Annual student tradition changes

As incoming students kick off the new school year with lively floor events, energetic worship services and extravagant dance parties, returning students may notice the absence of one back-to-school tradition: Hues of SPU, the annual color run.

Started in 2015, the color run was an event where students were dusted with colorful powders as they ran — or walked — around campus. As part of the event, student athletes hosted stations where participants could stop and learn more about the athletes and their respective sports teams.

With the color run discontinued, student leaders were charged with the task of creating a new event to welcome students to campus.

While the legacy of the color run is hard to replicate, the Office of Student Leadership (OSIL) and the Student Union Board (STUB) came together to create a new series of events that will provide students with a way with engage with their classmates and celebrate the school year: “First Fridays.”

This year, instead of being powdered in neon colors, students found themselves spattered in glow-in-the-dark paint in Royal Brougham as part of the first “First Friday” event. According to Associated Students of Seattle Pacific officer Sarah Kirschner, “First Friday” is an event that has filled the hole left by the absence of the color run.

“I think the color run and ‘First Fridays’ are two very different events, but I think they accomplish the same goal in that they bring students together, you’re hanging out with your friends, you’re meeting other people who are on campus and you are having a good time,” Kirschner said.

While not sure why the color run was discontinued, ASSP president Nathan Samayo believes that the two events are independent of each other. “I don’t think ‘First Friday’ booted out anything, I think it’s just a new opportunity. We are very excited,” Samayo said.

Another ASSP officer, Monica Moeng, believes that “First Friday” will be able to reach more students than the color run did, which sets the two events apart. “I like First Friday because it is in one central location and it helps people who don’t find events as accessible. With the color run, you went all over campus. For this, the first two hours has something for everyone. It’s not like you have to be crazy, all-out. I think they have different components that help reach different people in our student body,” Moeng said.

“First Friday” also provides new students with a unique leadership opportunity. First-year students have the option to serve on the “street team,” a group that is in charge of advertising events to students and promoting “First Friday.”

Kirschner agrees that “First Friday” promotes more school involvement than the color run did, stating that “First Friday” events will serve a larger portion of the campus. “I think ‘First Friday’ is a way to team up the office of student leadership with the student union board to create an event that is more accessible to students and gives you a wider option when it comes to this first event,” Kirschner said.

In addition to being more accessible than the color run, “First Friday” is also a recurring event while the color run was a one-time thing. According to Moeng, this key difference will be beneficial. “With the color run, you just showed up to this event and you did something together. ‘First Friday’ is for every quarter so there is a consistency in that.”

While returning students may have noted the disappearance of the color run, Kirschner states that no students have commented on the decision not to hold the event, mostly because of the target audience of color run.

“I think first years don’t know that the color run was a thing, and the color run is usually geared toward the first year students,” Kirschner said.

While new traditions overtake the old, one thing remains consistent: new and returning students have the opportunity to begin first quarter with a vibrant celebration.

Whether it is through the color run or “First Friday,” the new school year begins with an explosion of color.

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