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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

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Students spill their secrets on colorful, anonymous postcards

Ezra Margono/The Statesman

Tucked in the back of the Student Activities Center in the Art Gallery lies a secret, over 900 in fact.  The third Stony Brook Secrets event, created by Ed Arzomand, a senior applied mathematics and statistics and business management double major, was unveiled last week.

This event’s purpose was to share Stony Brook students’ secrets on notecard-sized cards with the campus community.  The cards, which were placed on the walls of the gallery, as well as descending from the ceiling on string, held a variety of secrets.

The project is based on PostSecret, which “is an ongoing community art project where people mail in their secrets anonymously on one side of a homemade postcard.”

Some of the secrets at the Stony Brook Secrets version were really quite personal, such as “I literally believe I am the ugliest girl on the planet,” and, “I’m an undocumented immigrant… But you would never know by looking or talking to me!  (Remember not to make assumptions).”

Some of the cards were very creative.  One card was actually a photograph of a small girl that had streaks of correction fluid.  The correction fluid became the means for the anonymous author to write on the photograph.  Another card was made to look like an iPhone texting screen.  Countless other cards looked as if bits of magazines were used both to form the words, but, more often than not, pictures were placed on cards to complement the secret.

Other cards were a tad foolish, and some were not believable secrets at all.  One of the cards claimed that, “I am the kool-aid man.”  Another just said, “I like chicken.”  However, the number of truly believable secrets far outweighed the nonsensical ones.

It was evident that a lot of student effort and time had gone into making this secret collage.

Because Arzomand asks that all secrets submitted be truthful, it might be assumed he would be a bit upset that people would do such a thing, but he takes it with a grain of salt.  He turns it into something positive: “It gives you insight as to what the person was thinking at the time,” he said.

Ezra Margono/The Statesman

He was, however, much happier with the truthful secrets, “It makes me happy they got really creative.  I’m glad they had fun with it.”  He also wants it to be known to all those who submit secrets that “resources are available to them,” he said, because some of the secrets must have taken a lot of personal strength to admit, even anonymously.

This is his third year hosting the program.  The first time was an Resident Assistant program Arzomand put on, and he said this year’s event was “everything I wanted.  I couldn’t be happier.”  That is a pretty reasonable reaction, as last year’s event had approximately 400 secrets, and this year has over 900 entries.

One student, who was quite absorbed in the secrets, took the time to answer a few questions.  Keri Fico, a graduate student in the social work program, was drawn in because she knew about PostSecret, the website that inspired Arzomand, and she wanted to see what people on campus are feeling.

Fico, who submitted three secrets herself, said, “I’m thinking in my head what everyone is focusing [their secrets] on.  Everyone is obsessed with love.”  She proceeded to put her earbuds back in and exam the secrets that filled with walls of the gallery.

As students milled in and out of the exhibit, Arzomand took the time to greet most of them, and he spent a majority of the time socializing with those wandering the gallery.  It is his brainchild, and he wanted to ensure the success of the exhibit.  He was even taking the time to select the music being played from the speakers in the center of the room.

Stony Brook Secrets will continue until March 29.  The gallery is open from 5 to 10 p.m. and during campus lifetime.

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