On Tuesday, February 28, the SGA assembled with a main focus on the events of Mental Health Week, followed by a usual procession of government agenda.
The weeklong event, geared at raising awareness for mental health, stemmed from an SGA meeting last November.
Hollie Shields, Chief of Staff and Association of Student Government Liaison, suggested an idea at the meeting to unite the seventeen UNC campuses by expanding past a one-day celebration and holding a full week of events instead.
This resulted in Shields planning, hosting and implementing a 5-day calendar based on the hashtag #StigmaFreeNC that spanned from February 27 to March 3.
“Power of Gratitude” was the first event of the week which was based around the making of a “gratitude tree” that allowed students to write specifics they are thankful for onto paper leaves. “Kickin’ it in Kaplan,” the second event on Monday, promoted healthy lifestyle practices through paddleboard-yoga and a dance party.
Tuesday, “On a Positive Note” let students write uplifting messages for themselves or friends. That was followed by the SGA Senate Sit-in.
Students were invited to create vision boards on Wednesday which consist of images or words that help to remind oneself of future goals. After the vision boards, an open mic-night was hosted in the EUC auditorium allowing students to express themselves through different mediums such as poetry or music.
“Know the Facts” and “Find Your Purpose in One Breath” were hosted on Thursday to inform the public as well as teaching breathing techniques.
The final day concluded with the #StigmaFreeNC march that started at noon in front of the Mary Foust building. The stigma board, created earlier in the week, was a wooden board that students could write classic stigmas heard every day such as “real men don’t cry” or “it’s just a phase.” The stigma board was broken at the march to represent a symbolic breaking of the different stimgas.
“Being in college, I think mental health problems are something we are all affected by either directly or indirectly,” Shields said. “In some way or somehow, you know somebody going through it or you struggle with it. I just want people to realize that we all are here and we should be able to speak about it without the stigma.”
The following precession of the government agenda included Student Body President Joseph B. Graham sharing his view about the importance of Associated Student Government.
“I want UNCG students to know more about ASG,” Graham said. “There is so much money in ASG because each student in the system pays $1 and if you’re a student group, a department or something else like that who works with students, they can go to ASG directly and ask for a grant for student events.”
The Pink Pad Project, a collection of feminine hygiene products for the homeless, and the Women’s Empowerment Expo are the next upcoming events for SGA.
The UNCG SGA meets weekly in EUC Maple on Tuesdays at 7 p.m., and is open to the public.