Grey dresses to cover campus

By Courtney Brown and By Courtney Brown

Bowling Green residents, University students and faculty are going to be seeing a lot of grey dresses, and perhaps a few grey T-shirts this month.

The Panhellenic Council kicked off this year’s One Grey Dress program last Sunday, in which the main goal for participating people in Greek life is to raise awareness about human sex trafficking victims for an entire month.

So far, about 75 people have taken on the challenge to wear the same grey clothes every single day, said Jenna Grimes, who is running the One Grey Dress program this year.

However, the program this year is going to be a bit different from the previous years.

“We’re opening (the program) up to other councils this year,” Grimes said.

Because of this, the One Grey Dress program isn’t all about the dresses this year.

“For men, we’re doing a one grey T-shirt,” she said. “They came to us and asked about doing it.”

That slight twist has gained some positive feedback from both Grimes and other sorority sisters.

“It’s great that men wanted to step up and be a part of this,” sorority member Kelly Rowe said. “This effects both women and men.”

In addition to being opened up to fraternities, the One Grey Dress program has also been made available to the multicultural Greek organizations as well.

Regardless of these recent changes, the program’s end goal remains the same.

“This program really puts yourself in someone else’s shoes for 30 days,” Alpha Chi Omega member Ashlie Cox said.

In wearing the same grey clothes for 30 days, participants give up some of their freedom and control, and as such they get a small taste of what trafficking victims may feel every single day they’re sexually assaulted.

Rowe was able to shed some light on how she felt when she participated in the program last year.

“It was definitely hard to try and wear the same thing every day (last year),” Rowe said. “It was hard because you really don’t understand how people feel when they go through something like that.”

It’s sure to be a different perspective for Cox, since this year is her first time participating in the program.

“I’m a senior this year, so I wanted to do this before I left Bowling Green,” Cox said. “I’m really excited to face one of the smallest challenges.”

Along with wearing their grey dresses or shirts, participants are also set to raise money throughout the month to help organizations prevent or alleviate human sexual trafficking.

Anyone can donate to any of the three organizations participants are raising money for, Grimes said.

The three charities that benefitting from the fundraisers are the Aruna Project, the Daughter Project and the Circle of Sisterhood.

“We think that the cause we’re doing this for far outweighs just the Greek community,” Grimes said. “It’s actually really great.”

By seeing the same grey clothes every day, “it makes you wonder,” Grimes said.

If it makes people wonder, then it also raises awareness and gets them involved.

“People do notice,” Cox said. “It works.”