Purdue University Northwest (PNW) students, faculty, staff, alumni, family, and community members gathered on Sept. 9 on the Westville campus grounds to participate in the university’s sixth annual Pride Stride 5K.
People who took part in the run covered themselves and their friends with colored powder as they walked or ran through 3.1 miles on PNW’s cross-country course. After the race, people were invited to watch the PNW volleyball team take on Wayne State in the H.D. Kesling Gymnasium inside the Dworkin Student Services and Activities Complex.
This event served as a great way for students to kick off the school year.
“This event reminds students how much fun it can be to be in a community together,” said Kristin Lewis, coordinator of Belonging and Student Engagement.
“Studies have shown that the more students are engaged in at least one activity, their GPA goes up, retention goes up, and work completion goes up,” added Lewis. “We want the students to realize that if you want to remember what’s happening in the classroom, your brain needs moments of fun and laughter. So, we try to make sure students are well rounded and have a sense of community.”
When the time came for the 5K to start, participants lined up under a colorful rainbow arch made of balloons and they all threw color powder into the air, kicking off the night's festivities. Both runners and walkers took off from the starting point, and participants had the choice of doing the course twice for the full 5K or heading to the finish line after one lap.
The event was supported by dozens of volunteers. Nikinov Nielsen, a freshman at PNW, was one of those volunteers and she explained how the event impacted her.
“It’s been really fun, and I’ve made new friends! It’s been great throwing color at people,” said Nielsen.
Salvador Cordova, coordinator for Student Life, felt the event proved successful after weeks of planning and coordination.
“Seeing so many happy and laughing faces, and seeing everyone having a ton of fun, I think that’s the most rewarding thing,” said Cordova.
Cordova went on to explain how important the staff at PNW were to making this year’s Pride Stride a reality.
“I want to thank our facilities staff,” said Cordova. “It took them tons of time to put this course together and make sure it was set up.”
To learn more about Student Life at PNW, visit www.pnw.edu.