The beginning of the year is often a stress-inducing experience for students arriving on campus. Moving into dorms, meeting new people and acclimating to courses all cause quite a difference in pace from the ease that summer vacation usually offers.
However, campus events often make these adjustments an easier endeavor, giving new and returning students a chance to enjoy themselves in fun environments. One such event was the Night Bright Color Run, which took place this past Friday, the second day of Color Me Rowan Weekend.
In this approximate two-mile run, sponsored by the Student University Programmers (SUP), students passed a number of “paint stations” where student volunteers from SUP threw chalk-like substances of varying colors onto the runners. Participants were encouraged to wear white shirts. Many wore the Color Me Rowan Weekend shirts provided to them upon the purchase of their ticket.
By the end of the run, students were turned into living tie-dye portraits, adorned with vivid colors.
“It was really fun!” said Andrew Weatherby, a sophomore computer science major. “I met some new people today, which was really fun. Events like this really connect people and bring everyone together. This [event] is for anyone looking to do new things and get involved.”
Many students, including junior civil and environmental engineering major Eric Johnson, were encouraged by the attitudes of the 90 volunteers throughout the color stations. When runners reached a paint station they were met with enthusiasm and cheers from the volunteers who were throwing paint.
“It was definitely a lot of fun running with friends and just the fact that everyone at every station was into it,” Johnson said. “They were cheering and wanting you to get into it. Every other station was very exciting once you got there.”
Kyle Scripko, a sophomore history and secondary education major, felt that the event was extremely rewarding to participate in.
“It’s a great opportunity to meet new people and also help out a great cause,” Scripko said. “I’ve met some of my best friends through this [event] and I think everyone should go to it. Throw yourself out there, you never know what will happen!”
In addition to providing students a fun activity to do on Friday night, the color run raised money for the St. Bernard Project (SBP), an organization that was initially formed in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in order to further help victims of the disaster recover. Sales of about 480 tickets raised a total $2,500 for the organization that will be used to help victims of recent disasters, such as those affected by the recent flooding in Louisiana. Kayla Raparelli, the SUP director of charitable events, presented the check before beginning the run.
“What I enjoyed about the Color Run the most was presenting the check to SBP,” Raparelli commented after the event. “This was a reminder that while the Color Run itself was a super fun time, it was done for a very important reason. Every person who ran this fun run and every person who volunteered their time to work the fun run contributed to something so great.”
Raparelli hopes the Night Bright Color Run will continue to grow and become a larger event.
“For the future, I hope more people will be able to participate in the Color Run so that we can raise even more funds for charity,” Raparelli said.
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Dylan Maslowski also contributed to this report.