‘Run, Walk, Run’ encourages campus diversity

Kayleen Padron/Contributing Writer

FIU’s Diversity Week has been a longstanding tradition here for four years. Not only did the events taking place last week promote diversity, they also taught students the importance of a globalized and diverse campus.

FIU’s Diversity department’s event “Run, Walk and Roll” took place April 7, at noon at the nature preserve and running track. The event encouraged students to jog along the nature preserve in order to recognize diversity on campus.

Created and sponsored by student organizations such as, Panthers Active Wellness Services, the Benefits and Wellness Program, The Student Veterans of America and the Housing and Residential Life sponsored and created the event.

Nathan Burandt, Benefits and Wellness Program Manager, stated “the whole goal for the Walk, Run and Rollathon was to celebrate diversity and to highlight inclusion. Everybody is somebody.”

Students, faculty and staff kicked off the event as music blared in one of the outdoor terraces at  Parkview Hall. Students also gathered around a free snack booth with cold water for the race participants. Heather Morris, a senior majoring in human resource management and Aranza Venegas, a sophomore and international business and finance major, helped contribute to the race by advertising around the residential halls as well as making t-shirts for the event.

“Everyone can come out, we have staff, we have students, just basically supporting the diversity initiatives that we have here on campus,” Morris stated.

“I think it creates awareness to not only diversity as races and ethnicity, but also disabilities and things of that nature.”

Although this idea was played out by the Diversity organization, it took a combined effort of people to officially come up with the idea. Daniel Nicolas, a member of the Diversity branch here at FIU indicated that he and his team try to figure out “unique ideas” that they can attribute to students.

“…it’s really brainstorming among the committee to have it developed,” Nicolas said.

Although this is the first “Walk, Run and Roll” race, the assurance of next year’s event holds promise. With its many participants, the race and event in the Parkview Terrace was nothing short of friendly — the true reason participants gathered was for the awareness of diversity around FIU.

FIU’s student body and staff has always been one of diversity. With stats showing 65 percent hispanic, 13 percent black, and 13 percent of other ethnicities and races. Not only is FIU assorted in singular students, but it’s also home to a variety of student clubs that include the Black Student Union, Caribbean Students Association, and National Organization for Women and the Disability Resource Center.

These various clubs also make an impact among students by showing the distinctions and variations among different groups of people. Even though it was a usual “spring day” in Miami, the turnout had an estimate of 50 students, faculty and staff.

The advertising in all the student living areas brought many on campus students to the event.  The track was filled with participants, some jogging at their own pace and other chatting with friends. Everyone participating had smiles on their faces and were ready to break a sweat.

The diversity of the preserve was also a reminder that there’s even a divergence in nature, and what better way to say farewell to this preserve than by such an amiable occasion. Diversity week had a successful fourth year of running along with its first ever fun walk event.

Nicolas hopes to continue this race and the tradition of Diversity Week for years to come. One can only hope that events like these will resonate the message of the FIU Diversity Week Committee across the student population.

The expansion of the event is imminent however,“the committee was definitely talking about and discussing how it can be bigger and better for next year. So we’re going to eventually talk about ways to expand it,” Nicolas stated.

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