If you have been on campus sitting around at Perry Center or Common Grounds, you may have seen public safety officer, Paul DaSilva walking around handing out mints to students while they prepare for tests or work on homework.
“With upcoming events like graduation and getting ready for the summer semester, we have been so busy in making sure everything is ready to go that I don’t think I’m going to be able to walk around and give those out anymore,” DaSilva said. “I’m hopeful the students will be understanding because we really do support them and want them to succeed.”
As of now, the “no-mint” policy will last indefinitely
A few of the students who were first told about this upcoming change were in shock about the decision to no longer offer mints to students. One student in particular, freshman Robert Johns, was quite taken aback. He is currently in his second semester and has found the mints as a little encouragement throughout the week.
“I wasn’t really sure what to think at first, to be honest,” Johns said. “It may seem like a small gesture but it’s nice to have someone stopping by and just encouraging you while you’re studying, even if it is just for a few minutes.”
Johns said that in his first year here at Olivet, DaSilva’s mints have been an encouraging way to show the students that the faculty support them. He said that in his first year away at a university, he has really felt the family of Olivet come together in supporting their students with these small gestures and that he is sad to see this go. Johns even went as far to say that he will consider transferring out of Olivet if they are going to continue shutting down these small acts of kindness.
“With graduation coming up, we have had quite a large number of senior projects due. With the end in sight, I’ve liked seeing the Public Safety officer walking around and offering the mints to students, because it’s such as simple way to let the students know that the faculty cares,” Makayla Sears, a soon-to-be graduate, said.
Sears said that she is sad that DaSilva is no longer offering these small encouragements to students because she believes they have made the large number of projects and upcoming finals seem a little less stressful. She said she admired how the little encouragements from faculty helped to take her mind off of her busy schedule for a few minutes and to just remember how much the staff has encouraged her to keep going and getting ready for her upcoming graduation.
“I was in the office at the time of the announcement, and I can probably understand why Public Safety is taking more time to focus on bigger upcoming events, but I am sad to see this small gesture of encouragement go,” Megan York, another senior, said. “I guess the staff has to do what makes sense, because in the end they really just care about the success of the students.”
While York, Sears, and Johns understand the decision, other students on campus are outraged. A rally will be held in the main quad on April 5 during the lunch hour to demand the return of DaSilva’s mints.