Students’ stickers spark conversation


Computer science sophomore shows off her accessorized laptop in William T. Young library on March 23, 2017.Photo by Blake Blevins | Staff

Michaela Bowman

The University of Kentucky has many opportunities for social engagement on campus; whether through the Martin Luther King Center, “The Convo” series, student activists relentlessly reciting Harry Potter over protesters outside of Bowman’s or students peacefully gathering outside of POT in solidarity. However, there is a form of social engagement that is found throughout campus and in every classroom that is subtle and often overlooked, yet powerful.

Stickers are social engagement with adhesive. They embellish water bottles, lamp posts, walls and any other surface that they can be stuck to. The most brilliant, though, are on students’ laptops. Laptops are expensive, thus a sticker must be worthy of placement. The insignias are strategically placed by the individual to broadcast what they care about and what they desire to share with the world.

Katie Fuhr, a finance and mathematics major, comments that, “You can really tell a lot about a person by the stickers they choose,” and to her it’s almost like an artform. She emphasizes that it’s all about how they come together to showcase our personalities.

Amanda Wahlstedt, a freshman at Wellesley College, points out that though she isn’t a massive fan of showing off causes she placed a, “Don’t boo. Vote,” sticker on the middle of her laptop because she, “wanted to make a statement.” Additionally, she has three Kentucky themed stickers because students from her home state aren’t common at Wellesley but she might connect with southerners over them.

Alternatively, they can just be cool stickers.

Hayley Washington, a psychology major, has, “Dun, Dun,” because she loves Law and Order SVU. Tori Rydzewski, an elementary education major, has her sorority letters because they reveal to people that she belongs to something “amazing and supportive.”

Kasey Logan, a senior theatre tech, has theatre conferences stickers that show off who she is. Cathryn Perini, a journalism major, has a heart with former President Barack Obama and VP Joe Biden smiling at one another because she simply loved it.

Stickers appear trivial yet they invite conversation between strangers, compel us to ask questions, and to bridge that gap of naivety. They engage us. Hence, there is a vast collection of untold sticker stories that are waiting to be discovered by a wandering eye during a monotonous lecture.

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