one conversation. It is now easier for an individual to open up with complete strangers on the Internet via apps like Tinder than in person.
In fact, Tinder is a perfect snapshot of the modern world. On http://www.gotinder.com, the popular app’s slogan reads, “Tinder is how to meet people. It’s like real life, but better.” Scarily enough, that sentiment is being proven true.
Madera, Collins and the rest of SAVE believe that Springfield is a place where this trend can be reversed, however. They are trying to bring back what for many has not necessarily been lost, but simply misplaced.
“We want to give people the confidence to say, ‘Hi’ to people that they don’t know,” said Collins, vice president of SAVE. “I think it promotes a positive sense of community on campus.”
To encourage students, faculty and staff to engage with each other in simple conversation or greetings, SAVE will be handing out free souvenirs to promote the day from 10-4 p.m. at a booth near the James Naismith statue outside the entrance to the Richard B. Flynn Campus Union. Handouts will include sunglasses, wristbands, water bottles, stickers, fake tattoos and perhaps most importantly, nametags.
The nametags are just one more tool for making it easier for people to communicate on campus. Instead of just saying a generic hey (which is still more than appreciated), the nametags will make greeting someone a little more personal by attaching a name to a face.
“Say Hey” Day was first started by Springfield College alum Nadia Stefanik a few years ago, but has died down recently. Madera and Collins felt that it was important to bring back because the tradition of saying hey to people on campus is one of the elements that makes Springfield College unique. As Madera said, “this year we want it to be everywhere.” All it will take for a successful rejuvenation of the day is a single word – “hey.”
“Hi” would work just as well.