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The Blue & Gray Press | February 25, 2018

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College Smiles Campaign Changes UMW Culture

By COLLEEN HUBER and SARAH TAGG

Smiling is a culturally acceptable form of showing friendliness and affability. However, according to Senior Sherry Loehr, many University of Mary Washington students do not convey this kindliness when walking on campus.

Loehr was first informed of this when she was out to drinks with her friends and the opinion was seconded by her husband.

“They asked me why I chose UMW,” said Loehr. “They said the students they see walking around campus look miserable and stuck-up.”

This information saddened Loehr because she did not see other UMW students this way. However, she decided to make a change.

“So I started smiling all the time. Every time I meet anyone on campus I smile and guess what? They smile back,” said Loehr.

Loehr began the Smile Campaign as a way to challenge the students of UMW to smile; specifically when they are seen through public eyes, according to Loehr.

Loehr believes that the Smile Campaign should not only be practiced here at UMW but everywhere.

“A smile is easy to make and a gift you can give that costs nothing,” said Loehr.

Loehr recommends smiling at everyone because she believes that if someone smiles at another, usually the smile is reciprocated.

According to Loehr, she thought the student newspaper would be the best way to get her word out about the Smile Campaign but she plans on making posters and visiting classes to bring more awareness.

The hope for the Smile Campaign is to change the negative public perception of UMW students, according to Loehr.

“Remember, giving a smile is free and will make the person receiving your gift feel good and I bet they will smile back,” said Loehr.