“Post-It Project” Brings Hope and Encouragement to Survivors of Sexual Assault

In October 2018 Bemidji State University’s Dr. Kate Larson, associate professor of psychology, Dr. Kathryn Klement, assistant professor of psychology and Dr. Sue Rickers, associate professor and department chair of social work, launched the Post-It Project on campus.

Students, faculty and staff were encouraged to leave messages of love and support for survivors of sexual assault on the skyway windows between Bridgeman and Hagg-Sauer halls. The project gives the campus community an opportunity to combat the stigma that comes with reporting, raise awareness of sexual assault and give encouragement to all survivors.

The response was overwhelming and new notes continue to find their way to the wall.

“It started as a way to channel our frustration and sadness into something that could be supportive and potentially uplifting,” Larson said. “I believe we accomplished just that by providing students, staff, faculty and visitors on campus an opportunity to share, support and connect. I walk through the space on my way into work each morning, reading the messages, scanning for newly added comments, and I’m amazed to find they keep growing.”

Initially, the notes were spread randomly along the skyway, but at the start of the spring semester, Larson and Klement asked BSU senior Kylie DeGrote, a psychology major from Laporte, Minn., to arrange the notes into an artistic design. DeGrote arranged the messages into flowers.

“I chose to arrange them into flowers as a double meaning of sorts. The blue flower is supposed to look like the flower called Forget Me Not,” DeGrote said. “I thought it would be great symbolism for survivors to know they are not forgotten. Flowers also symbolize growth and beauty out of the dirt and dust.”

Degrote also added her own message for survivors –“I believe you,” she wrote.

Klement said the Post it Project is a testament to how a community can unite to support those in need.

“The project is important to me because it visibly demonstrates our support at BSU for folks who’ve been sexually victimized and it provides a space for people to get support, comfort or catharsis about their own experiences or for those they know who might have these experiences,” she said. “I’m very proud that we could do this at BSU.”

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MN State logoBemidji State University, located amid the lakes and forests of northern Minnesota, occupies a wooded campus along the shore of Lake Bemidji. Enrolling more than 5,100 students, Bemidji State offers more than 80 undergraduate majors and eight graduate degrees encompassing arts, sciences and select professional programs. BSU is a member of the Minnesota State system of colleges and universities and has a faculty and staff of more than 550. The university’s Shared Fundamental Values include environmental stewardship, civic engagement and international and multicultural understanding. For more, visit bemidjistate.edu or find us at BemidjiState on most of your favorite social media networks.


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