Relay for Life Challenge @assumptionnews @relayforlife @assumptioncac

Assumption Has Respectable Performance in Relay for Life College Registration Challenge

Sarah Johansson

It seems unlikely Assumption College, with barely 2000 undergraduate students, would be able to compete against bigger Massachusetts schools like Northeastern University, Boston College, and Boston University. But during the month of September, it did. The American Cancer Society held a statewide Relay for Life Registration Competition for all the colleges and universities that host this cancer-awareness fundraiser and walk. Even though Assumption was the smallest school in the competition, its registration totals ended up in the middle of the pack.

On Wednesday, October 1st, the final tally reported Assumption had a total of 38 registrations. While it was not enough to beat Northeastern University who finished first with 455 registrations, or Boston College in second place with 262, Assumption did surpass larger schools like UMass Lowell (33-registrations) and Boston University (7).

The first place college received $483 and second place was awarded $452. A Junior Executive Board for the New England Division of the American Cancer Society held fundraisers throughout the summer and decided to donate the money they raised to the colleges which recruited the most participants. The prize money for the challenge goes directly to the winning schools’ Relay for Life events.

Assumption Against Cancer promoted this competition on-campus. The club raises awareness about various aspects of cancer, fundraises for the American Cancer Society, and hosts Relay for Life in the spring. The registration challenge significantly improved involvement in Assumption College’s Relay for Life event compared to 2013. According to Assumption Against Cancer co-president Caitlyn Thompson, this time last year less than 10 people were registered for the event.

Although Assumption did not win any money, the American Cancer Society Representative for Assumption College, Cassie Greco, noted when talking to the members of Assumption Against Cancer, “The schools who won are 10 times the size of [Assumption], so even though you started off with a bit of a disadvantage you never let it stop you from recruiting which showed against some of those larger schools that you did blow past!”

The colleges that topped Assumption’s total, in addition to Northeastern and Boston College, were Endicott College, Bentley University, Merrimack College, WPI, and MIT. However, Assumption was exactly halfway in the totals overcoming UMass Lowell, Brandeis University, Tufts University, Harvard University, Boston University, Clark University, and the College of the Holy Cross.

During September, Assumption Against Cancer used multiple tactics for recruiting students. The group was able to discount registration from $10 to $5 for one week of the month to specifically target college students. They also held a table in Hagan Campus Center which gave students a location to go to for registration, rather than having to do so online. At this table, the group had flyers to pass out for students who were unable to stop.

According to Thompson, a common tactic used by Assumption Against Cancer and other clubs on campus is “dormstorming.” This means members of the group go dorm to dorm knocking on doors or passing out flyers. Dormstorming can be effective because not all students pass through Hagan Campus Center during the day. While the club stormed some of the dorms on campus during the discounted registration week, many were left out.

Despite the efforts Assumption Against Cancer made to recruit students, there were holes in the club’s tactics. Thompson reported that the group “also could have made a conscious effort to dormstorm every building, as well as plugging the challenge more efficiently via social media.”

Even though the registration challenge is over, Assumption Against Cancer is still recruiting and fundraising for the Relay for Life event on April 24, 2015. Those who are interested can register at

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