BYU students reflected on their good neighbor experiences on National Good Neighbor Day Sept. 28.
According to the National Good Neighbor Day website, being a good neighbor means “to make connections, invitations, stay aware and be available.” Individuals participated in the good neighbor movement by posting on social media with the hashtag #goodneighborday.
Through its AIMS, BYU encourages students, staff, and alumni to build character and lead a life of learning and service. BYU offers several on-campus programs and clubs that promote service and kindness, such as Y-Serve, 4-H Clubs and BYUSA.
“The Y-Serve office on campus is a great way to get students involved,” BYU student Keli Fossett said. “Whether that be with a specific service program or just providing a space for students to be around each other, Y-serve is a great place to go.”
Fossett also mentioned BYU Women’s Services and Resources as a place where both men and women can go for physical, mental and emotional help
“I think it is a great resource to know about if you have a neighbor needing any of those things,” she said.
BYU senior Stephanie Aragundi defined being a good neighbor as “someone who is always willing to serve and is genuine.” She also said sincerity is a quality of a good neighbor.
Aragundi said she strives to be a good neighbor through service. “I can’t expect service if I’m not willing to give it,” she said. “I try to be genuine and conscious in my words and not just say things I don’t mean.”
Aragundi said she thinks students can start to be better neighbors by creating genuine connections with others.
National Good Neighbor Day promotes “becoming a more connected and caring community,” and urges people to “build stronger communities by being good neighbors,” according to their website.
BYU senior Rebecca Bingham had many stories to share about other students reaching out and being good neighbors to her.
“On Saturday, my roommate came in and said she made pasta that I wasn’t allergic to so she could share it with me,” Bingham said. “I’ve also had roommates do my dishes, talk with me for hours, help me learn new skills, stand up for me and be my best friends.”
Dani Harper, a BYU student studying abroad in Spain, talked about the spiritual element of BYU in the context of being a good neighbor.
“I think the nature of BYU as a university that represents Christ is so influential,” she said. “I love the ‘Just Serve’ opportunities. I feel like if they were better advertised, even more students would participate in activities that promoted student unity and oneness.”
Bingham reflected on one experience that has stuck with her for years.
“My professor, Brother Guy Dorius, told our class to stop when we see someone who’s having a bad day on campus. He asked us to build a community,” she said. “When he passed away in 2020, I decided that I would always stop and help to honor him — to show him that I was listening, to show him I am a good neighbor.”