Senior project calls for student secrets

Courtesy Photo / Sara Zecman
Senior Sara Zecman, who is working on GrandSecrets, her senior project

Courtesy Photo / Sara Zecman Senior Sara Zecman, who is working on “GrandSecrets”, her senior project

Eric Higgins

If you could tell someone a secret, what would it be?

Grand Valley State University student Sara Zecman hopes to find out through her senior project “Grand Secrets,” in which Zecman will hand out and collect post cards on which students can divulge their secrets.

Zecman said she got the project idea from the misconceptions she sees on campus.

“I was doing some research for my women and gender studies and was noticing that there’s kind of a gap between what some students believe is happening on campus in terms of discrimination and biases and sexual assault and what is actually being reported and considered like statistics,” she said.

Danielle DeMuth, Zecman’s faculty adviser for the project, said Zecman is trying to gauge the climate of the university.

“She’s trying to get at some of the issues on campus about climate, really thinking about what being on campus is like for people,” she said.

Zecman modeled her project after Post Secret, a community art project in which people mail their secret anonymously on one side of a post card. For her project, Zecman has set up a post office box where students can send post cards that contain their secret.

“I know how popular it was, and I think it’s also important that it be very anonymous because if we’re dealing with issues such as sexual assault, harassment — I don’t want anyone feeling called out in their community, especially if we’re dealing with like LGBT issues, things like that,” she said. “I want to create a safe space, so I think by doing it in a creative way and just mailing it off to a P.O. Box, it’s really safe and anonymous and separated.”

For the project, students can write poems or sentences. They can decorate the post card or do anything else they can think of to convey their secret the best.

DeMuth said students will be interested in Zecman’s project because it will give them a platform that they did not have before to voice their secret.

“I do think people will gravitate towards it,” she said. “If you just think of how popular the Post Secret has been – this ability to say what’s on your mind, to reveal those things that you feel, that you don’t necessarily get a platform for, a voice for – people really like to do that thing. So I think it actually will be really popular.”

For more information, contact Zecman at [email protected]

[email protected]