Have you ever wondered where those “TGBSM” and “Corkfessions” posters came from?
The posters are a product of There’s Gotta Be Something More (TGBSM), a group committed to encouraging deep, spiritual discussions on campus. “We think there might be something missing in terms of what’s available in the spiritual and religious landscape of MIT,” said Adam Reynolds ’01, a member of TGBSM’s leadership team.
At his graduation more than a decade ago, Reynolds says he felt “emotionally and spiritually bankrupt.”
“When I graduated I kind of needed to recover from MIT,” Reynolds said. “We’re working so hard and are so focused and so dedicated that we don’t have time to ask the deeper questions in life, like what makes my life meaningful and what is my purpose in life. You know, what do I consider to be a fulfilling life?”
In 2009, the pilot version of TGBSM was launched, but the official kickoff took place this past fall. There are weekly discussions, which aren’t tailored towards any particular religious faith, every Tuesday at 6:00 p.m. in W11-155.
According to Reynolds, the events average 5-10 people each week, which is good for small, sometimes deep conversations.
Still, the total audience is pretty small. “We found ourselves having really good discussions in TGBSM; we also realized the reality is that most people are not going to come through our door in their time at MIT because everybody’s busy.”
Thus, the idea for Corkfessions was born. TGBSM wanted a way to encourage students to fit meaningful life conversations into their schedules.
“The way it works is we set up a website (http://www.corkfessions.com), and it’s just like a simple forum somewhat similar in format to http://isawyou.mit.edu, and people can make anonymous posts and people can comment on other people’s posts. Every week, we take a handful of those and turn them into physical posters that we put around campus,” Reynolds said.
“We probably could have done a better job communicating how Corkfessions work,” he said, “Because it seems like a lot of people had the idea that the statements on the posters were something that we were trying to say when in fact we don’t even know who wrote those.”
Looking to the future, TGBSM is hoping to become an ASA-recognized group and currently has an application pending.