Cal Poly students participated in the 10th annual Mustang Mile to advocate for alcohol poisoning awareness on Wednesday, May 4.
The Mustang Mile is a traditional 5K run in honor of Carson Starkey, a Cal Poly Student who passed away in 2008 from an alcohol-related hazing incident.
Aware Awake Alive, a local non-profit dedicated to Starkey and alcohol poisoning awareness, collaborated with Cal Poly Panhellenic and Peers Understanding, Listening, Supporting, Educating (PULSE) to put on the event.
Public health student Lena Freid, who is the team lead of the Party Safety Team at PULSE, said the event aims to raise awareness of hazing and substance abuse issues on Cal Poly’s campus.
“We’re trying to promote a harm reduction approach,” Fried said. “This event is in [memory] of a terrible event that happened and we want to implement harm-reduction strategies so nothing like that happens in the future, and [ensure] that students are safe because it’s our community that we want to protect.”
Roughly 200 people showed up to support the cause. Runners arrived in an array of costumes, keeping the Mustang Mile tradition of dressing up alive.
Biochemistry freshman Brenna Bradfield sported a sparkly tutu and unicorn crown.
“Our friends had some tutus and we were like, ‘we gotta make this work somehow,’” Bradfield said.
Business junior John Skoblar and his friends also dressed up for the event, wearing Power Ranger morph suits.
“Me and my buddies, we all had lovely power ranger costumes sitting around, so we were like, ‘no better way to break them out than a nice little 5k,’” Skoblar said.
The 5K started and ended outside of the Cal Poly Recreation Center. It allowed some Cal Poly students, like business junior Mohammad Mirwais, to do what they love for a good cause.
“I used to be a runner so this was just something I wanted to do for fun,” Mirwais said. “I wanted to do this to raise awareness for alcohol poisoning.”