Every April, dedicated IU students host Culture of Care Week to promote and celebrate four focus areas: respect, drug and alcohol awareness, mental health, and sexual well-being.
Culture of Care is a student-led, staff-supported initiative on campus that focuses on fostering Hoosier-to-Hoosier care. Even if you aren’t a member of the organization, you are still a part of creating the culture of care on campus. You can read more about why I love Culture of Care here!
During the week, we set up tables around campus to connect with students through interactive activities, and we also hosted evening events pertaining to our focus areas.
The respect committee started out Culture of Care Week this year. Around campus, they encouraged people to think about how they respect themselves. The committee co-directors had people write “I respect myself by…” on a post-it note and then the note was posted on a mirror so people had the opportunity to look at themselves and say how they respect themselves. I really enjoyed reading everyone’s responses and finding out how people show respect.
I also picked up amazing merchandise designed by our marketing team so I can represent the brand even when I’m away from campus.
In the afternoon, Culture of Care and IUSA hosted a candlelight vigil to support and honor the victims of identity-based violence and genocide. More information about this event can be found here.
In the evening, at the Teter NST in Teter Residence Hall, the respect committee hosted Poetry Slam, Books and Jams with PB&Js. Participants were able to listen to amazing poetry and watch as people performed original works and poems written by others. We also served make your own sandwiches and toppings included peanut butter, jelly, Nutella, marshmallow fluff, and more. Inspirational and delicious!
The drug and alcohol awareness committee had great events and even delicious donuts. Although our volunteers had to bundle up and hide their tanks under the layers of winter jackets and sweaters, people learned more about drugs and alcohol through interactive games and questions.
At 4:20 p.m., Culture of Care hosted 4/20 Glaze It with donuts from Cresent Donut and Jack’s Donuts to talk about marijuana. Representatives from the Center for Human Growth, OASIS, Crimson CORPS, Students in Recovery, and more participated in this event. I enjoyed being able to pass out stickers and tell people that we had donuts; people were very, very excited.
As director of the mental health committee, I hosted one event at Collins Residence Hall where representatives from different organizations had the opportunity to have de-stress activities and resources. Two dogs came and received lots of treats, pets, and love from everyone. I know I felt better after hanging out with them.
In the evening, the mental health committee hosted a panel about media and mental health. At IU, we are so lucky to have great professors and staff who are willing to spend some of their evenings at events and talk about their research and what they are studying. More information about the panel can be found here.
The sexual well-being committee supported Get Yourself Tested Week and encouraged everyone to be tested for STIs and HIV. Additionally, they had tables around campus with different activities about sexual health, education, and more. IU community members were able to learn a lot and pick up awesome merchandise like condoms and chapstick.
In the evening, the committee hosted #MeToo at IU. Members from different offices on campus spoke about what their offices do to help survivors of sexual violence. After the panel discussion about the resources on campus, participants were able to speak in small groups about sexual violence and sexual violence prevention. The sexual well-being co-directors plan to summarize what was talked about in the small group discussions and present the information to the administration. More about the event can be found here.
Finally, we wrapped up the week at Late Nite Cares at the IMU, where participants were able to tie-dye Culture of Care tanks and talk to us about Culture of Care! We also had trivia that was created by the co-directors of the drug and alcohol awareness committee.
Overall, each focus area was able to bring something new to the week. We had an amazing mixture of education, creativity, impact, and fun. Culture of Care Week is one of the highlights of the year for me and I can’t wait for next April!
If you have any questions about Culture of Care, please feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and like us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram as well @CultureofCareIU.