Be Kind, Re-Run.
By Leyna Roget
The college experience is hailed as a time of motivated academic pursuits and the period for predetermining your life’s purpose. But for those of us with less defined trajectories, it comes as a massive hemorrhage of mainstream systems of behavior and thought. Say you do find yourself on a resolute path, the tools for success gleaming at arms reach. Why not do as the girls of the Santa Clara University Track Team, hold steadfast to your ambitions and run with them.
Stephanie Wilson, the Women’s Track record holder in the 1500 and 3000 Meters, was inspired to hold an athletic department shoe collection after reading an article in Runner’s World magazine on shoe recycling. “It’s maybe one more percent energy than actually throwing them away, one more percent…it’s a really easy act”, said Stephanie expressing the fundamental rationale for starting the drive. Thanks to Stephanie’s prompting, teammate and Women’s Cross Country and Track Team Captain Noelle Lopez, set out to organize the event.
Wilson and Lopez had initiated the project without the innate intention to reach those beyond their world. Yet they were well aware that their trashed athletic shoes, worn through a single training season, held the potential to be someone else’s treasure.
According to Lopez, student athletes get free gear every season, so her hopes were that Santa Clara’s faith-inspired values of ethics and social justice would inspire participation in the shoe drive and, as the cross-country women’s representative for the (SAAC) Student Athletic Advisory Committee, she advertised the shoe drive to various athletic administrators and sports teams. “I try to live in a sustainable, socially responsible way. I think this shoe drive has hopefully inspired people.”
Santa Clara University is a comprehensive Jesuit, Catholic university located in California's Silicon Valley that offers more than 8,000 students rigorous undergraduate curricula in arts and sciences, business, and engineering, plus master's, Ph.D., and law degrees. Lopez explains her role in the choice to carry out a shoe drive saying, “It’s a small act and part of the bigger lifestyle or bigger frame of living; doing things that are more conscious of waste.”
While planning the shoe drive Wilson found that it all starts with communication. The thought has crossed her mind about extending the shoe drive to the entire student body in the future and she says, “with technology, one email and you can reach so many people, so it’s definitely possible.”