Seen & Heard

Angela Wang, ’14, wants to hug you.

Photo by Avi Schwab, AB’03

On the Friday before finals week, Wang organized her second “free hugs” day of the year outside the Regenstein Library.

How long have you been hugging people today?

I was going to start at 9 a.m. at Pierce, but people don’t hang out there at nine. So I just sat there with my sign and wrote an essay on Artistotle’s four causes.

The first "Free Hugs" Day was Nov. 4. How was that?

I did it with a group of strangers and friends. There should have been 40. The core group was maybe ten, who did it for the entire day.

I was having a bad week, the week before. So I decided to just make a Facebook event.

What percentage of people stop?

I would say close to half. People are less huggy in front of the library. I’ve given out free hot chocolate in front of the library, and sometimes people don’t even stop for that.

Then there are people who say, “This is exactly what I needed, thank you so much. This is a great day to have a random hug from someone.”

Have you ever felt obligated to hug someone you didn't want to?

No, that’s been OK. Hugging’s not very intimate to me. I do the Argentine tango, and we kiss people on the cheek.

Who are the least likely to accept a hug?

Grad students probably, then prospies. Prospie parents often say yes. High schoolers think they’re too cool.