By: Mariah Diaz – Web Editor
Decked in blue and purple jewels and a ribbon on the left side of her chest, William Paterson student Cindy Nazario strides with her head high amongst a herd of other students in last year’s Suicide Prevention Walk.
She walks up to a sign that reads “#wpUmatter.” She writes, “I matter because I have a family who loves and supports me.” Thus began a domino effect of other students writing on the sign.
According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, suicide is among the top 10 causes of death in the United States. Following a 2016 student suicide the WPU community has made strides to stand up and support suicide prevention.
Last year, the sisters of Delta Phi Epsilon and the brothers of Omega Delta Sigma hosted the Suicide Prevention walk followed by a barbeque in the ballrooms. This year the event will be expanded due to the high attendance last year. Campus Activities office and other organizations on campus will assist this year.
“The walk we had was particularly special to us because we had the loss of a sister earlier that year,” said Nazario, who is a sister of Delta Phi Epsilon. “Not to mention that it was held on one of the nicest days last spring.”
Following the event, the sisters of Delta Phi Epsilon conducted philanthropy efforts for the “American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.” The sisters held a winter carnival last year which raised money for their cause.
This year’s Suicide Prevention Walk will be held on Friday, April 21 from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. in the Zanfino Plaza.
Registration will begin at 11:30 a.m. but students can register prior to the event at http://afsp.org/wpunj. All donations collected at the walk will be given to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
The event will also be followed by a barbeque in the Zanfino Plaza.
Many clubs and organizations including SABP, SGA, Stay, Hero Campaign, Mu Sigma Upsilon, Delta Phi Epsilon, and Zeta Phi Beta will be volunteering to help with the walk.
“We are really looking forward to student, faculty and outside participation,” said Khalid Shakur, Student Government Vice President of Public Relations. “Not to mention the many organizations and clubs on campus that are coming to help out.”
Shakur has been working closely with Campus Activities to put this walk together. He has hope for another successful event with beautiful weather.