By Noah Vargas
Elm Staff Writer
The Green Bandana Project is officially coming to Washington College. Led by junior Bridget Tiffey, this club is in the process of getting club status.
According to Tiffey, the Green Bandana Project is a mental health awareness and suicide prevention campaign that uses backpacks and green bandanas to support peers in getting help.
“The Green Bandana Project works against stigma and reinforces solidarity in mental health awareness. Once you become a member of Green Bandana you receive a lime green bandana to put on your backpack and receive a resource card with all the on and off campus support locations related to mental health,” Tiffey said. “The simple idea of wearing a green bandana on your backpack can help everyone on WC’s campus feel connected.”
Tiffey also spoke on her overall feelings toward this cause.
“I am very passionate about bringing this organization to WC to spread awareness, but to also help build relationships with all students, faculty, and staff,” Tiffey said.
Presently, according to Tiffey, a small group of students is working with her on this process. Tiffey plans to share information about the Green Bandana Project around campus this semester so the club’s membership will be strong by the spring semester, when she hopes to be approved by the national organization.
“My lacrosse head coach, Kathryn Fowler, has joined in being our faculty sponsor,” Tiffey said. “I plan to get my women’s lacrosse team very involved, as well as other sports, clubs, and organizations on campus.”
At the end of October, Tiffey will meet with the head of Green Bandana in order to secure an official approval for WC. According to Tiffey, this process could take the rest of the fall semester and into the spring while the board members work with Green Bandana and undergo training.
“In the meantime, I have been conversing with a small, liberal arts college, very similar to us, in Ashland, Virginia.” Tiffey said. “Randolph-Macon College is in their second year of having Green Bandana on their campus. Because of how similar WC is to Randolph-Macon College, I have been able to talk to their board and get more information on how they started and how it is going for them.”
The Student Government Association recently granted Green Bandana Club B status at the College, which means they will receive funding during the spring round of budgeting once the club’s formally approved.
“I attended Senate and spoke with the Budget Committee as well as the entire SGA,” Tiffey said. “I have been working with Jonah Nicholson, Vice President of SGA, and we have created our Campus Groups page. This will help during the duration of time waiting to get officially approved by Green Bandana, to help spread the word. Unfortunately, I cannot start distributing bandanas or resources or use The Green Bandana Project name or logo on anything until we get approved.”
Tiffey’s ideas for events and increased campus visibility include Green Bandana athletic events, tabling, promotion encouraging students to wear green, and interest meetings.
Those interested in learning more about the project can do so on their website, thebandanaproj.org. For more information about the club’s presence on campus, sign up for the club on Campus Groups, or reach out to Tiffey at email@example.com.