As you may have heard, there’s a pretty cool—and super important—campaign taking place during the countdown to and days of Spring Weekend: the Positive Change initiative. But you might not know the details. That’s why we sat down with Molly Sandstrom ’17, who heads the initiative, to get the scoop on Positive Change.
While Spring Weekend is meant to be a blast, not all the stories that come out of it are good, nor is every student’s experience with the three-day festival a happy and safe one. Molly Sandstrom recognized that Spring Weekend can foster an atmosphere prone to violations of consent in many forms. As part of a fellowship she has with Breakthrough, a nonprofit that focuses on preventing gender-based violence in nontraditional ways, Sandstrom was asked to come up with a relevant project. She decided to address Spring Weekend because that seemed the best way to reach the largest number of students.
That’s where Positive Change comes in. It’s a visual campaign with a low commitment threshold that is meant to encourage as many students as possible to participate. In the days before and during Spring Weekend, Positive Change volunteers will set up tables where students can pick up temporary tattoos (they’re gold, by the way) with the campaign’s symbol on them.
Seeing the tattoo is meant to make people stop and think about what it means to participate in Positive Change, and to encourage conversations between students. Molly hopes the tattoos will raise students’ awareness levels during Spring Weekend: wearing a tattoo associated with the initiative should encourage students to reflect on the ways in which they’re participating in SW. Molly recognizes that the pursuit of a fun time can lead to lapses in judgement; the tattoo will serve as a reminder of one’s values.
Molly’s ultimate goal? For everyone to have a good experience during Spring Weekend, no matter who they are.
In addition to the tattoos, the initiative will include a photo campaign, where students submit photos of themselves and explain what “positive change” means to them. There will also be a bystander intervention training on Sunday, April 23rd; you can find the event info here.
Finally, during Spring Weekend itself, there will be a resource tent on the Main Green where students can go if they’re having a hard time. It will allow students to get assistance without having to leave the concert. The tent itself will be staffed by Community Directors from the Office of Residential Life, as well as Student Support Deans from the Office of Student Support Services. The tent is an entirely new addition to Spring Weekend.
“We’re trying to disrupt violations of consent in all forms,” Sandstrom concluded.
One last thing: you can support this awesome campaign by volunteering to table or by participating in the photo campaign. To volunteer for tabling, sign up here, and for the photo campaign, sign up here.