Meet the American Unviersity Relay for Life event chairs, Brandon Hughes and Kirsten Dillon! Both sophomores, Brandon majors in international studies and French studies and Kirsten majors in history and communications studies. The two, along with the rest of the planning committee, have been busily planning Relay for Life of American University and took time to sit down with Her Campus American University to share why they relay and why Relay for Life of AU is different.
Her Campus American University: What made you get involved with Relay?
Brandon Hughes: It was super big at my high school, bigger than prom, bigger than anything else.
Kirsten Dillon: I got involved because it was the thing to do at my high school. It was the one event that if you didn’t go to people would say, “Why aren’t you going?” My freshman year of high school was also the first year I had ever lost anyone to cancer and it was the one thing my cousins and I all unified to do to cope with it.
HCAU: Why do you participate in Relay at AU?
BH: I sought out relay in my freshman year because it was something big in my high school and I wanted to continue to be a part of it.
KD: I started participating here because I had a hard time adjusting to college and I was looking for something familiar. Relay was the first thing I saw that reminded me of high school.
HCAU: What makes the AU relay different from others?
BH: AU is such a passionate place that there is so much passion to tap into and often that passion can be divisive and fall along political lines. But relay at AU is something everyone can be involved in and get behind.
KD: You join clubs and become parts of organizations and wonder what you have in common with other people and we have seen firsthand when we go to talk to clubs, fraternities, and sororities and say, “stand up if you’ve lost a parent to cancer, an aunt or uncle, a cousin, a friend, anyone to cancer,” by the end everyone is standing up. It is something that bonds people together.
HCAU: Why should people come to Relay?
BH: People should come to relay so we can finish the fight faster.
KD: We are trying to work ourselves out of jobs. We can’t raise money and awareness and remember people we have lost without this community and the support of everyone.
HCAU: How can people on campus get involved in Relay?
BH: People can either join or start a team of their own. And then begin sharing with their friends and family the news that they are Relaying this year. People can collect donations as well as dedicate luminaria bags and hold fundraisers all in an effort to help us reach our goal of $75,000 dollars. If people are interested in playing a bigger role in Relay, they can always inquire about joining the committee for next year.
KD: We are also always looking for volunteers for night of the event. We definitely need people to help decorate and anyone looking for community service. If you are interested in volunteering, please email us at email@example.com.
HCAU: If there is one thing about Relay you think people should know, what is it?
KD: You don’t have to run. It’s a giant party, we have a joust house, we have food and we have music. When you walk, you are usually with friends and doing something silly. It doesn’t feel like you are walking around Bender Arena.
HCAU: Anything else you want to add?
BH: We would greatly appreciate all the support the people can give us. We want to make Relay for Life an institution at the American.
KD: It’s not too late to start a team and get involved and raise money! Relay for life is going to be that event on campus that everyone is talking about.
Relay for Life of American University is on April 11 from 6 p.m.-6 a.m. with events taking place in both Bender Arena and the Amphitheater. Currently, they are about a third of the way to their goal of $75,000. Register or donate today! You can like their Facebook page, follow on Twitter, and can follow them on Instagram at @relayforlife_au.
1. Jessica Antopol
2. Brandon Hughes