Extending the Free Hugs Project

By : Helen Hutt


The impact Ken Nwadike, the free hugs guy, had at FM was a topic brought up for discussion at the Oct. 12, Student Senate Meeting. The meeting took place in the Student Union Building and around 40 people attended including representatives from each club and organization on campus.

Nwadike, a peace activist, visited the FM campus in September and sparked an idea of kindness with his free hugs. Nwadike travels around the nation giving talks and encouraging peace and kindness.

His Free Hugs Project started in 2014 when he missed qualifying for the Boston Marathon and instead offered free hugs to the runners for encouragement.

Nwadike attends a lot of rallies and is “very instrumental at breaking up a lot of protestors,” Gwendolyn Ossenkop, Coordinator of the Student Activities and Director of the College Union, stated.

Nwadike helps people remain safe and likes to bring police and people, who have something against the police, together.

Ossenkop suggested implementing Nwadike’s idea because of the impact he had on the campus. He took a liking to the students at FM and MISA, the Medical Imaging Student Association.

MISA students asked a lot of questions after his presentation and because of their interest,  he returned to campus to meet with them again to discuss similar projects.

“Students felt very inspired by him,” Ossenkop said.

She encouraged SSA representatives to take advantage of wearing a “free hugs” t-shirt and spread the free hugs or just do something nice for someone.

“This is lacking today in society,” Ossenkop added.

She believes this is a way to make FM feel welcoming where everyone is included.

The t-shirts were obtained by The Student Activities Board, who also organized Nwadike’s visit.

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