Evansville Rocks to spread campus cheer

Tyler Baugh
Evansville Rocks member Susan Todd said she has painted over 170 rocks in the past three weeks. Todd said she plans to spread to rocks around campus next week.

Local Facebook group Evansville Rocks is coming to campus. The group focuses around painting rocks with positive messages taped to the back, which they then hide around local areas for others to find and post on social media. The Shield sat down with group member Susan Todd, a Senior Administrative Associate for Enrollment Management to discuss her involvement in the organization and what message she hopes to send to students.


The Shield: What is this Evansville Rocks about? What do they do?

Todd: It’s a pretty big movement and it’s become a positive thing. It all started because folks in Ohio were having a lot of bad media with political things that were happening. In January of this year a group got together and wanted to do something positive with everything going on in politics and they came up with the idea of doing these painted rocks that they have heard about. They are nicknamed the “kindness rocks.” They are supposed to brighten someone’s day. Some people paint a message on them. I have done about 170 over the past couple of weeks. It’s a marbling technique and it’s pretty easy to do.


The Shield: How did you become involved with the organization?

Todd: I joined the Evansville Rocks group about a month ago when I saw a rock in the parking lot. It just said “you are not alone” and it was just so neat. I went online and started finding out about this movement. When I joined the group, they had about 2,500 followers now they have about 3,000. My focus is USI, because I work at USI and I’m also a student at USI, I am working on my master’s. I work with students and I know some students are moving away from home for the first time and college can be stressful. I started painting and painting and painting and really got kind of addicted, but I kept thinking about ‘well if somebody finds these, will it really brighten their day?’


The Shield: What are the rules regarding where you can put the rocks?

Todd: The rules are that you want to be respectful. They are mainly common sense stuff. You don’t take things in and out of state parks. You want to be mindful about where you are leaving them so they are not going to be in somebody’s way. But I do want students to know that when they see a rock, they can take it. The whole point is that if you find a rock, you can keep it. You can re-hide it. You can go to the Facebook page and say ‘I found it here,’ and then they can re-hide it somewhere else. Everybody is finding a way to do it where they are and share this thing and that’s why it keeps growing and growing and growing. It’s just to remind people that there are people in the world who are kind and they are thoughtful about other people especially at a time where we are hearing a lot of negative news. This is to remind people that everything isn’t hopeless. Everything isn’t negative. There are good people who really care about others.


The Shield: What message are you trying to send to students?

Todd: The main thing for me is that you are not alone. I want them to know that there are people that are thinking about them and care about them. Hopefully, the rocks are a reminder that this person that doesn’t even know me cares about what happens to me. That is really the message for anyone even outside of USI, just letting people know that they are not in this alone.