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Wednesday, Sep 22, 2021

Have you noticed the Mercer buttons around campus?

Beginning in August 2016, sophomores through seniors have received a button each fall with a saying on it that represents their year in school. The initiative is called Bear Your Button and is gaining popularity throughout campus this fall.

Bear Your Buttons is a campaign that was started by the Office of Student Success. At the beginning of the fall semester, students who had been at Mercer the previous spring or fall will receive a button.

Student Success Counselor, Emily Halstead, said the buttons are handed out by an RA or put in students’ Mercer mailbox.

“The idea of Bear Your Button came from a discussion within the Office for Student Success between me and Kellie Chastain, the Director of Undergraduate Retention,” she said.“We wanted to acknowledge the significance of students progressing, with the community of their academic class, to a new year and another step closer to earning a Mercer degree.”

Halstead and Chastain said they wanted to give students who return to Mercer a physical reminder of their progress. The buttons allow each class to be distinguished from one another and allows students to demonstrate their Mercer pride.

Halstead said that each class has a button with a saying that represents their progress in their goal to graduation.

The sophomore button says, “Bears are strong. A Sleuth is invincible.” Halstead said this was chosen to tell second-year students that they are surrounded by a community that is willing to support them.

The button for juniors says, “Conquer & Prevail.” Halstead said this is taken from Mercer’s Alma Mater to encourage third year students to remain strong in challenges they may face.

Finally, the senior button says, “To serve, to lead & to change the world.” Halstead said this saying encourages seniors to embrace Mercer’s mission of service as they graduate and continue on their journey.

Wearing these buttons on your backpack not only demonstrates your Mercer spirit, but can also win you prizes.

“We select different days throughout the year to give out prizes when we spot students who are wearing a button,” Halstead said.

Prizes have included donuts, candy, Mercer stickers and vouchers for free coffee from Jittery Joe’s.

Jittery Joe’s gift cards are new prizes for this semester and will be raffled to students who post a picture on Facebook or Instagram of their button on their backpack using #BearYourButton, Halstead said.

“It's cool to see other people on campus with their buttons so you can tell what year everyone walking around is. It's also a great way to show Mercer spirit,” said student Claudia McMeekin. 


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