Project chickpea donates to Peer Support Centre

Self-funded student organization aims to reduce exam stress by providing services on campus

Seven Queen’s students have formed a group that aims to alleviate exam stress and raise funds for campus mental health services.

Project Chickpea sprung up in October as a new initiative to promote wellness and happiness during exam time.

“We were just sort of thinking about some of the problems with exams and how we could sort of, make exams suck less,” said Ted Lee, one of the group’s founders. “Exams can be taxing on your wellness.”

Throughout the December exam season, Project Chickpea offered services like food delivery to Stauffer Library for a cost, a free yoga session and free coffee.

The initiative donated the $600 raised to the student-run Peer Support Centre. “We wanted a group that was student run and we thought would have an impact,” Lee, ArtSci ’12, said.

Project Chickpea first applied for funding from the Awesome Kingston Foundation in November but didn’t receive the $1,000 grant.

In lieu of the grant, members met with the AMS and Toastmasters Kingston, both of which provided the group with $200 in funding.

While the group also received in-kind support from local businesses Old Farm Fine Foods and Campus One Stop, the group members have paid most of the expenses out of their own pockets.

Although Project Chickpea is only running during exam time, the group hopes to expand their operations for the spring exam season.

Right now, Lee said the project doesn’t have plans to operate similar services during the regular school year due to time constraints.

When the group started, they engaged in a month of consultations with mental health groups on campus, including Health, Counselling and Disability Services.

“We pretty much met with everyone,” said co-founder Sarah Murray, MA ’14. “We also highlighted resources that had to do with academic health and wellness in lifestyle in general, and obviously mental health is a big part of wellness.”

— With files from Katherine Fernandez-Blance

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