Written by: Marlee Thomas
The Thank-a-Bobcat campaign, part of Georgia College’s 3Rs initiative of Reason, Respect and Responsibility, is a program designed to develop a culture of civility with a focus on diversity and inclusion campus wide.
Participation is easy and open to anyone on the GC campus. The first step in becoming involved is picking up a Thank-aBobcat button at the GIVE Center. Next, keep an eye out for someone displaying an act of civility and award them the button. Finally, head over to the Office of Inclusive Excellence’s website, www.gcsu.edu/oie/civility-project, and let them know who received the button and why.
Recipients of the button have the duty to pay it forward by passing it on the next time they see someone else doing an act of civility. So what exactly does an act of civility pertaining to diversity and inclusion look like? Coordinator of Education and Outreach, Jennifer Birch, said that an act of civility can be a variety of different things.
“For example, an organization may present some type of organization or event that pertains to some type of social justice issue and the organization can be awarded the button,” Birch said. “It’s not just for individuals. The program is open to faculty, staff and any campus organization.”
TAB is a reflection of GC’s mission statement because of its ties to respect and responsibility through civility. “Georgia College is already a wonderful environment to be in, but we can always improve where we are. We want TAB to take it one step further and let the 3Rs be on our brains,” Birch said.
The first recipient of a Thank-a-Bobcat button this semester is student Millie York. She was given the button by Kell Carpenter, who saw her offering a seat to someone in the Max who was sitting alone and then proceeded to share a meal with them, and cheer them up.
“I felt really chuffed, or surprised, to receive the button. I love making people smile and it was really cool to be recognized for that,” York said. “I think it’s important because people should always be looking to help each other and be sort of like one big family, and that’s how I see Georgia College, as one big family.”
Carrigan Flotlin and Christina Pitts, both Thank-a-Bobcat recipients, shared why they think the TAB campaign is significant to campus. “I think the bobcat campaign is a wonderful program. Promoting civility throughout the Georgia College campus will help in creating a unified student body. Constantly treating people with consideration and respect makes them feel valued, and contributes to mutual respect,” Flotlin said.
Pitts agreed. “I believe that this is an important program to have on campus to recognize those students who, even if for just a few minutes, forget about all the worries they have with their classes or any other things, and help someone and make a difference in a way,” Pitts said.
(Feature image by: Millie York)