2014 Sparking Innovation

Spreading smiles

Happiness doesn’t just happen, said senior Austin Spurlock, founder of campus positivity group Do One Thing (DOT). It takes a good attitude, a generous spirit and, sometimes, bubble wrap.

“Prioritizing and valuing happiness is important,” said Spurlock. “Sometimes we can forget that.”

Spurlock, who majored in organizational behavior and human resource management in Olin Business School, has been spreading happiness one event at a time for four years. Here are three of his favorite projects.

Austin Spurlock - Dot-Bike

Austin Spurlock (right) riding a miniature bike during Bike In Bowles. Positivity group Do One Thing hosts events and partners with other student groups to boost happiness.

You Make a Difference to Me campaign

DOT members passed out bags of ribbons to students, who would then tie one of the ribbons to their own backpack before passing the bags onto a friend they really valued. That friend would do the same and so on and so on.

“By the end of the week, there were all these ribbons on people’s backpacks,” recalled Spurlock. “People really got excited about the idea of appreciating their friends.”

Positivity Scavenger Hunt

Teams of students attempted to complete a list of tasks ranging from sharing a stick of gum to volunteering to choreographing a flash mob.

“It was about having fun and then encouraging people to pass that happiness to as many people as they could, which is what our core mission is all about,” Spurlock said.

Bubble Wrap

DOT members passed out sheets of bubble wrap to students in the DUC.

“We were like, ‘Who wants bubble wrap?’ and people went crazy,” recalled Spurlock. “It was so much fun hearing pop, pop, pop in the DUC. Sometimes something as simple as popping bubbles can make you smile.”

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