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Track team gives up selfies for a cause

John Smith

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Admit it: Most students make time in their day for a selfie now and then.

It’s almost a subconscious thing that is as much a part of our society nowadays as watching the Super Bowl. However, imagine that all selfies were off limits, and any violators had to pay for the transgressions in cash.

That is what WSU Assistant Director of Track and Field John Wise is doing, all in the name of a good cause.

Wise briefed the track team — and any other readers — of the initiative he calls “No Selfie September” on a recent blog post. The goal is for anyone caught snapping a selfie of any sort to donate to the American Heart Association, and post the selfie to social media with the hashtag #NoSelfieSeptember to spread awareness.

“It kind of started as a little bit of tongue-in-cheek as to how our society is,” Wise said. “We want to do something unselfish and try to make September the unselfish month of the year.”

Every 40 seconds someone in the U.S. dies from cardiovascular disease, according to the American Heart Association. This means the likelihood of knowing someone that has been affected by heart disease is high, which is why Wise said AHA is the perfect candidate for donations from No Selfie September.

“There’s probably someone in [everyone’s] family that has been affected, and maybe had a heart attack, and that would be why you are being unselfish,” Wise said. “Comparatively to other diseases, the AHA is funded way less. It is the No. 1 killer in the U.S., so if [No Selfie September] ever took off, that just means more funding for them.”

Response to the initiative from the track team has been mixed. Some have jumped right into the challenge, while others have struggled with just how difficult it can be to avoid taking a selfie.

“I was in a Snapchat conversation with a friend and didn’t even think twice about taking a selfie to respond to a question he asked me,” track athlete Taylor Larch-Miller said. “My roommate looked at me and said, ‘Hey that’s a selfie!’

“This was only on day four.”

With the combination of raising awareness and money for AHA, No Selfie September draws parallels with last year’s phenomena, the Ice Bucket Challenge. Those involved are hoping it will produce similar results.

“I don’t know how big this challenge will get, but I sure hope that we can spread awareness and at least raise some amount of money,” Larch-Miller said. “I think it’s an amazing idea and I am definitely proud to be one of the first to grab hold of the challenge and start the donations.”

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