“Dear World” photo shoot: showcasing important messages

Philip Zoppi – General Assignment Reporter

Southern held its first ever “Dear World” photo shoot this past Tuesday, as a part of Social Justice Week.

“Dear World” was an event where students wrote important messages that meant something to them on themselves in Sharpie marker. After that, they had their picture taken with that message on some part of their skin.

This event was a huge success as students continually flowed through the Adanti Student Center to have their picture taken. Later on at night, all of these pictures were put together in a slide show and shown in the Adanti Student Center ballroom.

Dr. Tracy Tyree, vice president for student affairs at Southern, helped run this event. Tyree thought that students got a lot out of it.

“The idea of Social Justice Week is to raise awareness, increase knowledge and inspire action,” said Tyree. “We want students to learn about anything that matters. This program really helps students think about what matters to them and what kind of message they want to send.”

“Dear World” is a very popular event that has been taking over college campuses not only in the United States but all around the world. Originally starting in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, “Dear World” has now spread all over the place from Paris all the way to Oregon.

Jessica Baycroft, an intern at the counseling center at Southern, also helped students navigate through the process of getting their photo taken. Baycroft thought the event did a great job of bringing students together and getting messages out that sometimes are not heard.

“I really like social justice. Part of the counseling world that I really like is getting messages out there that not often get to be heard. We’re just trying to raise awareness for anything and everything. It’s gone really well, we’ve had a great turnout so far,” said Baycroft.

Baycroft wasn’t lying when she said the turnout was great. The event ran from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and throughout the five hours, students were filing in and out of the photo room.

Baycroft estimated that there was already 40 students who had participated just one hour into the event. There was a line of about seven to eight people waiting outside of the photo room to get their picture taken at just 11 a.m..

But it’s not just students that get to participate in this amazing event. On “Dear World’s” website they display pictures of NBA player, Chris Paul, and former ESPN anchor Stuart Scott, who lost his battle to cancer a little less than a year ago, participating in the event.

Scott’s message written on his arm was “making a difference” which is a powerful message coming from someone who recently died due to cancer.

Matt Ouimet, a counselor in counseling services at Southern, was another person who helped run the event and tried to put in his own words what “Dear World” is all about.

“Dear World is all about giving a message about yourself to the world. The whole reason we’re doing this at Southern is it allows students, faculty and staff to recognize that we are more actually alike than we are different.”

The unique aspect of “Dear World” is that the event isn’t trying to raise awareness for any one cause. Instead, an event like this raises awareness for anything and everything.

Photo Credit: Tyler Korponai – Photo Editor 


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