Program to share students’ deepest secrets

A new program is coming to Oswego State meant to open up discussions on uncomfortable topics among students by encouraging them to share secrets.

The program, known as PostSecretU, put on as a collaboration between the Active Minds organization at Oswego State and Frank Warren, the creator of the PostSecret blog, will take place throughout the month. It encourages students to submit decorated postcards with words that express hidden secrets, regrets, fears, talents or confessions.

“It is a great way for individuals to share their stories or secrets in a safe, anonymous way,” said Kelly LaBarge, a member of Active Minds and chair member on the planning committee of the event. “Hopefully, this is a cathartic experience for them, and could even alleviate stress.”

The secrets will be collected from Feb. 11 to March 1 at the Campus Center, Penfield Library and Mary Walker Health Center. The secrets will then be put on display on March 7 in conjunction with the Lifestyle Center’s Open Mic Night. LaBarge said that during the display at Open Mic Night students will be able to verbally express themselves as well.

LaBarge also said that Oswego State students have been collaborating in the planning of the event since the fall semester.

“Lifestyles, the Penfield library and Campus Life have organized a fantastic event and program,” she said.

Active Minds will also be distributing information on mental health resources at all PostSecretU events as a way to encourage students to seek help if needed.

PostSecretU is based on the PostSecret blog, a homemade art blog formed in 2004 that encourages people to anonymously send in secrets on postcards. LaBarge hopes that the blog’s confessional style will translate onto Oswego State’s campus.

“I want students to feel as if they are not alone, and that their hidden secrets are not a burden they need to bear by themselves,” LaBarge said. “I hope this brings the Oswego campus together and promotes a healthier, safe community.”

Active Minds is a national organization that seeks to encourage a discussion on topics related to mental health. The organization has chapters in universities across North America. When Oswego State’s chapter was founded in the fall of 2010 by Oswego State students JoHanna Molascon and Alexa Martin it became the organization’s 300th chapter.

Oswego State’s Active Minds Chapter is involved with several other campus events, including the “Send Silence Packing” display in the Quad during last year’s quest.