Bellarmine University hosts Frontline Paper workshop

April 8, 2022


Frontline Paper visits Bellarmine

Content Warning: This article includes a reference to PTSD and self-harm that may be triggering for some audiences. Members of our campus community should be aware of the services available through our Counseling Center; further resources and crisis information is available a

Bellarmine University hosted a paper-making workshop run by Frontline Paper, a non-profit organization which repurposes military uniforms donated by veterans, turning them into paper. 

Bellarmine community members were invited to make paper and art March 28 through March 31, culminating in an art show on April 1 featuring the art created by people who attended the workshop.

Walt Nygard is Frontline paper Studio Manager and Lead Instructor who helped lead the workshop at Bellarmine. Nygard said: "They have these uniforms, and they don't know what to do with them. They don't know what to do with them. But they hear about us, and they feel like that's a good thing to do with them." 

Director of Bellarmine's Office of Military & Veteran Services, Lindsay Gargotto was a key figure in organizing the workshop. Gargotto said: “Us being a liberal arts university, I just thought it was a really good fit for ‘how do you bring students together through differences?’ 

“So, here we have veterans with different stories but all students on this campus have unique stories. So, how do I find programs that bridge our different stories? I thought this was a really great way to do that.” 

Nygard reaffirmed Gargotto’s goal of bridging different stories, and he made it clear that Front Line paper is simply meant to be a space for veterans and others to express themselves and tell their stories. 

Nygard said: “We don’t claim to cure PTSD, or to keep you from thinking about suicidal thoughts. We’re not going to be able to get you a job. We can’t straighten out the mess between you and your girlfriend. We don’t do any of that. We’re just veterans who know how to make paper and who know how to make art, and we share that with you.” 

The event, sponsored by the Office of Military and Veteran Services (OMVS), is one of many that reinforces Bellarmine’s commitment to supporting veteran students. 

According to the OMVS’ website “The mission of the Bellarmine University Office of Military & Veteran Services is to support all military-affiliated students, alumni, faculty, and staff on Bellarmine's Campus. We bring visibility and solutions to the unique needs of military-affiliated individuals on campus through advising, programming, policy development, advocacy, and specialized services.”

By Bilal Qazi, Marketing and Communication Intern, Class of '23


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