Laurier tells all
Laurier Secrets has launched yet another submission campaign for the secrets of those at the school and in the community, unveiling the deepest, darkest hidden parts of the student psyche.
“Basically, the idea was to [create it] just for fun; entertainment value really. It’s also just to see what’s going on with people at Laurier that doesn’t get talked about. And create sort of a dialogue around some of those issues,” said Laura McDonald, Laurier Secrets cofounder.
This year, the Laurier Secrets group has become affiliated with the Laurier Students’ Public Interest Research Group (LSPIRG).
LSPIRG research and training co-ordinator Erin Epp explained that the organization uses a working group model, which enables students to be agents of social change.
“The working group model means that the student came to us with an idea and a group that they want to start that has a social justice bend to it. Laurier Secrets is a working group, so they went through the application process and we’re sort of helping them out to bring this initiative to the Laurier community,” she continued.
Within its first year, Laurier Secrets received over 300 posts. Although their submissions are not as frequent as when the group first started in 2008, McDonald still remained positive and recommended participation.
“We have posters up, we are in the Concourse every few weeks, [and] we leave cards around campus. Facebook is [also] a way that [we] just kept growing,” said McDonald.
McDonald explains that this year the group is expanding; if they get enough submissions this year, they may even be able to publish a collection of secrets.
“We’re thinking of doing a book [this year] if we get enough secrets,” said McDonald, who explained that they are unable to publish secrets that have been posted in previous years, because it was never indicated that they would be used in book form.
This year students are also able to upload their secrets to clublaurier.ca, a website that operates under Wilfrid Laurier University Student Publications (WLUSP). This gives students the ability to remain anonymous without mailing in their postcards or logging onto a dual e-mail.
This anonymity is an important element of Laurier Secrets, as all secrets posted to the group must be truthful. The importance of honesty is crucial to this project, seeing as how the concept of these secrets is that they are in fact factual.
“The big thing is that it’s really brought up some of the big issues on campus that don’t get talked about are brought to light. Over half the secrets we get are about depression, anxiety and self hate, which is pretty scary,” stressed McDonald.
She explained that sexual abuse is the second major issue prominent in the secrets the group has received.
“I think its been very helpful to see what’s going on and provide comfort for people to know that they’re not going through [something] alone,” she continued.