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Students wear gray dress for 30 days straight

On Thursday, Sep. 25, junior Madison Korak put on the grey dress she will wear every day for 30 days.

She’s not trying to save money on clothes; in fact, she wants to raise money to help other women.

The One Grey Dress Project, co-sponsored by Panhellenic Life and Cru, asks its participants to wear a single grey dress for 30 days to raise awareness and money for organizations that aid women involved in human trafficking and those without access to education.

It was this goal that led Korak to participate.

Korak said human trafficking is “something that’s so big in our community that a lot of girls just don’t know about, I just wanted to do it to raise awareness.”

The grey dress worn during the project symbolizes the lack of choices for women caught in human trafficking or without access to education.

According to the project’s website, by only wearing one grey dress, participants “can feel a small piece of the isolation, oppression, and enslavement felt by girls and women worldwide in human trafficking and impoverishment.”

Breanna Randolph, vice-president of service for Panhellenic Council, said the project actually started a few years ago with a woman at Cru.

“She came up with the idea to wear the same grey dress for … six months,” Randolph said. “She donated all of the money she would have spent on clothing during that time period to the Daughter Project.”

Randolph said some sororities had actually participated in the One Grey Dress Project in past years, but she wanted more involvement.

“This year I wanted us to participate even more so now we’re [Panhellenic Council] a co-sponsor of it with Cru,” Randolph said.

The three organizations the project is raising money for are the Circle of Sisterhood, The Daughter Project and the Aruna Project. The Circle of Sisterhood focuses on providing education to girls and women around the world, while The Daughter Project and the Aruna Project focus on human trafficking.

The council has an extra connection to the Aruna Project.

Randolph said, “Panhellenic is co-sponsoring the Aruna 5K and we are encouraging everyone that does the One Grey Dress Project to run or walk in the 5K because that is the final day of our month-long event.”

Korak said she started the feel the lack of choice on the second day of the project.

“I can’t wear anything BG. I’m not part of the college community like a usually am,” Korak said. “I can’t … be unique as an individual because I’m blending into the background.”

The website states that participants are allowed to change out of their dresses for things like work or sleeping.

“The only time that I’ve had to change out of the dress was for work and it felt really weird doing that,” Korak said.

Randolph said at least 30 women are participating in the project, but the project has also seen support on a wider basis.

“From staff and faculty … there’s been a lot of support,” Randolph said. “As far as the student body, there’s been a lot of positive reaction[s].”

Randolph added that many of these reactions come through social media, where some of the women participating post pictures of themselves wearing their grey dresses to raise awareness.

Korak is one of those women.

“Everyday, I’m putting it on Instagram with a fact about human trafficking and I’m putting it all over my Facebook,” Korak said. “I’m trying to get people to either run the 5K or give money to the actual One Grey Dress Project.”

People can learn more about the project and donate at onegreydressproject.weebly.com.

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