Students post personal info

Some students revealed to anyone walking through the Student Center their deepest fears, desires and dreams, knowing that no one will ever find out which secrets are theirs.Students sent in their secrets on postcards to the women’s studies department to participate in “V-Week” activities.

The postcards will be displayed in a Student Center hallway during ticket sales for “The Vagina Monologues” and during the show, said Stella South, a senior political science major and project director for “The Vagina Monologues.”

PostSecret, a Web site collecting anonymous secrets, serves as the inspiration for this spin-off project.

It is an ongoing community art project where people mail in their secrets anonymously on one side of a homemade postcard, according to the PostSecret Web site.

“This project hits home.” said Becca Nordeen, a senior theatre major and creative director for “The Vagina Monologues.”

“The secrets displayed here aren’t strangers from across the country or world,” Nordeen said. “Rather, they are the secrets of our friends, roommates, classmates and our community.”

V-Week aims to raise awareness about sexual abuse through different events during the week and ends with two showings of “The Vagina Monologues.”

Nordeen said she wants postcards concerning issues of gender and violence to show students that violence and sexual abuse are not distant wars.

Some of the secrets received have been about suicide, depression and mental health, Nordeen said.

“Students here tend to feel an extraordinary need to be perfect,” Nordeen said. “This can add huge amounts of stress to our lives where we are struggling to find ourselves already.”

Nordeen said because there were a number of cards dealing with these issues, there will be information about mental health and personal counselors available while the postcards are displayed.

Nordeen said she hopes this project will help students realize everyone has secrets and no one is alone.

“Every secret that we have and think that is completely individual can be a secret that someone else might share,” Nordeen said.

About 200 students have joined the Facebook group to show support for their own version of PostSecret, with about 54 submitted secrets.

After the cards are displayed, they will be given to the women’s studies department, South said. They will be placed in an album and will be shown during next year’s V-Week with the new secrets students will submit. Postcards can no longer be sent in for this year’s V-Week.

“This project is amazing,” said Marisa Doerfler, a senior theatre major. “It is a way for people to express themselves but also for the readers to be able to relate to some of their secrets. It can be a release of emotions on both parties.