In the wake of the tragic loss of UW–Stout student Hussain Alnahdi, many of our peers have come together like never before in an organized effort to make everyone feel safe and accepted. The goal of the ‘Green Ribbon Campaign’ is to let anyone who might feel at risk know that they have an ally nearby.
While originally crafted and distributed as a means of remembering Hussain, the small green ribbons quickly spread across campus and became something more. Several students helmed the campaign with the help of a few faculty members and staff advisors, as well as the participation of various clubs. The Stout Student Association has been one of the primary student groups associated with the project, though the ideal goal is to have as many organizations involved as possible. Support for the campaign has been overwhelming; while the community typically isn’t super involved with the UW–Stout campus, many local businesses have already reached out to help distribute ribbons.
Rohini Singh, one of the minds behind the campaign, voiced concern over issues many students are feeling regarding safety. “Students need to feel safe. Students of color do not feel safe… International students, nobody feels safe, and they’re too afraid to say [anything]… and that’s a problem.”
Citing other similar campaigns that also utilized pinned decor to show solidarity as inspiration for the Green Ribbon, the unspoken nature of the campaign is meant to make it easy for students to find allies.
It is the desire of the campaign organizers for the project to continue in the future. “We want this to be a long term thing. I hope to come back in a year and still see green ribbons out,” said Maggie Thesing, one of the main creators of the campaign.
“For now… we have a plan in place; it’s not just going to be the ribbons,” Singh says about the future of Green Ribbon campaign. “We have plans we’ll pursue in order to achieve the larger goal, which is to achieve some sort of equity and embracing of diversity on campus, but for now, we’re starting with this.”
Racial issues and discrimination may not be new to our campus, but now it seems as though students are banding together to finally press university management for change that so many of our fellow students would benefit from.