BU Today

Campus Life + Health & Wellness

Who’s Got a Secret?

Artwork (and secrets) to be displayed around campus


bu_secret_hIn the slide show above, see postcards from last year with secrets from BU students.


In an event inspired by Frank Warren’s PostSecret phenomenon, BU students once again have the chance to share their secrets, anonymously and in writing, in an effort launched by the campus branch of the student mental health awareness group Active Minds. The deadline for postcard submissions is Thursday, March 24.

Begun last year, BU Secret encourages students to share something they’ve never revealed—hilarious, quirky, deep, or sad—on a postcard to be displayed at one of several sites around campus. Anonymity is guaranteed. More than 800 postcards were returned and displayed last year.

“We are trying to create, at BU, a culture of empathy, where students feel they can be honest about who they are and what is going on in their lives,” says Dori Hutchinson, director of services for BU’s Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation and a Sargent College adjunct assistant professor.

“There is no judging, no dismissal, no punishment” for expressing themselves, she says. “The postcards allow this.”

The idea springs from Warren’s group art project. Since January 2005, people have mailed their secrets to him anonymously on homemade postcards. A selection of the secrets has been published in four Postsecret books and appeared in museum exhibitions. New secrets are posted each Sunday on Warren’s PostSecret website.

As long as there is no blog associated with BU Secrets, Warren has been supportive of the Active Minds organization and the annual event.

Active Minds distributed 10,000 postcards on March 4 in on-campus student mailboxes. Every card had a sticky note attached to the back providing contact information for Student Health Services Behavioral Medicine, the Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation, and the Samaritans of Boston suicide hotline. Postcards will be displayed for two weeks in various locations around campus, including the George Sherman Union, West Campus and South Campus residence halls, and the Towers, according to Hutchinson.

The filled-out postcards can be dropped in collection boxes at the FitRec Center, Warren Towers, Sleeper Hall, and the George Sherman Union Link from Monday, March 21, to Thursday, March 24.

Leslie Friday can be reached at lfriday@bu.edu; follow her on twitter @lesliefriday.

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