Painted Street has been a tradition during the Drake Relays for years, with many student organizations coming together to paint designs for their organizations every single year.
Drake Tennis Club was one of these organizations that participated in this tradition, with Jack Gruening, a sophomore majoring in marketing, being very excited about this event.
“My favorite part about street painting this year was being able to spend time with fellow club members outside of tennis,” Gruening said. “One thing that I learned was how to effectively collaborate with a team on a large project such as street painting. There isn’t much that I would do differently for street painting. The process went very smooth for Drake Tennis Club.”
Drake Tennis Club’s design was created by their fundraising chair, Cloey Tuttle, and was meant to incorporate the theme for this year, Glow Together.
Another organization that participated this year was the Drake University Badminton Club.
“We really wanted to make a square that showcased the Drake Badminton Club,” said Badminton Club member Alyssa Overlin, a sophomore majoring in health sciences. “Brandon Ng and I have been working on creating this club for about a year now and we finally reached full RSO status last month. It has been an incredible journey and we both have learned so much. Because we are a new club, we wanted to really advertise our club and make sure students know they have the opportunity to be a part of the Drake Badminton Club.”
Brandon Ng, a junior majoring in actuarial science, said his favorite part was getting to participate in the event with other Drake students.
“Being a transfer student from a year ago in the spring, this was my first experience of Painted Street. I loved every bit of it,” Ng said. “From the design process right up to the finishing touches of our square, it was a fulfilling and wonderful moment for the whole club, but especially for Alyssa and I. This time last year, we were convincing our club’s advisor to journey on this path of setting up a new organization. A year on, we have come full circle. I couldn’t be prouder of how far we’ve come.”
Painted Street has been around for years, but the Paint It Black circle, a section right next to Painted Street, is a newer development. The black circle became a permenant addition in 2019, serving as a permanent reminder of the racist incidents that occurred in 2018 and solidifying Drake’s commitment to anti-racism.
“The #PaintitBlack Project circle was an installation added to the end of Painted Street to be re-signed every year as a new tradition, showing that students and other members of the Drake community are committed to the work of anti-racism,” said Paint It Black coorganizer and Student Body President Morgan Coleman. “After the street was originally painted black in 2018, organizers and other student leaders decided that we wanted to have a permanent reminder of the events that occurred, so that we could continue to remind folks that there is still work to be done. It is a symbol of the experiences of Black students on this campus, and students of color. It is a symbol of solidarity. The event is available to all students. However, students should only sign the circle if they are committed to anti-racism, educating themselves, listening to and standing up for Black and Brown folks on this campus.”
These students have loved getting to participate in this activity, getting to better know their fellow students and showing that Drake University pride throughout Relays Week. Feel free to walk along Painted Street, get to know the organizations that are represented below you and remember the memories that are made within these student organizations.