MSUToday
Published: March 9, 2020

CAL Care Week promotes healthy living

Contact(s): Ri'An Jackson University Communications jack1432@msu.edu, Beth Brauer University Communications Beth.Brauer-Delaney@cabs.msu.edu

The events for CAL Care Week have been canceled.

A week-long event focusing on selfcare and community is coming to Michigan State March 16-20.

College of Arts and Letters Care Week features new adventures every day, with each one highlighting positive thinking and caring for others.

The event was created by two fellows in the Graduate School Leadership Development Fellowship, Cameron Chase and Rachel Robinson. Chase and Robinson are both students and instructors in the College of Arts and Letters, and the two joined forces to complete a project to create a positive change within their college.

“Our aim is to help educate or remind students on how they can take good care of themselves as well as how they can be positive contributors to their fellow Spartans,” Chase said.

With Chase’s interests in mental health and Robinson’s in wellness, CAL Care Week is a joint effort to support a stronger and healthier campus.

“MSU has been through a good deal of emotional challenges in the last few years,” Chase said. “It’s so important that there is someone expressing how much everyone in the MSU community matters. Now seems like the right moment to propel a message of care around the entire campus, reminding everyone they are appropriate, they are valued, they matter.”

Big dreams drove the vision of the event. Chase and Robinson were inspired by a similar initiative held at University of California Santa Cruz.

“It was massive,” Chase said. “There were probably 10-15 events happening each day. And so, we got really excited, saying ‘we want that.’”

From there, they adjusted their vision to fit their budget.

“Once we knew what we wanted to do, the most difficult thing was ‘How do we pare this down to something that theoretically, if needed, two people could do themselves,’” Chase said.

Despite the smaller budget, the two fit an array of low-cost, high-impact activities in Care Week — all with the goal of dispelling stigmas against mental health and making attendees feel good about themselves and inspired to care for others.

These activities promote positivity, self-awareness and connectivity. They include self-help lectures, hanging the CAL Care Week banner, a banner sporting a positive self-affirmation statement, on the bridge near the auditorium, painting The Rock, writing workshops and a yoga session. 

Chase hopes Care Week will grow to encompass all colleges and become an annual, university-wide event.

“My hope is that it’s something where the torch will be passed on,” he said. “We would love for it to grow into an initiative, where it’s not just two people doing it.”