Dance Marathon raises funds


University Relations


Dance Marathon was held on February 24, 2018 from 8 a.m.-11 p.m. at the Student Activities Center. This year, the event looked to make changes and become even more successful for both the students and the charity. Sarita Hira, education chair of Dance Marathon, notes that the event featured new activities this year. 

“We will have yoga, 10 dances are going to be taught by the morale team, the band 21 Hours will be performing, and of course we will be dancing for 12 hours. I am excited, as the education chair, for the educational Kahoot! game that I have planned to teach students about HIV/AIDS,” said Hira. 

Hira is one of the members of the Dance Marathon executive board, or “steering committee.” The steering committee has various positions such as a marketing and public relations chair, morale chair, entertainment chair, sponsorship and hospitality chair, fundraising chair, and education chair. All of these positions played an important role in improving the Dance Marathon event for 2018. 

This year, Dance Marathon chose to focus more specifically on the prevention of the transmission of HIV/AIDS from pregnant mothers to their children. This cause stays true to the mission statement of the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation. The primary goal of the foundation is to prevent HIV/AIDS in children.  

According to the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation website, “Mother-to-child HIV transmission, which accounts for more than 90% of new childhood infections, can be reduced to less than 5% by providing an HIV-positive mother access effective antiretroviral therapy (ART) and support services during pregnancy, delivery, and breastfeeding.” 

Financially, Dance Marathon raised $30,000 for the cause last year and hoped to improve the amount this year, even though the event has faced difficulties with student involvement.  

“It has been a little more difficult to get students involved this year, which is surprising because students have been very engaged in the past. We have worked very hard to find new students to get involved with Dance Marathon” said Hira. 

The lack of involvement may have to do with the fact that recent college students are members of Generation Z. According to Forbes website, one of the primary characteristics of members of Generation Z is that they are non-joiners. Trina Dobberstein, Vice-President of Student Affairs, discussed new efforts to reach new students.  

“I don’t think that the new students care any less about philanthropy, but we just have to find new ways to reach out to these students.” said Dobberstein.  

While financial goals are an important aspect of the Dance Marathon event, Hira says one of the goals of this year’s Dance Marathon was to “keep people engaged”.  

Even if a student was not registered to be a dancer at Dance Marathon, students could still dance at Dance Marathon from 10p.m.-11p.m. at “Club DM”, an event that all students can attend for just $10, or donate to the cause.  

Students were encouraged to visit Dance Marathon throughout the day to learn more about the cause and committees and potentially become involved in the future years.