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Rocks spread kindness on campus

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Jacob Barriga
Staff Writer

The Kindness Rock Project which began in 2015, is a movement in which people paint inspirational messages on small rocks for other people to see. Megan Murphy – a women’s empowerment coach, business mentor and meditation instructor – started the project when she left a message on a rock on a beach in Cape Cod, and the movement has since gone global.

The global movement has now reached the University of La Verne.

In front of the entrance of the Lewis Center, the psychology department has provided the University of La Verne community with their own version of the rocks.
Anybody can walk by and grab a rock if they find one that speaks to them.

The intention is to bring joy and encouragement to those that need it.

Chris Calzada, senior psychology major, started the project here and said he is excited about this new opportunity for the University.

“There was a lot of unfortunate incidents happening on this campus and I just wanted something to bring some people together and to make somebody’s day better,” Calzada said.
Calzada first saw this project in action at his job at Western University of Health Sciences in Pomona.

Because he saw it have a huge impact there, he wanted to bring it to La Verne.

The process of getting this started at the University took about a year, Calzada said.

Calzada said he eventually got the green light and approval from University President Devorah Lieberman.

The project finally debuted with the opening of the Lewis Center, and it has been a popular attraction since.

“People have been taking them, we have to keep up with replenishing them. Not just students have been using them as I have had faculty members and other workers around campus tell me that they have them on their desk and it makes me excited to hear that,” Calzada said.

Psi Chi International Honor Society has been involved in the startup of this event and most of the members in the society have been involved in the painting and other jobs that helps makes this project come to life.

Victoria Garcia, senior psychology major, is excited about the direction this project is going.

“We ran out of rocks really fast but we were happy for that. Now we would really love for this to expand beyond the psychology club,” Garcia said. “We are looking to have painting days at the fitness center that would be open to anybody in the near future.”

Alexa Withers, senior psychology major, believes that the power of giving back is the most important part in this movement.

“(It) is about kindness and paying it forward by spreading kindness and positivity in our community,” Withers said. “Such a small act of kindness can go a long way in having an impact on someone’s life and this project is not only spreading kindness in our community but it also helps make a stronger connection between our community members and brings us closer together.”

The messages on these rocks are intended to brighten someone’s mood. Some messages are simple: they say “relax” or “it’s OK.”

Most messages are inspirational such as:“You will not regret being kind,” or “Prove them wrong.”

There are even some puns like “Be a little boulder,” just to make someone crack a smile.

DeJuanet Scott, senior psychology major, believes that this movement will continue to have a lasting impact in the ULV community for years to come.

“These messages speak to people. They provide that motivation and inspiration that they may need,” Scott said.

“It is special because there are not a lot of schools doing this and it is things like this.”

These rocks are available for anybody to use and keep as their own.

The psychology department will look to complete more paintings next semester, and to get more students and faculty involved.

Jacob Barriga can be reached at jacob.barriga@laverne.edu.

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