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You Visit Tour. Webb Lion Fountain. June 1 2017. Photo David B. Hollingsworth

Communication Class Using Zoom as a Broom to Sweep Away Gloom

By Amy Matzke-Fawcett

In a time of uncertainty, hurt and growing concern, a group of communication students hopes to make everyone's day a little brighter.

Students in a graduate-level positive communication class will hold open Zoom hours on June 24 to allow anyone in for a bit of positive chat. Each of the students will each host an hour-long session between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. on the "Day of Positive Zooming."

"You can drop-in throughout the day to experience moments of happiness, kindness, compliments, message boosts, feeling heard, feeling good and more! No agenda. Not a research study. Just simple acts positive human messaging. All are welcome throughout the day," reads the event's invitation.

The idea came after a class discussion of a United Kingdom project called "The Kindness Offensive". Professor Tom Socha presented to the class on that and other similar projects and encouraged the students to think about how they could bring positivity to the University, said Amanda Dunlap, a graduate student in the lifespan and digital communication master's program and a student in the class.

"I am so thrilled we are moving forward with the idea! I think given the times and especially since COVID-19 isolation, people may just need an outlet and a sense of connection, and if we can put a positive spin on it and help people feel GOOD, then we have done our job," Dunlap said. "I argued that as we are all currently or on our way to becoming professional communicators and given that we studied positive comm this summer, we are a primo team to pioneer this kind of project."

To join, visit the Zoom link and use the password 526454.

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