(PLEASE NOTE: Due to the novel coronavirus outbreak and in the interest of public safety, CAL Care Week has been canceled.) A week-long event focusing on self-care and community is coming to the College of Arts & Letters March 16-20.
College of Arts & Letters Care Week, which encourages positive thinking and caring for others, was created by two fellows in the Graduate School Leadership Development Fellowship, Cameron Chase and Rachel Robinson. Chase, who is a master’s student in the Department of Theatre, and Robinson, a Ph.D. student in the Department of Writing, Rhetoric, and American Cultures, joined forces to plan and organize the event as a way to help create a positive change within the College.
“Our aim is to help educate or remind students on how they can take good care of themselves as well as how they can be positive contributors to their fellow Spartans,” Chase said.
With Chase’s interests in mental health and Robinson’s in wellness, CAL Care Week is a joint effort to support a stronger and healthier campus.
“MSU has been through a good deal of emotional challenges in the last few years,” Chase said. “It’s so important that there is someone expressing how much everyone in the MSU community matters. Now seems like the right moment to propel a message of care around the entire campus, reminding everyone they are appropriate, they are valued, they matter.”
Our aim is to help educate or remind students on how they can take good care of themselves as well as how they can be positive contributors to their fellow Spartans.CAMERON CHASE, CO-FOUNDER OF CAL CARE WEEK
Chase and Robinson were inspired by a similar initiative held at the University of California, Santa Cruz.
“It was massive,” Chase said. “There were probably 10-15 events happening each day. And so, we got really excited, saying ‘we want that.’”
From there, they adjusted their vision to fit their budget.
“Once we knew what we wanted to do, the most difficult thing was ‘How do we pare this down to something that theoretically, if needed, two people could do themselves,’” Chase said.
Despite the smaller budget, the two fit an array of low-cost, high-impact activities into Care Week — all with the goal of dispelling stigmas against mental health and making attendees feel good about themselves and inspired to care for others.
These activities promote positivity, self-awareness, and connectivity. They include self-help lectures, painting The Rock, writing workshops, a yoga session, and hanging the CAL Care Week banner, a banner sporting a positive self-affirmation statement, on the bridge near the Auditorium.
Chase hopes Care Week will grow to encompass all colleges and become an annual, university-wide event.
“My hope is that it’s something where the torch will be passed on,” he said. “We would love for it to grow into an initiative, where it’s not just two people doing it.”
(Originally published in MSUToday.)