Relay for Life is usually one of the biggest, most attended events on SRU’s campus, not only for the fact that it’s for a good cause, but also because it’s fun for people to go hang out for a night with their friends.
Different organizations set up various booths to encourage guest participation, but where these booths usually draw various people, members of our staff noticed that attendance was lacking this year, and we think that the overlapping times of Relay for Life and the Heights apartment complex’s annual pig roast, both of which were held Saturday.
For those of you who don’t know, Relay for Life is an annual walk-a-thon type event wherein people try to raise awareness and money for the American Cancer Society.
While we aren’t trying to delegate how students should spend their time, we do think it’s appalling that students who had a choice between going to Relay for Life and the pig roast chose the pig roast.
Events like the pig roast occur throughout the year, and University Village hosts both the Block Party and Springfest. It isn’t as if these things never happen and people in our college town never have a chance to party.
It is also possible that people were all community serviced out after the Campus Community Clean-Up which the Green and White Society hosted Saturday. While that is also a great event to support, participating in one service activity doesn’t mean you can blow off Relay for Life, and the success of Relay for Life is dependent on student enthusiasm in participation, which was usually able to carry the event in past years.
Another factor we think was contributing to the low attendance was the change in times from the event’s usual overnight schedule to one that runs noon to midnight.
This year’s event was cut short at 10 p.m. due to poor attendance.
Cancer seems to affect everyone, whether it be an individual, friend or family member being diagnosed. According to American Cancer Society’s website, and many SRU students are being affected by cancer, be it in themselves or in their families. It’s important students keep this in mind when deciding whether or not they should participate in Relay for Life.
Given such an important cause and one that is so prevalent in today’s society, we think the question of what to do with your Saturday is not a difficult one, and the answer is not getting so drunk you fall off the top of a basketball hoop at the Heights. Attending Relay for Life is something that everyone can get behind. You can socialize, have fun, and support a good cause.
We also feel that it is very important for more organizations to get involved with Relay for Life. This year, it seemed as if only about half of the track was covered with organizations while usually the entire track is covered.
For clubs and organizations, this is an opportunity not just for service, but to build a community within the group and across the campus by uniting against a common evil.
That kind of unity is lacking on this campus, and we can assure that it’s because of decisions students make to party instead of getting involved with something that really matters and has potential to make a difference.
As a campus, Slippery Rock University students must decide where their priorities lie. We think it’s an easy call. Uniting for a cause is better than uniting to get drunk and rowdy any day.