Compassionate Campus Initiative at Rhodes College

The Compassionate Campus Initiative (CCI) is comprised of individuals with a special concern for making Rhodes College a kinder and more mindful community. First convened in the autumn of 2015 through the efforts of President Bill Troutt, the CCI began as a small group of faculty and staff members whose personal and professional interests embraced the practices of compassion and contemplative studies. 

In our first meetings, President Troutt invited the group to imagine ways we could make Rhodes a more compassionate campus. We first considered what a compassionate campus might look like. These initial gatherings resulted in the following statement outlining the broad contours of such a vision: 

  • A compassionate campus is where everyone feels welcomed and valued, even to the extent of feeling a palpable atmosphere of kindness and hospitality.

  • A compassionate campus is where one feels free to talk about compassion and kindness, and there is a continuing conversation about the nature of compassion.

  • A compassionate campus is one where people listen well and feel comfortable to speak their minds, observing wholesome speech.

  • A compassionate campus is where we give careful and deliberate attention to identifying suffering in the college community and seeking to address it.

  • A compassionate campus is one where we discuss the role of compassion in service and service-learning courses.

  • A compassionate campus is one where there are opportunities for learning the skills that comprise compassion.

  • A compassionate campus is a mindful campus.

  • A compassionate campus is a relaxed campus.

  • A compassionate campus evolves gradually through the efforts of many and not by administrative decree.

  • A compassionate campus is one where acts of compassion are identified and praised.

  • A compassionate campus is one where the classroom is a hospitable environment.

  • A compassionate campus is one where people take joy in the success of others.

  • A compassionate campus is one where individuals are free to take moments during the day to reflect on the most important things in life.

The CCI is interested in inviting other members of the campus into the greater conversation about compassion and mindful living. We are now seeking ways to include students, staff, faculty, and friends of the College in the discussion. For more information, contact Professor Mark W. Muesse at muesse@rhodes.edu.

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