Matthew Mayhem—Staff Writer
Saturday morning dawned bright, early and freezing cold, as per the usual this year. Students anxiously peeked out of their dorm windows and skittered towards the Recreation Center, ready to receive their matching T-shirts and take part in the Defender Dash.
The Defender Dash was a 5K fun run and walk organized by the social work students on campus. Originally intended to raise awareness and income for a program called ATLAS, the students hoped for a large turnout Saturday morning.
The sign-up process for the race was competitive. Each potential participant had to prove to several board members through a two-hour interview why they deserved to participate. On top of that, applicants also had to provide several academic and professional references.
The race began at 8:30 a.m. directly behind the Rec Center. A gun signaled the start.
Students ran away from all responsibilities. Some set an even pace, intending to get far away from homework, deadlines, and any aspect of being an adult in general. Other students ran at breakneck speeds, but quickly faltered out and collapsed in the snow.
Dordt College security was called in to handle the masses that were attempting to escape campus. Several students were able to outrun security and found shelter in off-campus buildings. The rest of the students were detained, tackled into the snow or cut off from their route and taken back to the recreation center.
“We wanted a lot of participants,” said Joe Talkson a senior social work student. “But we wanted them to stick around too, not just to show up and dash off.”
Dordt security is not holding the social work students responsible for the actions for each of the runners, but those who made a break for it have been placed under surveillance and are not allowed to leave campus for activities other than church until their assignments for the day have been completed.
“I know I can make it through the semester, there are only 5 weeks of school left,” said sophomore Matthew Sprinton. “But I needed a break and my professors just don’t get that. I needed freedom from responsibility.”