When Mo Phillips and other Residential Life officers were brainstorming different areas to concentrate on for the semester they realized that a diversity issue was the trouble students were having connecting to one another.
Phillips, the Associate Director of Student Development, recognized the difficulty in really knowing who people are based on outward appearances. "If people knew people better, maybe they would understand," Phillips and her staff thought.
Discussions revolving around how students treat each other on campus also brought voice to the concern that texting and social media can hinder and minimize the importance of social interaction on a face-to-face basis.
Thus was born the Faces of SSU exhibit that has been making the rounds of the campus and is in its final exhibit space on the second floor of the University Library from Dec. 3-7.
The vision of this exhibition was to create an inviting showcase of the student community that encourages conversation and communication from students about their experiences and expresses who they are as individuals.
The display features students who take an active role in the campus community. Each poster displays a student leader with an accompanying profile designed to provide insight into the diverse experiences of student community members.
Students chosen to be the "faces" of this project are individuals who are active in the SSU community, some holding multiple leadership positions on campus. Phillips said this was done because these students are more easily recognizable to the student population as a whole and represent a diverse group of individuals who may not be represented elsewhere.
The different exhibition locations were chosen intentionally. The exhibit opened at the HUB, which Phillips said seemed fitting because the goals of the HUB and the "Faces of SSU" project align in terms of building student community. The display also traveled to the Zinfandel Dining Room, where freshmen were able to read about students that started out just like them and relate to their unique stories.
Phillips said that the project turned out a lot better than she expected, and hopes to continue and expand upon the project concept in the future. As a gift for their participation, the students of the "Faces of SSU" project will be given their posters to keep at the close of the exhibition.
The posters were designed by Cody Fitzgerald who also served as the main photographer.
Important support was also provided by the SSE Marketing Department who provided important graphic and printing support. "The success of this exhibit far exceeded our expectations," said Casey Kelley, Marketing Coordinator, Entrepreneurial Activities.