The Bench of Positivity

Kayla Riemensperger, a sophomore here at DePauw, had a brilliant idea to get the students and other members of Greencastle all together as one. For her independent project, Kayla decided to work on something she calls “The Bench of Positivity.” On Thursday, April 13 between the hours of 12 and 4, Kayla had the chair sitting out in Bowman Park for others to come by and put their names and handprints on the bench.


She explains the bench as “a destination where secondary and post-secondary students who are struggling to connect with others, and find it difficult to ask for help, can talk with someone willing to offer an ear to listen with, a shoulder to cry on or just a simple “hello.” The purpose of this project is to symbolize that everyone is different. Every person comes from a different location and has a different background. With all of that aside, the bench has the power to keep everyone together because, in Kayla’s words, “we’re all simply just human.”

She has mentioned some rules on her bench: If you are passing by the bench and you see a person sitting there alone, you are encouraged to sit with them and talk. Get to know them a little or simply ask about their day. Learning information about another person is powerful and could possibly turn into a new friend or a friendly face around campus. The project is a wonderful example of inclusion for our campus.

Here, Leia Hudgins is placing her handprint on the positivity bench! As you can see numerous other students have already participated.

Here, I have placed my print on the bench as well. Yes I did not use a handprint and neither did other students. The bench is not only for handprints, but any design you would like! I have very happy to have been walking passed Bowman on this Thursday to be apart of something beautiful that can bring our campus together.

I find Kayla’s project to be heart-warming. We have had some hardships on this campus with connecting with others and her bench is one step closer to healing wounds.