By Susannah Clark
After infesting our campus with seven trees worth of neon fliers, Students Helping Honduras held their third annual Walkathon on Saturday, in case you didn’t notice the rainbow of t-shirts spanning campus walk.
Over 15 schools sent representatives to walk five miles up and down our bricked campus. Along with our Virginian siblings from Tech and UVA, eager young humanitarians trekked all the way from New York City, Missouri, Illinois and more. Their mission: to raise $200,000 in scholarship money for Honduran orphans. Their destination: Fredericksburg, Va. The Walkathon proved you don’t have to be marching in Washington, DC to make an impact.
To have our little known university attract and unite so many impassioned students to our podunk town is unheard of. SHH is helping UMW walk away from regionalized obscurity.
Mary Washington was an excellent hostess. Our beautiful cohesive campus was in peak showing-off season, and our visitors were welcomed warmly with song and dance performances from various campus organizations.
For that one Saturday afternoon, no one cared about sports rivalries or U.S. News rankings. We were all students, walking at the same pace, for other students. We were united in and for education.
The magic of SHH is its student-based foundation and its roots are right here at Mary Wash. Along with connecting UMW to so many other colleges and universities, SHH has connected students internally as well. It is one of the most active student groups on campus. Every one has some kind of tie to SHH, even if they’ve just been to a “Kegs for Kids” party or two.
Having raised over $15,000 toward their goal on Saturday alone, Students Helping Honduras has moved mountains, here and abroad. And those of you who have been to El Progreso know, Honduras has some high and mighty mountains.
The high-pressure and individualist atmosphere of college life gets even the best of us sometimes. Considering you have only four years to figure out who you are and what you want to do in life, self-absorption is a natural response.
But SHH defies this stereotype, along with other claims about Mary Washington’s abundance of apathy and lack of diversity. As we wander toward adulthood, some have managed to step outside of themselves for a little on the way.
College doesn’t have to be about meaningless sex and beer pong; those can be saved for the after party.