Chalkboards Create Community Conversations

During the 2013-2014 academic year, chalkboards located on the third and fourth floor stair landings of the Student Life Pavilion (SLP) were installed to empower USD voices. The chalkboards encourage all passersby to write a quick response to the ever-changing topic of the week. Such topics have included: "Who is a woman that inspires you? (besides your mom)" and "What empowers you?" The topics stay up for a week, and all are welcome to share thoughtful responses. It is wonderful to see the blackboards slowly fill up with a colorful explosion of ideas and expression.

The idea for the blackboards started in summer 2013, when people from the Center for Awareness, Service and Action (CASA), Graduate Student Life, the Student Leadership and Involvement Center (SLIC), the United Front Multicultural Center (UFMC), and the Women’s Center offices explored ways to have the campus community start having conversations around changemaking, a core idea at USD. The team came up with the chalkboards where anyone can write down their response to the topic of the week, and take a moment to read the other anonymous responses on the boards.

The hope is that these boards will bring energy to the conversations in the building and around campus, and encourage self-expression in the community. According to the director of the Women’s Center, Erin Lovette-Coyler, “Self-expression requires reflection and active engagement. It allows for people to find and use their voices.” USD is a Changemaker campus and these chalkboards help emphasize that.

The next time you are in the SLP, make sure to participate in the conversation!


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