This past Saturday, Goshen College’s Latino Student Union hosted the school’s first ever dance marathon at the Recreation-Fitness Center, in conjunction with the Indiana Undocumented Youth Alliance. The event was an opportunity for people to dance, play and eat all in support of a local cause.The Indiana Undocumented Youth Alliance (IUYA) is a youth-led Indiana organization with the mission to bring attention and change to the way policies inhumanely affect undocumented families. The organization provides support to youth who are looking to achieve higher education in Indiana.
Goshen College and LSU allied themselves with the IUYA by creating the Dance Marathon as a fundraising event to aid giving scholarships to undocumented youth. IUYA currently has a fundraising goal of $5000 to divide into five $1000 scholarships to award. This weekend’s dance marathon raised $2000 of that goal.
Tickets for the event were $5 without food and $10 to access everything. Donations for food came from an array of places, including pies from South Side Soda Shop and miscellaneous dishes from professors.
The dancing began at 7:00 and ended at 11:00, a full four hours of dancing. Throughout the night, Phil Chan, a sophomore, taught dancers a choreographed dance that most had perfected by the end of the night.
There was also a wide variety of activities to participate in, so even those who chose not to showcase their dance moves could attend and still partake in the festivities.
The NCAA basketball tournament was streamed for all to watch in one area of the gym, while a very different bracket took place elsewhere: a competitive Mario Kart tournament began at 7:30, where karters raced for Maple “Leaf Cup” and campus-wide bragging rights.
The night also consisted of bounce houses, henna painting and speakers for IUYA. Some of the speakers explained the organization’s missions, while others gave their own immigration stories.
The idea for a dance marathon was conceived last year at the annual club summit, where Claire Fredrick, a junior, expressed interest in such an event, similar to one her high school hosted. Jessica Davila, a senior LSU student leader, approached Fredrick with interest in the idea. They brought the idea of partnering the event with IUYA to create a cause for the marathon.
The LSU has expressed interest in continuing this event in following years.