Morgan Dailey was a college freshman when she came across a social media post and open letter focused on finding joy. It was written by Clemson Football Coach Dabo Swinney on ifyourereadingthis.org (IYRT), a website aimed at creating a community around mental health advocacy. Dailey remembers it making a meaningful impression.
“I thought it was incredible Clemson got someone so renowned to contribute,” she says. “That had a lot of impact on me.”
Eighteen months later, Dailey is teaming with senior Imari Crumity to coordinate open letters from students, faculty and staff as part of a unique initiative that brings personal stories, resource sharing and an educational focus toward mental health to the Clemson community on Instagram and LinkedIn. Dailey is a junior psychology major, while Crumity is pursuing a degree in sociology. Both are scheduled to graduate in 2024.
Before their time is up, however, the two are busy following their passion for enabling personal connection in others through the idea of vulnerability — acknowledging the fact it’s okay to struggle with mental health — through the power of words.
In the fall, Dailey and Crumity facilitated the posting of 15 open letters to IYRT, mostly from students. Clemson is part of a larger national network of schools — 20 institutions total — with representation in the IYRT initiative. Requests to contribute letters range from direct messages, anonymous nominations or individual outreach.
It’s not always students, either. In addition to Swinney, professors and advisors have contributed through IYRT. Letters are posted on Wednesdays online and via social.
“If we maintain our current level of activity on social media, we’ll continue to reach different audiences,” Crumity says. “Reading stories from people I’ve looked up to on campus and seeing familiar names and faces creates that personal connection and authenticity.”
Crumity arrived at Clemson by way of Jesup, Georgia and is one of the most active students on Clemson’s campus. In addition to co-presiding over IYRT, she is a member of Clemson Undergraduate Student Government and Clemson’s NAACP chapter, while serving as president of Kappa Alpha Pi pre-law fraternity and vice president of Sister 2 Sister. In her “spare” time, she’s a student assistant in the Center for Student Leadership and Engagement.
She recognizes the difficulties and stresses facing today’s college students and wants to help in any way possible.
“College is a difficult time for many; it’s a lot of new and a lot of transition,” she says. “There are things about your own mental health you don’t understand. We want students to know it’s okay to not be okay, and IYRT provides that sense of vulnerability.”
Dailey is a Clemson legacy — both of her parents graduated from Clemson — from Greenville, South Carolina. She’s also active on campus as a member of Alpha Delta Pi and as a volunteer with National Alzheimer’s Buddies. After graduation, she plans to pursue a master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling.
Dailey says being involved in this initiative is a defining part of her Clemson experience.
“It’s really enhanced my interest in clinical mental health counseling,” she says. “The people I’ve met, I feel a different type of connect with them. There’s something special about this initiative and it’s been cool to be part of it these last six months.”
Editor’s Note: Email Imari Crumity and Morgan Dailey if you have an interest in submitting a letter to “If You’re Reading This.” Visit the Clemson page or follow the initiative on Instagram to read messages from students, faculty and staff!