Flush out bathroom graffiti with Post-Its

By Angelina Garibay |Staff Writer|

Graffiti on the walls of the CSUSB bathrooms. Are you kidding me?

I was shocked when I saw that people, presumably women, had started a conversation of a philosophical nature on the walls of the bathroom stalls in the Lady’s room.

Each day It mushroomed until the stall was almost covered, then the custodial staff came and repainted.

The women’s restrooms are not the only ones that get defaced with graffiti; the men’s restrooms are just as bad, if not worse.

You expect to see this kind of thing in high school bathrooms, but to see it at a university is completely ridiculous.

There are other ways to get this need out of your system. If you are in the bathroom and the urge seizes you to share your viewpoint let me recommend a sticky note.

It’s a simple little product that can help you divulge your innermost thoughts without costing the college any money to remove.

Some individuals have taken this idea and developed campaigns for their causes by using sticky notes and leaving them in other conspicuous places.

“How’s that hope and change working for you? Nobama 2012,” is a sticky note slogan that was, at first being left on gas pumps. It can now be found on grocery store shelves by the high prices as well.

Another sticky note campaign that was started in 2007 by Anthony Harris, a student of Morehouse College, challenged fellow students to complain about the problems they saw around the campus.

Harris’ campaign “Stick It to the House” envisioned a school smothered in Post-It notes in all the places where problems occurred. Notes about the dirty showers in the showers, notes about lacking a stop sign at the intersection, etc.

However, my favorite sticky note campaign idea was developed by Caitlin Boyle called “Operation Beautiful.”

Boyle started leaving encouraging sticky notes in the bathroom to build self esteem and stop the fat talk that women, looking in the mirror, tend to tell themselves.

“You are beautiful just the way you are!” surrounded by hearts on a sticky note can make anyone reconsider their self talk, men included.

These endeavors eventually prompted Boyle to create a website, operationbeautiful.com, where people can send photos of the sticky notes they have encountered. They also share how these notes have affected them personally.

One particular story is told of an anorexic girl going into the bathroom to throw up her lunch.

She encountered a note which made her stop and think. She ended up getting treatment and stopping that downward spiral in her life.
These stories have been gathered in Boyle’s book, “Operation Beautiful: Transforming Yourself One Post-It Note at a Time.” She also has a blog called Healthy Tipping Point (healthytippingpoint.com).

Graffiti is such a destructive avenue to express yourself. It’s childish and expensive, after all, we students are the ones paying for the removal of it.

And were you aware you could be expelled for damage to university property?

How about trying a more thoughtful path to self expression through sticky notes? We all have something to say and the anonymity of Post-Its make it easy. Whether you are ranting at the machine, philosophizing, encouraging fellow students or crying about your significant other a sticky note can do the trick without the mess.

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