An estimated 150 Colgate students, faculty, staff and community members gathered on Whitnall Field for the Domestic Violence Awareness 3k Thursday, October 24. The annual event, sponsored by The Network; Center for Outreach, Volunteering and Education (COVE); Haven; and the Student Government Association (SGA), raised over 1,200 dollars in donations to the Help Restore Hope Center, a shelter for victims of sexual assault and domestic violence in Oneida. The race is part of a set of year-long initiatives co-sponsored by The Network, COVE and Haven.
Registered runners picked up a purple Domestic Violence Awareness bracelet and gathered on Whitnall field to hear remarks from event organizers and supporters. The race began on College Street, turning onto Lebanon Street, West Kendrick Avenue and then continued down Broad Street to finish at Whitnall Field.
Co-organizer and co-president of The Network junior Alex Bestick said she was most excited about the diversity of participants present at Thursday’s race. She shared that event organizers felt pleased by the growth since last year’s event.
“We are really excited by how much [the event] grew this year, and by the fact that we were able to get donations from Greek houses and other organizations on campus. This made our fundraiser so much more than it had been in the past,” Bestick said.
Event co-organizer and The Network co-president senior Elle O’Brien said she felt the event was successful and enjoyed seeing the Colgate community come together to support an important cause.
The event was also co-sponsored by campus Greek organizations Gamma Phi Beta, Kappa Kappa Gamma, Theta Chi, Phi Delta Theta and Phi Kappa Tau. Varsity Women’s Lacrosse and Softball also brought groups to participate in the race.
Many faculty and staff members showed support, including Campus Safety Officers Martin Yackel and Kaitlin Reich, who emphasized the importance of participation in the event.
“We felt that it was very important to represent our department and participate in today’s cause,” Yackel said.
Yackel also shared that he felt compelled to be present at the race because he wanted all students to know that Campus Safety is committed to doing whatever they can to minimize the presence of domestic and sexual violence on Colgate’s campus.
“We go through many trainings annually…and discuss these topics frequently at meetings,” Yackel said.
Julia Sicklick, a member of The Network, came to show support for the cause and to spread awareness about all of the events that The Network hosts.
“I came to support the club at the race, but also in everything that it is doing for
Colgate. There are a lot of people here, I’m so happy. A lot of organizations and sports teams are also here, so we are excited,” Sicklick said.
Program Coordinator of Haven Tracia Banuelos said that the event seeks to make students more aware of the many resources that exist on campus for students.
Help Restore Hope Center Advocate Cassandra Havener spoke to runners prior to racing and thanked them for their participation and dedication to the cause.
“All of the donations that everyone has come together to raise will be helping out the survivors of domestic violence that we assist in Oneida. These donations go to different things like taxi rides, phones and different activities for the victims and families to go out and to have a sense of normalcy,” Havener said.
“Cassandra Havener is a very underutilized resource on campus. Cassandra serves the Help Restore Hope campus advocate and Enough is Enough liaison on campus. They currently oversee the SANE Program that Colgate is a generous sponsor of,” Banuelos said. “Cassandra comes to campus in Haven every Tuesday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., is available to help students who would like to use resources non-affiliated with Colgate. She also can support students navigating the legal process, such as getting no-contact orders or what services Liberty Resources can provide.”