May 24, 2019 | 60° F

The 'Before I Die' wall will be traveling around campus this week

RUPA is encouraging students to leave their mark

Photo by The Daily Targum |

The Rutgers University Programming Association created the ‘Before I Die’ wall to encourage students to share experiences with one another and connect as a community. The wall will be making its way around the College Avenue, Cook and Livingston campuses.

Today through Thursday the Rutgers University Programming Association (RUPA) is hosting the annual "Before I Die" wall event.

According to the website, "Before I Die" is a global participatory public art project that urges people to reimagine their relationship with death and with one another.

The first "Before I Die" wall was created on the side of an abandoned house in New Orleans by artist Candy Chang after the death of someone she loved, according to the website. Today communities in more than 70 different countries participate in the project.

At the event, students will be encouraged to finish the sentence, “Before I die, I want to … ”

It will take place at The Yard on the College Avenue campus on Oct. 3 from 12 to 4 p.m., Scarlet Harvest on Douglass campus on Oct. 4 from 3 to 6 p.m. and the Courtyard on Livingston campus on Oct. 5 from 12 to 4 p.m.

Everyone who wants to come is welcome to add their own personal touch to the wall.

“The goal of the event is to provide students with something insightful to engage with. We want students to think about their place in the world and share it with others,” said Mithu Sankaranarayanan, a Rutgers Business School sophomore and the assistant director of RUPA’s Arts and Culture Committee.

Students should participate so that they can make their passions and goals known to the public, Sankaranarayanan said. While doing so, they can learn about someone else.

About 250 people are estimated to participate in the project each day it takes place, she said.

“People should care about the 'Before I Die' walls because it’s not a formal event that takes a significant amount of time out of their days,” Sankaranarayanan said. “They can just walk by and read other people’s responses, or they can participate if they’d like.”

The organizers hope for people to walk away from the event with a more worldly view of others’ passions and aspirations, she said.

“Each wall is created by local residents who want to make a space in their community to restore perspective and share more with one another,” the website said. “Each wall is a tribute to living an examined life.”

Stephen Weiss

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