The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

NE student gives free hugs

By Megan Saint-John/reporter

Caught up in text messages and online social networks, personal contact is lost. But that’s nothing a free hug can’t cure, one NE student believes.

For that reason, she holds a “Free Hugs” sign on Tuesdays and Thursdays between and after classes near the NE Library.

Marissa Moreland, a second-year TCC student, said she was inspired by Juan Mann, who began Free Hugs Campaign, a worldwide movement to promote human contact.

“It’s nice to connect with people because everything is so computerized today,” she said.

Moreland said she enjoys giving free hugs because it assures others they are not alone. This movement promotes general activism, she said.

“I hope other people will stop and think what they can do to make a difference and stand up for something,” she said.

After doing well on a math test, NE student Zach Kraddock said he wanted to share his good mood by hugging Moreland.

“It puts somebody else in a good mood. Then they put somebody in a good mood,” he said. “It’s a chain reaction.”

The best reaction Moreland said she received was from a young woman who told Moreland she was scared to be in a new country. The woman cried and thanked her. Moreland said she was surprised she could comfort someone with just one hug.

“This is so sweet. You don’t even need a sign to get hugs. I’m going to tell all the students about this,” Magda Elgaghil from NE language lab told Moreland.

Moreland stands with her sign for about an hour. The first day she held the sign, she counted 34 hugs and 51 hugs the second time.

After the second day, Moreland said she stopped counting.

“If I counted, it would be like I was trying to achieve something, not just make people happy,” she said.

Moreland said she noticed a trend of more male than female students hugging her, and mostly young adults. Older students and faculty ask if she is doing a school project and usually decide not to hug her anyway, Moreland said. The students who choose not to hug Moreland said they are in a hurry.

“It makes people smile even if they don’t hug me,” she said.

For more information about Mann’s story and Free Hugs Campaign, visit

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