The University of New Mexico began its annual BeKind Week Monday, continuing a 16-year-old tradition involving more than 18 campus departments promoting kindness and goodwill.

Some groups involved this week include Student Health and Counseling and UNM Children’s Campus. A teddy bear drive, Cuddle a Canine and other events will happen throughout the week.

“Kindness means helping each other out. Being a community that supports each other and in this time and age where people need positive reinforcement in trying to be proactive each and every day to help someone out,” said Kimmerly Kloeppel, Ph.D., chair of the BeKind team.

This year, BeKind’s theme is about safety.

“This year we’re talking about…how important it is to help each other before an incident happens and after an incident happens — it’s just keeping your eyes wide open and offering support to people who have been in an incident,” she said.

Kloeppel said the University community is kind “for the most part” and that there are many good people, but she wants to keep kindness in the public eye.

“It’s important to always reinforce it and remind people each and every day…you can do random acts of kindness — opening the door or just helping someone out,” she said.

Kloeppel said she hopes she affects at least 2,000 students this week by making them more kind-conscientious.

Josh Hindera, a junior studying nuclear engineering, said he feels indifferent about kindness on campus.

“(Campus) is a place for school and to get stuff done,” he said. “I don’t really care if people are kind or not. We should just do our stuff and go home.”

Kailey Fragua, a sophomore studying nursing, said BeKind Week is important.

“It’s important to remind people that it’s good to be nice,” she said.

Fragua said she wants to see events like this more frequently.

“I hope (kindness) is contagious and other people…see others doing it, so they’ll want to do it too,” she said. “I hope it spreads.”

Anthony Jackson is a freelance reporter for the Daily Lobo. He can be contacted at or on Twitter @TonyAnjackson.