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A spirit that is not afraid

Miss Auburn University hosts engagement week

Miss Auburn University, Mary Coker Green, in the Melton Student Center during her Engage Week on March 26, 2024.
Miss Auburn University, Mary Coker Green, in the Melton Student Center during her Engage Week on March 26, 2024.

Miss Auburn University, Mary-Coker Green, hosted Engage Week from March 25 to 28, a campaign dedicated to her service platform “Engage: building healthy and resilient minds."

Green's initiative aims to promote mental and emotional well-being through education, awareness and the utilization of mental health resources available at Auburn. 

A junior at Auburn University, Green is pursuing a double major in agricultural business and economics and public relations. Crowned Miss Auburn University in October, she has since dedicated herself to advocating for mental health awareness.

Many confuse Miss Auburn University with Miss Auburn, currently held by Grace Crim. Miss Auburn serves as the official hostess of Auburn University, whereas Miss Auburn University is a preliminary competition for Miss Alabama and is a part of the Miss America Organization. 

Throughout Engage Week, Green took to the Haley Concourse to promote her cause. Engaging directly with her peers, she initiated conversations, hosted activities like spinning a wheel for questions and distributed stickers and candy to raise awareness. She also used her social media platforms to broaden the reach of her initiative.

Green drew inspiration from the Auburn Creed to shape Engage Week, centering on a distinct initiative every day.

Monday's focus centered on the initiative to “engage in a sound mind,” stressing the significance of maintaining good mental health, particularly for college students facing various pressures and challenges.

Tuesday's agenda was to, “engage in a sound body,” originally planned as a yoga session on the Campus Green Space, but was adapted due to the weather. Green instead distributed free snacks and stickers at the Student Center while highlighting resources available at the Auburn Recreation Center, including fitness classes and personal training.

On Wednesday, Green distributed lemonade from Toomer's Drugs on the concourse, emphasizing the importance of the desire to “engage in a spirit that is not afraid.” This day focused on the importance of having courage in addressing mental health concerns, asking for help and accessing resources available to students such as Auburn Cares and the Psychological Services Center.

Thursday's theme was to, “engage in the Auburn Family,” which underscored the importance of community support in coping with mental and emotional challenges. Green advocated for finding ways to become involved with the Auburn Family as avenues for support and engagement such as joining clubs and activities.

Green advocates for individuals to not only prioritize their mental health, but also maintain open communication with their friends and loved ones.

“Ask your friends if they're struggling with anything, be willing to have the boldness to make sure that they're mentally and emotionally stable, and ask yourself what can you do to be a better friend to them,” Green said. 

Green's personal experiences fuel her commitment to mental health advocacy. Having endured a traumatic car accident during her senior year of high school, she struggled with her mental health upon starting college. She learned to recognize the cruciality of mental well-being, especially in an academic setting.

“Not having healthy mental and emotional habits can be more damaging in these four years than any other time period in your life," Green said. "People need to recognize the importance of setting those healthy habits now and making sure that your mental health is a priority."

Looking ahead, Green plans to sustain her initiative through a weekly series titled, "Engage with Miss AU." Additionally, she will be representing Auburn University in the upcoming Miss Alabama pageant in the summer, furthering her platform for mental health awareness.

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