Tie dye to not drive high

Students tie dying t-shirts after writing down their pledges to have a safe 4/20. Photo: Victoria Moffatt · The Sentry

Students tie dying t-shirts after writing down their pledges to have a safe 4/20.
Photo: Victoria Moffatt · The Sentry
Campus event promotes safety on 4/20

Tie Dye to Not Drive High goes beyond just a catchy name. On Thursday, April 18, the Student Wellness Center hosted the tie-dying event outside in the courtyard between the Wellness Center and the Student Commons, promoting safety for CU Denver students on 4/20. 

“It’s Colorado, [marijuana] is legal here,” Chelsea Casillas, a wellness associate, said. “We want our students to be safe and smart with whatever they decide to do on 4/20.”

Upon arrival, students were told statistics about marijuana consumption, specifically on 4/20. As shared by two of the supervisors of the event, 4/20 is a day where fatal crashes are 12 percent higher than on any given day, which is already a high number in the United States. According to the Association for Safe International Road Travel, there are approximately 3,287 deaths on the road per day.

Once students received a little education, they were asked to take a color-coded marijuana leaf based on the grade they’re in and write a promise that would complete the saying, “This 420 I pledge to…” Most  participants centered their pledges around either not driving while high or not getting high at all. While some clearly stated their promise to “never drive high,” others played with the saying a bit and wrote “I ain’t driving high.” What resulted was a colorful rainbow of clusters of pot leaves decorating a poster, showing the popularity of the event to passersby and the students’ commitments to being safe with marijuana consumption.

Once students wrote their pledges, they were given a white CU Denver tank top to tie dye by Hayase Yoshizumi, the Health Promotions and Engagement Coordinator at the Wellness Center. 

“A big part of my job is to do events like these that teach students to moderate their alcohol and marijuana consumption,” Yoshizumi said. “It’s important to educate students who may not be knowledgeable. This is a fun activity that could teach good behavior.”

At the tie dye table, students were enthusiastic to dive right into the activity by first putting a setter solution onto their shirts, securing rubber bands around them in their desired design, and then squirting dye from the selection of yellow, red, blue, and purple.

While some were strategic in the placement of their rubber bands by following the dye-soaked directions, others simply crumpled their shirt and blotted the excess dye puddling on the table. 

Perhaps the shirt that was the most popular was the one with a vibrant green pot leaf in the middle, designed by Briley Manzanares, a swimmer who frequents the Wellness Center, who said that this was the “funnest” event she has done on campus in the last four years. 

Nathea Kamin, a junior in environmental studies, agreed, as she commented that it was her favorite event she has attended. “I think it’s the most creative event on campus,” Kamin said, “I love tie dying,” which was confirmed by the tie dye shirt she was dressed in. 

While some may be tempted to reach for marijuana on 4/20 and get behind the wheel, their newly tie-dyed shirts serve as a reminder of the promise they made to keep themselves and others safe perhaps beyond just 4/20.

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