Big Pink brings La Salle students together while raising cancer awareness

Emily Glycenfer | Editor

La Salle students assembled in the Tom Gola arena on Thursday, Oct. 4 to play a competitive yet charitable game of volleyball. The Big Pink volleyball game is an event held on La Salle’s campus annually to raise awareness for breast cancer research. The goal was to collect as much money for the American Cancer Society as possible from participants in the tournament. La Salle’s Resident Student Association (RSA), who is responsible for helping residents adjust to campus life, achieves yearly success in planning this event by creating an environment where charity can also serve as a force that unites La Salle’s student body, whether their central purpose to participate was their passion to help a good cause, simply have fun amidst a busy semester or a combination of the two.
For an added twist of both fun and symbolism highlighting the cause that the game serves to contribute to, the game is titled “Big Pink” for its use of a giant pink volleyball as opposed to a standard volleyball. As many teams that sign up are given the opportunity to compete against other fellow students in a fun-spirited series of games at $5 per person. There was even a “free agent” team for anyone who sought to participate but couldn’t gather a group themselves to form a full team. This year, 13 student teams competed, with a requirement of at least 6 members each. Roughly $600 was raised to benefit the American Cancer Society and their efforts to mitigate the prominence of breast cancer in women across the country.
The student team that came out on top as the winner was Zo2, a group comprised of resident students from St. Katherine’s Hall in the north dormitories. Many students raved about the event, both new students who have not participated before and upperclassmen who are well acquainted with the event that’s been going on for roughly five years now. Sophomores Allie Kuprevich and Cassidy Hayden, who both participated in the tournament with their sorority sisters of Gamma Phi Beta shared the same excitement in regards to having been a part of the Big Pink volleyball tournament. Kuprevich stated that the tournament is, “an underrated event that really brings the La Salle community together for a great cause,” while Hayden echoed that sentiment, following with her satisfaction in the fact that “complimentary pretzels were provided,” making it a “10/10 experience” that she “would recommend” to all La Salle students.
Other students had just as much fun reflecting ­­on the game as they did playing it. Freshman Martin Redanauer remarked that the game was, “[a] big cause, big fun, [with] big balls.” Bill Richardson, who is also a freshman, comically stated that, “Big Pink was an inside job,” as he wasn’t fortunate enough to be on the winning team.
Rita Offutt, another freshman who participated in the event for the first time, shared her feelings. “Big Pink was an awesome experience. When it was originally explained to me, it was described as a volleyball tournament where the ball would be the size of a middle-schooler, and I was a little skeptical. However, it ended up being one of the best nights I’ve had on campus. It was really cool to see groups like RSA and SGA come out and participate, but I think my favorite part would have to be watching the participants try to serve that huge, pink volleyball,” she exclaimed.
Senior history major Adam Zipko, who is also President of the Resident Student Association, the organization that makes this event possible, is proud to be involved in Big Pink. “It was one of the first events” he attended as a freshman, and enjoys seeing it gain the same positive feedback from freshmen as the years go on. He argues that the function of the event is to bring “the La Salle community together through philanthropy and competition,” as, “everyone loves raising money, and everyone loves kicking some butt on a volleyball court.” “It also creates relationships across campus, as many Greek life groups, student organizations, student athletes, and groups from all residence halls show up,” he attested.