Biking nowhere for a cause
Members of Campus Christians spent all day riding bikes in the Oval on Wednesday, April 17, except they didn’t go anywhere.
The riders, who each had a bike with a pedestal attached, lifting the driving back tire off the ground and holding the bike in place, were pedaling for a cause.
That cause is the third annual Tour de Hope, sponsored by Campus Christians. The riders were in the Oval to hold a fundraiser for Jordanian and Syrian refugees.
The contest prizes consist of a $200 prize for teams that pay a $50 entry fee, or a $50 prize for individual entrants who pay a $5 entry fee.
Teams will bike for 55 minutes. Individuals will bike for 30 minutes. The winner of each division will have biked the longest distance in the allotted time.
The cash prize, though, isn’t what’s driving these volunteers, says Anna Davied.
“We’re trying to reach out to desperate refugees who are fleeing with only what’s on their back,” said Davied, member of Campus Christians and junior in English education. “They have nothing and have nowhere to go, no one to fall back on. We Americans are very privileged and should pitch in and help.”
Some students stopped by the volunteers’ post in the Oval and hopped on the bikes themselves.
“I’m just here for fun,” said Zack Minor, sophomore in graphic communication. “It’s a great cause. I’ve been following the Syrian revolution and people should really help out this great cause.”
Refugees in Syria are fleeing from the violent rebellion against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The rebels already control large portions of Syria including the large city of Aleppo.
However, according to the BBC, Assad is capable of using his air force and extensive artillery, which have resulted in more than 60,000 casualties, many of them civilians.
The U.S. is hesitant to step in and help because Al-Qaeda is trying to hijack the revolution and use it to influence the new government, wanting Syria to become an Islamic state.
Blake Weaver says that means Americans should independently do more.
“I just think it’s great to be able to help out from here in America,” said Weaver, freshman in nursing.
The Campus Christians are planning a humanitarian trip to Jordan this summer.
They will be in the Oval until 8 p.m. Thursday, April 18.
“One hundred percent of the proceeds we receive are going to the cause,” said Brian Powers, a staff minister of Campus Christians.