New student organization channels positive vibes

Photo by Emily Bennett
Campus Cursive: The World Needs More Love Letters President Chloe Jakiela and Vice President Vania Arthur brandish a poster publicizing the new club.

Written By Emily Bennett , Editor-Elect

“Do you like me? Check yes or no.”

It was the love letter heard ‘round the world – at least it was when you were in grade school. Passing, writing and receiving love letters was one of the most compelling past-times of many childhoods. No matter whom they were from, no matter what they said, letters always made you feel like a million bucks.

In a social media-drenched world normally devoid of handwritten sentiments, photojournalism majors Chloe Jakiela and Vania Arthur want to preserve that sweet feeling for college students.

“I’ve always liked journaling from a young age, and I’ve almost always been overly empathetic towards people,” Jakiela, President of the new Campus Cursive: the World Needs More Love Letters club, said. “I wanted to start this club because I thought this would be a direct way to spread more kindness and brightness around campus and make people’s days better by a little moment on a piece of paper.”

Arthur, Vice President, has also been a life-long proponent of hand-written letters.

“In elementary school, I would write little letters that I wanted to keep secret, but everybody always recognized my handwriting,” Arthur said, laughing.

Combine both students’ affection for all things love letters with their compassionate worldviews, and you have the beginnings of the Point Park chapter of Campus Cursive.

Campus Cursive: the World Needs More Love Letters is an on- and off-campus movement dedicated to composing and delivering anonymous love letters to strangers in need as well as finding random nooks and crannies to hide them in so any regular somebody can pick one up.

“We’re planning on most likely meeting every other week,” Jakiela said. “Those meetings will consist of writing letters and dropping them in places for people to find.”

In addition to the clandestine letter dropping, the club has dreamed up what they call “letter bundles,” where one person receives a large bundle of letters written specifically to suit their adverse scenario.

“The way we’re going to do it is create polls, some kind of fair system, for people to nominate loved ones or friends who are in extra need of some love,” Jakiela said.

There are around 70 Campus Cursive clubs located on college campuses all over the world, according to Jakiela. Thanks to a two-year endeavor on Jakiela and Arthur’s part, Point Park is now an official satellite school.

“It’s not an exaggeration at all that it’s taken two years,” Jakiela said. “I was involved in a lot, but I thought, I have one year left. As senior year approached, I thought this is now or never. I just felt really compelled to do this.”

It is normal for new clubs on campus to gain lots of immediate interest at its startup, but something about Campus Cursive seems special according to Arthur, who helped spearhead the resurgence of the successful Black Student Union on campus.

“We’re at about 70 interested students right now,” Arthur said. “I was extremely surprised considering it’s a new club. Page after page of names, I realized this could be something that starts and actually sticks.”

Although the organization has yet to develop a permanent meeting time and space, student interest is pouring in. Eager freshman and relaxed senior alike are signing up to get together to write and distribute love letters across campus and the greater Pittsburgh area. Senior English major Kidde Kokole decided to sign up because she sees nameless encouragement as a non-debatably positive endeavor.

“I just love the idea of having encouragement and positivity on campus in an anonymous way,” Kokole said. “I think everyone can benefit from that.”

Kokole is proof that you don’t have to be a letter-writing expert in order to become part of Campus Cursive, considering she doesn’t actively practice letter writing.

“I do poetry and that’s kind of in the same strand as writing letters,” Kokole said. “I want to integrate my poems into the letters.”

There are some requirements for membership, however.

“You need to be a kind, compassionate person,” Jakiela said. “Those are the only requirements.”

For more information on becoming part of the movement, visit the Campus Cursive Instagram page @cc.ppu.