Entering the dim Maraschi Room to a dozen candles and thick blankets definitely set the mood for the night ahead. Post Script is a monthly narrative for students who need to voice their experiences within a safe space. Topics in the September group included sexual assault, abusive relationships, mental health and discovering gender and sexual identities. Most stories were both heartbreaking and inspiring, and some briefly spoke to say how much love and acceptance they felt within the room.
20 or so students sat in a circle, some cuddled up with a blanket or a cup of warm tea in hand. All were ready to listen respectfully. “There’s a lot of intersections here and even if people don’t experience it, they respect the person’s voice,” says an anonymous Post Script attendee. As each volunteer took a turn telling an intimate story or making a positive comment, all were concluded not with applauses, but with snaps, alluding to the poeticism of each person’s truth.
This year’s Post Script events are hosted by senior international studies major Yasmin Kouchesfahani. “If things aren’t being validated or things aren’t being recognized outside I want there to be a space where it is,” she said. She gave short breaks which included time to get tea and snacks and do breathing exercises. The night closed out with a prayer with everyone hand-in-hand. “I feel like there’s truly a community of people who get one another,” one student commented as they left the event.
To voice personal struggles to someone other than family and friends may sound intimidating. But, the reality is anyone can relate and show compassion, though participation is not required. “We have staff here that are trained and ready to talk to students who are feeling triggered or overwhelmed,” Kouchesfahani noted. The attendees and the Gender and Sexuality Center staff were comforting to those dealing with stress or trauma. Post Script is a healthy and therapeutic way to speak out in a nonjudgmental environment.
The next Post Script event will be held in the Berman Room in Fromm Hall on Thursday, Oct. 12 from 7 p.m. – 9 p.m. The theme is “I’m a Survivor” and will explore personal and community-wide struggles conquering oppression and hardships.