Many are aware about the Occupy Wall Street movement that has spread across the nation. Another heartfelt organization is looking to start occupying something else.
Occupy Love is a new registered student organization (RSO) at the University that grew out of a community proposal project in one social work class.
It involves loving yourself and every individual no matter a person’s race, religion or sexual preference.
“We want to have SVSU produce social workers that are promoting change,” said Victor Hunter, vice president and social work senior.
The organization hopes to create a community that is based in an origin of love, hope, belief and action.
“To me, it’s a movement of people trying to take a society from being individualistic, where people care about themselves, to a collective society,” Hunter said.
For them, love was the answer.
“I haven’t found a person yet that doesn’t hold it virtuous or sacred,” said Seth Patrick, president and social work senior.
To create a visual presence, the group is selling heart buttons that contain the word “occupy.”
“It’s a simple idea, yet it can be so strong,” Patrick said.
Supporters receive a hug from whoever sold it.
Every time a member sees another person wearing the button, they are encouraged to hug each other as well.
“Giving hugs is an open invitation of letting others know that there is someone out there that isn’t afraid to show you that they care,” said social work senior Phylicia Allen.
Profits will go toward a scholarship, statue or more buttons for others to join the movement.
According to Patrick, everything started in the last two weeks.
The group has more than 200 members.
“We’re aiming for changing mindsets,” Allen said. “There are only a select few who will truly understand and accept what Occupy Love is all about.”
Membership of the organization and movement is represented by the number of buttons sold.
Active members need only promote a message of love.
“We’re a society,” Hunter said. “We should act like one.”
It is looking to gather members willing to make a change, and spread awareness in the Tri-Cities area.
“We’re living in a world where money is the belief in charge,” Patrick said. “We’re losing touch with community.”
Hoping to bring additional awareness to SVSU, the group hopes to collaborate with the Student Social Work Organization as well as other RSOs.
“The question is, what is love to you and how do you Occupy Love in your life,” Patrick asked.