From hanging anonymous love letters off of the trees on Sanford to putting encouraging labels on coffee cups, Campus Cursive is an organization that spends their Monday evenings spreading love and words of affirmation in any way they can.
Beginning as a campus chapter of the larger organization The World Needs More Love Letters, Campus Cursive App State was started by App State graduate Emily Bradley and senior social work major Andrea Santoya back in 2015.
“My freshman year, there were nine suicides on campus, and although all of those instances were sad, I also saw this community lifting each other up,” Santoya said.
Santoya had already been a fan of the organization The World Needs More Love Letters as well as its founder Hannah Brencher.
“I just think that Hannah Brencher standing up for bringing happiness to strangers is so inspiring,” Santoya said.
The World Needs More Love Letters is a world-wide organization that is represented in 73 different countries and all 50 states and is devoted to spreading positivity and love through anonymous letters.
The club focuses on randomly placing words of affirmation anonymously throughout App’s campus.
“When you’re with your friends, it’s really easy to lift people up you know really well because you know their characteristics and who they are as people. That positivity is important, but I always think that hearing words of affirmation from a stranger is empowering in such a different way,” Santoya said.
Since the App State campus chapter was created, many events have become staples to the campus.
“During our meetings we write letters, work on events such as Positive Post-It Notes day and the giving tree, where we hang letters from trees on Sanford and create Letter Bundles for specific people that have reached out to us who are in need of nice words at the time,” junior anthropology major Cara Pace said.
The group’s largest achievement came last February when the club organized bringing the founder of The World Needs More Love Letters to campus to give a talk. Through a series of conversations with Brencher’s team and with Appalachian Popular Programming Society, the group was able to bring Brencher to campus for a Valentine-themed talk.
However, it is not just the receivers of these anonymous letters who gain from this organization.
“It definitely impacts me personally, because if I’m having a rough or stressful week, I know I can go to a meeting and feel refreshed. I take the feeling and think, ‘well I know I’m going through stuff, so other people have to be going through something too,’” junior commercial photography major Hannah Reimer said.
It also allows individuals to put their own frustrations in the letters they are writing to others.
“I think it’s really beneficial to write letters because when I’m going through a hard time, it’s a really good
channel. I can throw myself into it and talk about what I’m going through in the letters and say, ‘I’m not alone. I’m going through a hard time right now. We can get through this together,’” Pace said.
Part of the reason for the benefits gained from writing these letters comes from how the club members find inspiration for their letters.
“One thing we tell people who come to these meetings is, ‘Write a letter you’d like someone to write to you. How are you feeling today? What would you like to hear?’” Santoya said.
This ability to relate to one another as students is particularly helpful during an event called Love Letter Ninjas, where the club members deliver handwritten letters to strangers in the library during finals weekend.
“We dress in all black and pass out letters in the library while people are studying for finals. We usually get really weird looks, but it’s nice anyways,” Pace said.
To spread the word about activities as much as possible, the club uses social media, including the hashtag #CampusCursiveASU, which is placed on many of the sticky notes and coffee cup labels the organization creates.
“We always encourage people to use our hashtags #CampusCursiveASU, so we put our hashtag on the sticker and a lot of times we’ll see that on social media,” Santoya said.
Campus Cursive’s social media efforts are managed by Reimer, who serves as the group’s social media coordinator on the executive board.
“Being a photography major, I love those platforms, so it’s super fun to be in the background of creating events and the look of events,” Reimer said.
As the group continues on, the goal is to sustain more so than grow the organization.
“We can do what we can to spread the word, but we also need people to show up and support,” Santoya said.
However, no matter the size of the organization, the group is encouraged with whatever impact they make.
“It’s such a little thing, but I think that little thing can make such a big impact on one individual or a group,” Santoya said.
If you are interested in joining Campus Cursive, the club meets at 6:15 p.m. every other Monday night in room 417 Beacon Heights in the Plemmons Student Union.
Story by: Mariah Reneau, Senior A&E Reporter
Photos by: Halle Keighton, Photo Editor
Featured Photo Caption: Stickers, cards and post-it-notes ready for club members to start writing kind notes for the community.