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The Write Stuff

  • Words of support
    Words of support  This is a sample of the typical letter Campus Cursive sends to students. The letters are designed to lift someone's spirits or to let them know that others think they are terrific.  Photo courtesy of Amy Olejniczak
  • Coffee mates
    Coffee mates  Campus Cursive also writes notes of encouragement on the coffee sleeves found at the Aroma's inside Swem Library.  Photo courtesy of Amy Olejniczak
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Maybe you and the person you’ve been dating are no longer an item, and it wasn’t your idea. Maybe you botched a test. Maybe there’s a problem at home that has just become worse. Maybe the allergies you’ve battled all fall just exploded into a full-blown sinus infection.

Bottom line: You’re feeling down and dispirited as you trudge to your campus mailbox. Inside, you find a letter, signed “From a friend.” The writer tells you to hang in there, that there isn’t a William & Mary student who hasn’t been in your shoes. You have friends on campus, people who care about you. They’re thinking of you and wishing you the best. 

No, it doesn’t solve your problem. But you feel a little better. Maybe things aren’t as dire as they appeared a moment ago. 

Score one for Campus Cursive at William & Mary.

That’s the official title of the club whose mission it is to provide encouragement and positivity through hand-written letters, both on campus and in the local community.

About 15 students are active letter-writers. When the club asked students to nominate other students they thought could use a bit of written encouragement, more than 100 requests were received within the first 36 hours.

“It just goes to show that everyone needs a little bit of encouragement,” said Amy Olejniczak, founder of Campus Cursive. “It’s also testament to the power of the written word, especially in an era in which technology is moving so quickly and with college students being so busy and moving in a million different directions. It can be very nice having something lasting and permanent, assuring us that we are on the right path.”

In addition to addressing students, Campus Cursive posts messages of encouragement in public places on campus, sends letters to local community organizations, even scribbles messages on the coffee sleeves found at Aroma’s inside Swem Library. In the near future, Campus Cursive plans to send letters to staff members, cafeteria workers and anyone else who makes the William & Mary experience more enjoyable.

“One of the things I like most about William & Mary is the fantastic sense of community we have here,” said Olejniczak. “People look out for one another and they want to show others that they care. We just want to let every member of our community know that they are valued, loved and supported.”