Cal Poly’s Butterfly Effect club granted Poly Canyon Village wings with a new mural Sept. 22. 

Club president and communications sophomore Sarah Ruhe spearheaded the mural project. The mural, she said, is meant to inspire students to enact the change they wish to see in the world. 

For every 1,000 photos taken with the interactive social butterfly installation, the nonprofit club will donate $1,000 to a charity designated by the club. For the first 1,000 photos, the Butterfly Effect club chose to donate to the Susan G. Komen Foundation for breast cancer research, in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month this October. 

The club regularly hides wooden butterflies around campus. Whoever finds one earns $250 to donate to a non-profit organization of their choice. All donations are funded by the national founder of the Butterfly Effect, Tasha Wahl. 

“The butterfly is a memento for the finder to keep, but what resonates is change that will bring hope, rebirth, faith and love to the world,” the Butterfly Effect website reads. 

Like the wooden butterflies, the Poly Canyon Village mural is an interactive proponent of student generosity. 

Poly Canyon Village administration sent out an email last June, searching to commission artists for mural paintings throughout the housing area. The Butterfly Effect club’s art was the only application approved for a permanent, outdoor mural. 

Painting the mural took two days, thanks to club members and Cal Poly students, who voluntarily pitched in. 

“I know that the Cal Poly community is so giving,” Ruhe said. “I didn’t know that such a high volume of people would lend helping hands. The amount of people who just stopped and asked if they could help, who we are and what our movement is about, was more than I could have ever imagined.”

The club president recalled she was moved to tears by the kind words of a fellow student who walked by.

“There was one guy who walked up to me and said, ‘I just want you to know that what you guys are doing is so amazing. People who walk by this mural, it’s going to make their day every day, and make their days brighter, so thank you for what you’re doing,’” Ruhe said. 

Butterfly Effect club advisor Patrick Frisco said the club’s symbol will make a daily impact in the lives of students and faculty alike.

“The butterfly remains a reminder that within our busy schedules, deadlines, and some all-nighters, how important it is to stay motivated and active in doing great good in the simple day-to-day ordinary things that we do and by the very nature of our being,” Frisco said. 

Photos taken in front of the PCV Social Butterfly Installation contribute to the project when posted and tagged, or messaged to the club’s Instagram account, @calpolybutterflyeffect. 

“Some of the talented artists caught me admiring the painting the night it was finished,” mathematics junior Devyn Snyder said. “They asked if they could snap a picture of me, so I struck a pose and smiled for the cause.”  

The weekend of Friday, Nov. 15, the club will host a campaign weekend to reach 1,000 photos with the mural. Those who wear pink for breast cancer awareness, paint wooden butterflies and snap photos with the mural will raise money for the Susan G. Komen Foundation for breast cancer research. 

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