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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Beacon Fun Run

At the moment, there are many disturbing issues and concerns hanging over our heads: the war in Iraq, the pessimistic future of public higher education, a continually darkening economy, and, as if the UMB community needed anything else, the questionable arrest of a UMB professor on April 4. Tensions are running high and optimism is running low

Yet, on Sunday April 6, I was privileged to witness a portion of the UMB community come together for a good cause.

UMass Boston hosted the first annual 5k Beacon Fun run, a road race fundraiser to benefit the UMB Early Learning Center (ELC). For those of you unfamiliar with the ELC, it is the day care center on Harbor Point that where some parents of the UMB community drop off their kids.

The Early Learning Center has been in a financial predicament for some time. Every year, it has to figuratively hold its breath when the budget of the proceeding academic year is released. It has repeatedly face the threat of extinction, waiting to fall victim to the fiduciary ax.

That is why it so was heartening to see so many people on our commuter campus on a Sunday morning. There were students (young and old), faculty, staff, alumni, local running enthusiasts, and, most importantly, just good ol’ kid enthusiasts.

Too often have I seen initiatives like the Fun Run ignored by the UMB community, students, staff, faculty, and administrators alike. Anyone can complain and point out injustices and/or unfair treatment. However, when it comes time to step up to the plate…

There is much talk of a UMB community and the need to bind together, in good and bad times. I wholeheartedly agree. However, overall, I see us as a fragmented population. Sometimes it is due to a lack of communication; other times it’s mere apathy. One thing is for sure: a cohesive university community, especially a commuter university, takes hard work and the efforts must come from more than a few.

Although the Fun Run was a legitimate competition and there were trophies awarded, everyone who participated felt like a winner. The event created an atmosphere of good will and hope. The show of support will likely strengthen the resolve of the ELC advocates who undoubtedly still face a tough financial road ahead in the years to come.

So kudos to everyone, participants and volunteers, for making the Beacon Fun Run a success. For those of you who want to show your support for the ELC can do so by attending the Black Student Center fashion show on Saturday April 26 at the Bayside Expo Center. All proceeds from the ticket sales will go to the ELC.