The art of being a Warhawk

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Kylie McCombe

Peer mentor Hunter Nobles paints Warhawk Drive Sept. 1. Paint it Purple is an annual University of Wisconsin-Whitewater tradition for incoming freshmen as they begin their college journey.

Erica Chandler, Arts and Rec Editor

The First Year Experience welcomed new freshmen this year with a wide variety of music and art during the traditional annual fall events of Paint it Purple and R U Purple. These events are known to be powerful rites of passage in joining the Warhawk flock. They are full of laughter, fun and hope for the future of these first year students. 

Peer mentors and the freshman themselves were on the front lines with these activities. Peer mentor Hayley Johnson has been actively helping for three years with the freshmen and around campus.

“Painting the road is an awesome tradition at UW-W,” said Johnson. “It’s something different that students at other universities don’t get to do.”

Every year, music and paint are all around as the freshmen get excited about the splash of color and hint of art in their lives. Art means a lot to Johnson, as well as being a peer mentor.

“I became a peer mentor because I wanted to help first year students with their transition to college. I love music! I was in band all throughout high school. Music is an awesome way for me to express myself,” Johnson explained.

Johnson is also proud to be a part of helping others transition into college life. She wishes that every freshman had a cool opportunity like painting the road purple that the freshman do at UW-W, as well as express her love for music.

Watching the UW-W Marching Band, Dance Team, and Cheer Squad perform filled the freshman with excitement, helping them forget about their worries of being at a new school in a new town. The band was up-beat and the dance team was bumping to get the crowd moving. The cheer squad performed intricate, awe-inspiring stunts with catchy cheers. The arts were an important parts of the celebration, and it really showed in the talented individuals who performed. 

“It was thrilling and so much fun. The band had an amazing tune, and the dancers and cheer team were so cool to watch,” said freshman computer science major Kelsey Jones after the rally. 

R U Purple has been a long running tradition for the freshman of UW-W and it seems it will continue for years to come, leaving a lasting impact on the freshman of UW-Whitewater. The huge balloon tunnel that first year students and peer mentors run through is almost a metaphor in itself. It signifies stepping into a new future that looks purple and bright. 

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