When walking around campus, it isn’t hard to notice the many positive messages written on brightly-colored sticky notes. The eye-catching papers read encouraging phrases such as “you are always enough,” “you are worthy” or “make today a great day.” Of course, these are only a few of the many messages of positive reinforcement for students to see as they are walking through campus.
Upon looking for the student who spearheaded this project, Senior Alex Power came forward to explain the background and reasonings behind the hopeful words.
“These sticky notes […] are a project for my Intro to Social Work class,” Power states.
“Social Work: An Introduction 2400” is a course that “provides an overview of the social work profession, including the knowledge, values and skills that provide the foundation for generalist social work practice,” according to the University course description. Students are able to additionally analyze human and social problems through an ecological framework.
The course details end by stating that the class focuses on “fields of practice, methods and models of intervention and the historical mission of the profession to advance human rights, social justice and to provide services to vulnerable and oppressed populations.”
The “Social Work: An Introduction” course was inspired by the “Start with Hello” project, a movement that originated from the Sandy Hook Promise in 2012, and began this class aspect as a result. This movement includes three steps: see someone in isolation, reach out and help and start with hello.
Students who are enrolled in Introduction to Social Work are expected to get involved with the Sandy Hook Promise and host an event during Start with Hello Week.
“This year my class hosted a 5k that received hundreds of dollars in donations towards Sandy Hook Promise,” Power explained. “At this event, we were able to educate others on gun violence facts and how people have become almost desensitized to mass shootings in America. Our goal is to spread awareness and most importantly, be the change.”
Power shares that “there are also many other social work majors involved and members of Social Work Club.” However, the involvement in this empowerment project doesn’t stop there, as anyone is welcome to help contribute.
“The amount of students involved in this project is unlimited! While our class, along with other social work majors, are the main contributors, anyone is welcome to add to the positivity with their own sticky notes,” Power explains.
She adds, “If you haven’t seen any yet, put one up!”
If students are seeking involvement, they can do so in an easy and simple way: by putting up sticky notes wherever they please. You can find materials to do so in the lobby of the Egan School of Nursing for any students that are looking to participate.
The movement goes beyond written words as well, however. In addition to hanging up hopeful phrases, Power notes that you can be a part of their project just by “reaching out to someone you haven’t spoken to in a while and checking in on them.”
“These little acts of kindness and words of affirmation go a long way,” Power adds; and students seem to agree.
Senior Tess Morrissey states, “I have seen these sticky notes in the bathroom, and they never fail to make me feel a bit happier going about my day.”
Morrissey continues, “I think students uplifting students is one of the best ways to spread kindness and feel like we are a community.”
Senior Meredith Montella shares a similar reaction. “It is definitely the little things that make a difference and these little notes are so cute to see down the halls.”
Junior Abby Grenier believes “it’s a nice initiative” as well. “I think it’s nice that they put them all over campus. I saw various ones in Canisius and DSB.”
Vice President of the Fairfield University Student Association, Junior Aliyah Seenauth, additionally points out that “it’s a good way to spread positivity especially during midterms and at this point in the semester in general.”
These colorful sticky notes can be spotted in numerous locations across campus such as the Barone Campus Center, RecPlex, Dimenna-Nyselius Library, all academic buildings and residence halls – most notably, on bathroom mirrors or in the hallways.