Students are organizing ‘The World’s Biggest Eye Contact Experiment’ in Nanaimo this Friday and Saturday (Sept. 22-23). (STOCK photo)

VIU instructor hopes eye contact leads to unity

Students organize Nanaimo chapter of ‘The World’s Biggest Eye Contact Experiment’

On the day Cynthia Bruckman was asked to teach a communication class at Vancouver Island University’s (VIU) English Language Centre, she saw a post on social media about ‘The World’s Biggest Eye Contact Experiment’ and thought to herself, “Oh my gosh, it’s perfect for my students.”

“The fact that they are international students is totally relevant to what the experiment is trying to do globally, which is to bring people together,” she said.

The project encourages people to meet in cities around the world on Saturday (Sept. 23), the weekend of the United Nations’ International Day of Peace, and share one minute of eye contact with a stranger. The project is co-ordinated by The Liberators International, an Australian group that organizes large-scale events to “reconnect humanity.”

Bruckman is organizing the Nanaimo events with her students, which will take place in front of the VIU cafeteria on Friday (Sept. 22) from noon to 1 p.m. and again at the Maffeo Sutton Park pavilion on Saturday from noon to 4 p.m. Bruckman said the world needs more positivity and through this experiment she hopes to demonstrate to her students the power of kindness.

“What we really need to do right now is come together and heal and unite and we need connection,” she said. “As a teacher I’ve always loved showing my students that they have power as global citizens, so an act as simple as looking into someone eyes can actually change the world.”

Other instructors involved in the project are Joy McWhirter and Sherri McKinnon.

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