The Student News Site of Utica University

The Tangerine

The Student News Site of Utica University

The Tangerine

The Student News Site of Utica University

The Tangerine

Utica University holds Annual Fall Unity Walk

Participants of the Unity Walk marched from Duffy Plaza to the pathway leading up to Strebel.
Kayleigh Sturtevant
Participants of the Unity Walk marched from Duffy Plaza to the pathway leading up to Strebel.

Utica University held its annual Unity Walk on Oct. 25, with this year’s theme being “Choose Kindness.”

Vice President of  Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Dr. Anthony Baird played a major role in selecting and building this year’s message.

“We needed to find a message that would resonate with the community,” Baird said. “It’s one thing to choose kindness, it’s another to spread kindness. Choosing kindness, spreading kindness, that should be the mantra that we as pioneers uphold.” 

According to Baird, the Unity Walk is a way for the campus community to consider and show support for the ongoing movement towards equity in the world.

“With what we hear about in the news, everything that is going on in the world,” Baird said. “There is always an eminent issue to rally around and push against for change. Utica University, being intentional about this symbolic representation against those atrocities, says something about our visioning, our space and our mindset.”

Junior Briana Ajay participated in the event as a representative of the Kappa Delta Phi Nas sorority.

“I walked with my sisters,” Ajay said. “We’re not just representing Kappa. We’re representing LGBT rights, Black Lives Matter and women who can’t speak for themselves.”

Third-year psychology major Ash Tavarez, who also participated in the walk, said the event brings everyone at Utica together.

“It’s a way for the campus to show how inclusive and truly belonging we all are,” Tavarez said. “All of the sports teams, clubs, and organizations come out. Seeing all of these faces coming together for one cause is nice.”

According to Baird, the university is looking to make the Unity Walk a cross-campus event, timing the walk to occur at the same time as other university campuses.

“I’m happy to report that our St. Petersburg campus got their banner,” Baird said. “They lined up and walked while we were walking. In the future, we want to connect all of the extended spaces, and this year we were successful with one. It shows that diversity here is diversity everywhere.”

As for the future of the event, Baird wants to transform the Unity Walk into a rallying event, getting students even more involved in displaying togetherness. 

“To me, it’s about making connections and building community,” Baird said. “We want to create a pathway for people on the outside, so you can see yourself here because you have been here, you have been a part of what we are a part of.”

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About the Contributors
Kayden Lamphere, Special Assignment Reporter
Kayleigh Sturtevant, Multimedia Editor
Class Year: Senior Major: Sports Management Previous Position: Multimedia Editor (Fall 2023)

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