Professor uses sticky notes to promote healing

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A strategic communication professor put up a display encouraging students to think of ways to heal outside of her office on the first floor of Moudy South.

A TCU professor gave students a chance to express their feelings about the presidential election in a unique way: with Post-it notes.

Ashley English, a strategic communication professor, put up four large sheets of paper outside her office in Moudy South on Wednesday morning. The first sheet read “How can we promote healing after the election? Use a posted note and share your ideas!” The sign had arrows pointing to the other sheets that read “as an individual,” “as a university” and “as a nation.”

She left markers and Post-it notes by the wall, encouraging students to write a way to heal and stick it under one of the categories.

English said she wanted students to think about the role they play in promoting unity after the divisive presidential election.

“I knew that half of the people I encountered the next day after the election results were announced would be thrilled and excited about what had occurred, and then there was a population that would be distraught, concerned and shocked,” English said. “Part of this opportunity was to give students the opportunity to think about, whether you’re happy or sad, what is your responsibility to encourage unity.”

English said she was more focused on the dialogue the Post-it notes would create rather than how many students participated in the activity.

“What I’m counting on is, I hear conversation,” English said. “There’s conversation going on outside of my office.”

By Friday afternoon, there were about 100 sticky notes on the sheets. One of the most common messages was not to stereotype all of a candidate’s supporters.

English said she believes there were people throughout the election who were afraid to show support for their candidate, and she wanted to make sure students were able to write what they were feeling without fear of backlash, regardless of who they supported.

“People felt that they wanted to support Donald Trump, and if they express that publicly they would get ridiculed,” English said. “People felt ‘I need to hold this in,’ and that’s something that resonated with me. Why do people feel they can’t say out loud where they really are? I was yelling out of my office ‘write something’ because I want people to feel like they can share– even if they think it’s not in a way that would go over well.”

English said she takes the display down when she is out of her office to avoid damage, but plans to keep putting it up so more students can come by and share.

Here are a few of the posts so far.