Everyone, take a moment out of your busy lives to sit back, take a deep breath, and know that through everything to get to where you are now, no matter how easy or hard it has been, you are here. You are in a college with open arms, with people who accept you for you. This is the message of the P.S. I Love You Club, as a recent addition to the campus community.
The club recognizes that some people haven’t had the best of rides. Depression, anxiety, suicidal tendencies, or other external mental fatigues such as bullying can plague happiness.These activists at Saint Rose believe in taking the extra step to show their open arms, including Samantha Viola, the founder and president of the bullying, suicide, prevention and awareness club on campus. She wants students to know that their struggle is one that is not taken lightly, and definitely shouldn’t be traveled alone.
Viola is joined in by the executive board of the club, which includes Hannah Vainio as secretary, Tess Schneider as Vice President, Deglan Reis as treasurer, and Marvin Jester as the PR and event coordinator.
The e-board is coordinating a “P.S. I Love You Day,” which will be held on Friday, Feb. 9. There will be a carnival in the main lounge from 12 to 4 p.m. in the Events and Athletics Center, and there will be an open mic night from 7 to 9 p.m. in Jack’s Place, the performance venue inside the Hearst Center for Communications. The events will represent bullying and suicide prevention and awareness.
“Everyone has been really supportive overall,” said Viola. “There has yet to be one person to have a rejection towards what the club is going for.”
The club e-board is appreciative of the support and assistance they have received from to Ken Scott, director of community service, Joan Horgan, the director of campus ministry, and Allen Martall, assistant director of counseling and psychological services for making this day possible.
The event’s inspiration to make it on campus came from two sources in Viola’s life. Not only did a similar club originate in Viola’s hometown of West Islip, NY by a girl named Brooke DiPalma, but this event personally impacted Viola when her best friend passed away last year.
“I needed something positive to go on and I remembered that in high school we celebrated ‘P.S. I love you day,’” she said.
The original intentions were to spread awareness and to give people an understanding that not only is it okay to be open and talk about these issues, but support is needed to be embraced in society.
“I felt like at this school it wasn’t talked about as much as it should be” Viola said, of her experience in high school.
The club has some goals going forward, with some ideas such as “Suicide survivor day” coordinating with local high-schools for a letter campaign to help support students struggling with depression or other obstacles. Any Saint Rose students can join the club who would like to, and the club is encouraging everyone they know plus all of their friends to participate on Feb 9.