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Health, Wellness Club Encourages Kindness
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Members of the Oakdale High School Health and Wellness Executive Board this year are Jodie Whitley, President; Chloe Liekus, Vice-President; Taylor Stewart, Secretary; and Erika Nichols, Treasurer.

Students of Oakdale High School are putting a positive spin on the anti-bullying movement.

Three simple words, “Dude Be Nice,” have inspired a team of students to expand kindness and inclusion throughout the Mustang student body.

“It’s a campaign of non-bullying and positivity,” Erika Nichols said.

Nichols, along with fellow leadership classmates Jodie Whitley, Taylor Stewart and Chloe Liekhus, make up the Executive Board of the Health and Wellness Club. It’s a club that first began in 2017, basically as a replacement for the anti-tobacco PHAST – Promoting Health And Slamming Tobacco – Club on campus.

According to the students, the leadership club first presented the student body with a “Dude Be Nice” week two years ago. The event focused on the positive effects and the “do’s” versus the “don’t” approach of the previous club and noting it as a way of positive encouragement of what to do right.

“The four of us just really loved the idea,” Liekhus said of the club and its founding executive board.

“Our main focus is to be positive and positive actions instead of don’t, don’t, don’t,” Whitley said of the club’s overall mission. “I think people love it.”

This year, the club plans to host random Dude Be Nice events each month, as well as the weekly event later in the spring. The year’s activities were kicked off most recently with a ‘take a friend to lunch’ day, where a student invites a new friend to share lunch with them.

“The whole goal is for them to expand and meet new people,” Stewart said of the planned Dude Be Nice activities. “To interact with kids who maybe don’t get that interaction and be more inclusive.”

The group noted the response from the student body the first year, was overwhelmingly positive.

“The initial reaction from our first year of Dude Be Nice, was people were excited and they actually cared,” Whitley added.

In addition to hosting theme days and events throughout the year, the club also offers incentives and giveaways such as ‘DBN’ shirts to encourage student involvement.

Dude Be Nice is a national movement, created by a media company focused on creating a more conscious culture.