The Paw Print
Last Wednesday, Sept. 19, the Suicide Watch Awareness Gang (S.W.A.G) revealed “1100 Reasons to Stay Alive and Connected” to Adams State University students and faculty members with a beautiful display of flowers on North Campus Green.
Pete McDill, a Resident Assistant and S.W.A.G. member says, “SWAG is a student-led group that encourages positivity by showing the ASU community that there are many reasons why people should live and being connected in the community is a great way to maintain this positivity and reach out to others.”
Over the past few months, S.W.A.G did a small survey collecting ‘reasons to stay alive’ from ASU students and each reason was creatively displayed in a small flower pot that was sold for a $1. The flowers were sold in order to promote suicide awareness on the ASU campus and also to acknowledge, with the flowers displayed in the figure of 1100, the number of college student who lost their lives to suicide each year, but with its main focus on the reasons why our lives are worth living.
“I bought a flower because I want to support the cause and I really show sympathy for those who lost their lives as a result of depression and stress,” the nursing student, Gelek Lhamo, told the Paw Print.
Students came from all over campus to support S.W.A.G. One student, China Amie, said she heard a very familiar voice on the microphone, calling her out of her dorm room and thought she should answer to the call.
Another student, unaware of what the Suicide Awareness team was promoting, picked up a few pamphlets that were on display and later brought his friends and teammates to purchase flowers that would allow for future S.W.A.G. activities on campus.
“I am really moved by their effort and I hope they keep on doing what they’re doing because my dollar can save at least one life,” Devonte Hamilton explained.
At the end of the evening, a small number of flower pots remained on the Green but the Suicide Watch Awareness Gang graciously donated the remainder to the Grizzly Activities Board (GAB) executive staff and general members.
“As Chair of GAB, I speak for us all when I say that SWAG is doing the right thing and this is why GAB strongly supports them,” says Tiana Hicks.
Piccola Royal Soft Pink and Royal White pink were the two most popular buys of the day. The beautiful White Royal Pink flower had precious white layers and had a touch of pink spreading from its core. Many students and faculty members also showed great passion towards the small Piccola Royal Soft Pink because of the tiny pink petals springing from their stems. In each of the flower pots were small sticks with small pieces of paper that gave us reasons to stay alive. One note, of the 1100 reasons, had number 495 “Getting a new puppy” as a creative way of reminding people that living is very valuable and getting a new puppy is a good reason to stay alive.
“It is exciting to see that ASU has a gang that cares about suicidal victims. I had a friend who committed suicide last summer and I am here thinking that maybe if her school had a program like this she would have found a reason to live,” added Resident Assistant, Maxine Demarco.
S.W.A.G works hard to promote excitement for life on the Adams State University campus by instilling hope and recovery, and encouraging the ASU community of connection, love, and support.