Mercyhurst celebrates ‘Year of Happiness’

Each academic year, the Mercyhurst community invites both its faculty members and students to take on a different outlook on life.

President Tom Gamble, Ph. D., along with other faculty, chose this theme for the 2013-2014 academic year as both a way to welcome the new academic calendar and to ensure students are keeping their priorities in check as they begin the new year.

The incoming freshman class read the book “The Happiness Project,” written by Gretchen Rubin, prior to move-in day as a way to gain the right mind set as they began their transition into college life.

As far as upperclassmen go, the happiness project has spread from the classroom and into living room.

A committee composed of professors and faculty members decided to paint a single wall in the living room of all upperclassmen housing.

Directly after walking into an upperclassmen apartment, you may notice a green, periwinkle, orange or yellow wall. The various colors were chosen because studies have shown that they improve mood and increase overall happiness, which is essential to this year’s theme.

In order to instill happiness across campus, Mercyhurst will be welcoming multiple speakers on campus, including author Rubin, to enrich students and provide a healthier experience outside of the classroom.

Additionally, the campus will be seeing more activities such as essay contests, social media giveaways, and art expositions, all as reminders to keep happiness at the top of students’ priority lists.

Philosophy department chair Jim Snyder, Ph. D. was heavily involved in choosing the happiness theme. He and the rest of the committee chose the theme not only to instill happiness on the surface, but also to encourage students to look deeper into the meaning of happiness and how it applies to his or her own path through Mercyhurst University.

As the school year begins to unfold and campus settles into a routine, keeping this years’ theme in mind is crucial.

As always, Mercyhurst is providing a multitude of opportunities for its students to be happy – whether it be through arts and music, enticing courses, SAC and MSG events and now through the happiness initiative – and all should be taking full advantage of it.