With Valentine's Day fast approaching, the Graduate Student Senate is offering everyone a chance to show some love.
The GSS is sponsoring the annual "Love Your Libraries 5K Race" this March as they run cross-campus to benefit UT's libraries.
The annual race was started 21 years ago by a group of graduate student senators under the leadership of GSS President Cindy Wyrick. They named the race "Love Your Libraries" for its original scheduled date, Valentine's Day. However, years later, GSS changed the official date of the race to the first weekend of March to avoid possible difficult weather conditions and kept the name as it was.
Wyrick and the GSS chose to create the fundraiser in order to supply the UT libraries with the necessary funds it needed to help serve its students.
Brian Broyles, annual giving coordinator for the UT libraries, said that GSS saw the race as a way "to do something to benefit the library because it benefited all students on campus."
Broyles said that Wyrick and the original group of students who created the race did it so they could support "what they felt was the most important building on campus."
Current GSS Vice President Alexandra Brewer maintains Wyrick's legacy by encouraging current students and alumni to participate in the race.
"Everybody uses the library and it is an invaluable resource," she said. "The funds raised are for the library to use at its discretion."
Hodges Library recently completed a renovation project to the Commons areas on the second floor, redesigning the location of many library events. The de-stressing dogs and massages that sprout up during finals will call the new Commons home. Many of the events' funds can be traced back to the "Love Your Libraries 5K."
Whether one is interested in racing for more books and resources or for more massages, everyone can find a reason to run.
Bennett Adkinson, chair of the 5K committee, encourages everyone interested in running to begin registering now.
"The big thing that we would like to promote this year is the addition of a team's competition," Adkinson said. "The largest team and the fastest team will each receive a trophy. We invite all campus organizations to sign up a team for the race and try to win these trophies. Signing up as a team also reduces the registration fee to only $15. So, sign up early as a team to get a great deal."
For more information regarding prizes and rules about teams, visit the GSS website, http://web.utk.edu/~gss/, and follow the link, "21st Annual Love Your Libraries 5K."
The deadline to pre-register is Feb. 22. After this date, all wishing to participate, whether as singles or teams, will be required to pay a $25 fee.
The race will take place Saturday, March 2. To check in or to register the day of the event, tables will be set up inside the Communication and Information Building from 7:45 to 8:45 a.m. at Circle Park on campus. The race is set to officially begin at 9 a.m.