Blue Light Fun Run raises almost $1,000 for SAPA, raises awareness for on-campus emergency phone system
Students ran from blue light phone system to blue light phone system Tuesday night. Not for their safety, but to promote the safety of others.
The Blue Light Fun Run put on by Sweeney Hall raised $968 for Sexual Aggression Peer Advocates.
The 2.5 mile race, which 58 people ran, featured a course including checkpoints at 10 of the 26 blue lights around campus. Each on-campus blue light hosts a phone used for people to use for emergencies.
Lake Isabella junior Sarah Fiorillo came up with the idea for the event to promote the blue lights in a journalism class where people were asked to assess the safety of Central Michigan University’s campus.
“I thought of the idea to promote the fact they exist and promote their location,” she said. “Students walk by them every day and having knowledge of their location is important.”
She said the money raised, through a $10 registration, for SAPA and promoting the blue lights helps promote campus safety.
“They impact students,” she said. “They’re both important safety tools and important aspects of CMU that all students should know about.”
CMU Police Lt. Cameron Wassman spoke before the run, giving tips on how to be safe on campus and taking advantage of the blue lights.
“I think it’s important,” Wassman said. “It raises awareness of safety mechanisms, like the blue light phones and that SAPA exists.”
He said the blue phone lines have been used 24 times since the beginning of the calendar year.
He said the lights help people who might feel uncomfortable when out at night on campus.
“If they frequently walk place to place, they should know where they’re located,” he said.
Albion graduate student and assistant for SAPA Megan Scudder said the money raised will help the group continue to provide confidential services such as Internet and phone conversations to people in need.
“Basically, it helps us continue what we do,” Scudder said. “It helps us reach more students on a broader level.”
She said the group, which is the only group of its kind in the country, gets 300 contacts (confidential phone calls and online contacts) a year and puts on 75 to 100 programs a year on CMU’s campus as well as nationwide and internationally.
“The university put its trust in our program,” she said. “The goal is: the more people we educate, the less we hope this problem exists.”
Through the race, students, many of whom did not even know the lights existed, learned about the location of the lights and how they can help them.
Livonia graduate student Ashley Bint said the race setting up along the location of the lights helps bring awareness to them.
“I know there are a bunch of people who don’t even know where they are or even that they existed,” Bint said. “The race sets up the course to show people where they are and to make people aware of it.”
New Baltimore junior Allison Meteyer said she will be more aware of the lights and the phones in the future thanks to the race.
“I think I’ll pay more attention to them,” Meteyer said. “I know I would probably use them for comfort versus asking for directions.”
The winners of the race were Pittsford junior Elainee Poling and Frankenmuth junior Andrew Haubenstricker. Both received trophies commemorating their wins.
Haubenstricker said he didn’t expect to win but said running for a purpose was more important.
“When I can run, and pay to run — and the money goes to help other people — that’s way better than just running for myself,” he said.
He, too, became more aware of the phones and lights because of the race.
“People were cheering at the lights,” he said. “The race focused on safety and technology available to people.”
She said she liked the theme of the event, and that the race was at night.
“It was really cool they incorporated a new theme into a fun run,” she said.
She said the focus on campus safety reflects positively on CMU awareness of these issues.
“It’s really great they could put this on and make aware the resources available to them,” she said.
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