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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Diversity run stirs unity

    Students, faculty and Tucson community members gathered on the UA Mall on Saturday morning in the chilly weather for a 5K run to bring awareness to diversity and health issues facing minority groups.

    The “”Diversity in Action”” run was a collaborative effort of four cultural centers – African-American, Asian Pacific American, Chicano and Hispanic and American Indian – to attempt to bring students together.

    “”We publicized to our own groups to bring people together, and as you can see we have a very mixed crowd with a lot of different people,”” said Marc Hudson, director of the Asian Pacific American Student Affairs Center. “”Hopefully people will interact more through this and talk and at the end they are educated or enlightened.””

    The run started at 7:30 a.m. and the walking portion began at 7:45 a.m. More than 300 participants attended the 5K run and a disc jockey played music before starting the run around the mall and through campus.

    “”It’s a day to bring together minorities and there are so many goals we want to accomplish, like bringing awareness to diversity and being fit,”” said Jennifer Stanley, an agriculture technology management senior who came up with the idea for the event.

    Aside from bringing diversity to the run, the organizations involved wanted to bring health awareness to participants.

    “”There is a high percentage of health disparity rates, with things like diabetes and cancer in minorities,”” Stanley said. “”We just wanted to get that in the minds of people and try to get them healthy too and ultimately help lower those numbers here in Tucson.””

    Some students at the run huddled together prior to starting while others practiced sprints, all in efforts of getting ready.

    “”I didn’t know the cause the race was originally for, I just wanted to run,”” said Christina Stymfal, a journalism sophomore. “”Now that I know, it does what it wanted to do by bringing people together. Just being around different cultures makes a difference.””

    Although many gathered for the event, some feel that more students did not partake in the event because of how early it took place.

    “”I think it’s a good idea but, there should be more events during the day when more people are willing to come because things like this really do help bring people together,”” said Allison Lowe, a non-degree seeking graduate student.

    Students of all races and nationalities showed up at the event, reaching one of the goals Stanley had in mind when planning.

    “”To me, it felt like the university was always saying it was a diverse university but you always see the majority around,”” Stanley said. “”It’s kind of hard to recognize other cultures when you don’t see them.””

    Stanley also hopes the involvement of various cultural organizations will make students more aware of them and the many resources they offer.

    “”I wanted to get out awareness of the culture centers here on campus,”” Stanley said. “”As a freshman and sophomore I wasn’t aware of the other three that were here, I only know about one. I can’t believe how many times they have helped me … students should definitely know about them.””

    The event ended after the run and walk with cultural performances to continue the theme of awareness.

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