Students give back by giving thanks

November 30, 2009

As she penned her thoughts on one of the dozen finely decorated note cards she had just purchased, freshman Ashley Dwumfuor bubbled over with gratitude.

“This has been a hard semester,” she said. “Everyone who is getting one of these cards from me has been there to help me.”

Student organizers with the Asian Community Coalition said they recently self-designed cards for an effort they called Arigato Sensei – which is Japanese for “Thank you, Teacher” – to encourage students, faculty and staff across campus to think about those who have supported them and to extend a tangible note of thanks.

In the Asian culture, people are encouraged to openly express their gratitude and respectfulness toward their elders. Members of the Asian Community Coalition decided to take the week of Nov. 16 to make it easier for others on the Hill to give thanks to those in their lives whom they appreciate. Nearly 200 note cards graciously carried that gratefulness to recipients all over campus.

“We wanted to give students the chance to thank their sensei,” said sophomore Kim Trang. “And also for faculty to send notes of thanks to their co-workers.”

While some people delivered their own cards to their recipients, Trang said the group’s members hand-delivered dozens of the cards to faculty mailboxes.

Linda Semu, assistant professor of Sociology, beamed as she admired the card – daintily decorated with Asian icons drawn in ink – that landed in her mailbox one recent morning.

“It was quite a surprise,” Semu said. “I had just seen them and they didn’t say anything.”

Outside Englar Dining Hall – where ACC members were stationed with their cards, pens and origami that could be added to the cards for additional flair – Dwumfuor continued filling out cards for those on her lengthy list of recipients, who included professors and mentors.

“I’m doing this just to say ‘thank you’ because I can’t thank them enough,” she said.

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