Sparty Secrets expanding comfort zones

Writing her secret down on a tiny piece of paper, Tiaunna Leddick drops it into a brightly colored box with
example post cards pasted to it.

“Shhhh, it’s a secret,” Leddick said, leaning in close to whisper. Leddick is pushing to keep the secrets alive.

“Sparty Secrets is a way for people to express themselves without fear of judgment or retribution,” Leddick

For the month of April, boxes were placed in the Campus Center, Coffee Cottage, and in Huden for students to
put their secrets in anonymously.

“The idea came from attending a workshop at a conference this fall at the New England College Health Association annual meeting during which, the director of the counseling center at Boston University described
their very successful implementation of ‘B.U. Secrets,'” said the Wellness Center Director, Martha Coulter.

Coulter continued saying “our most compelling motivation is to let students know they are not alone and that
they should speak up and reach out for help if needed to create an open and safe forum for students to express their secrets, regrets, fears, desires, and talents,” she said.

So far, there has been some positive feedback from some, like Maria Cuccurese.

“It’s not meant to hurt anyone, it is voluntary activity and identities are kept anonymous,” she said. “I think
Sparty Secrets is a good thing.”

Even with Coulter’s high hopes that the program will help students, and despite the positive feedback, not everyone feels the same way.

“I don’t know why they have it-secrets aren’t meant to be shared,” said junior, Amanda Zuber. “I don’t want
people knowing my secrets.”

Some students feel it’s silly to put a secret on a notecard because they believe that others will abuse it.

“It has good intentions, but the problem is that a lot of the community here doesn’t take things seriously,” said
Ali Mazolla.

During the month of April, the Wellness Center received many sincere cards and they would like to be able
to put them on a bulletin board in the campus center.

“We really need to receive more postcards than we have received to fill up a bulletin board,” Coulter said. “I
think that we have learned that we need to find the best way to contact our Castleton students to express our reasons for doing this and why we think it’s helpful.”

Though this is a new campaign on campus, it’s unknown as to whether or not the Wellness Center will continue to do Sparty Secrets in the future.

“We are not sure if we will undertake the Sparty Secrets campaign in the future,” Coulter said.

Much, she says, is dependent on the benefit it will have for the community if it is to continue.

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