OGDEN — Students at Weber State University are partnering with Ogden on a campaign to make the world a better place.
Each year the students take on a cause or topic of public concern and promote the idea with various events and activities. This year's theme: civility.
"It kind of seemed to fit for the upcoming year," said Civility Quest organizer Teresa Martinez. "Not necessarily what was happening in the political arena, but more because we're noticing behaviors that needed to be introduced again."
Over the past few months, lawn signs have been placed throughout the campus with encouraging messages promoting kindness and good behavior.
Friday, in a steady rain, students gathered to kick off the next phase of the campaign called "Civility Quest," that will now spread the message off campus as well. They handed out Civility Quest cards to fellow students, spreading messages that they hope will make us all better people.
Each card — available in both English and Spanish — will have a challenge designed to encourage the participant to get involved with the people, animals and environment around them, according to a press release.
"This one says, 'Leave a kind positive note for someone to find later,'" Martinez explained. "That could be at a restaurant. This could be for a teacher. This could be for a friend or for a random person."
The series of 20 cards include Civility Quest challenges such as picking up litter, going 24 hours without complaining, planting flowers at home or in a community garden, visiting local businesses and nonprofits, lending a helping hand to someone in need and appreciating silence in a community area. Challenges can be completed alone or with a group.
Participants in the challenge can collect and complete Civility Quest Challenge cards from local businesses around Ogden, download them online from weber.edu/ccel/civilityquest.html, or follow @wsuccel on social media for daily updates.
"It's getting people out there and doing little tiny acts of civility to make the world a better place," Martinez said. "Whether that's picking up trash, or opening a door for someone, saying 'thank you,' saying 'you're welcome.'"
After a person completes the task, the card is handed to someone else and so on. Those cards and those messages then will spread throughout the entire community.
"My ultimate goal is that civility crosses your mind," she said, "and think about what civility means to you and why it matters."1 comment on this story
There are no prizes for completing the cards — organizers say those who participate in the challenge will walk away with a deeper appreciation for their communities and with better ideas on how to bring a little joy to those around them.
The campaign leads up to "World Civility Day," which will be observed Thursday, April 12. A free celebration will be held at the Ogden City Amphitheater. The event starts at 6 p.m. and will include games, music, vendors, stories and more, all bringing the theme of civility in Ogden.
Contributing: Viviane Vo-Duc