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Honors Program Represents Boston College In The Run Of The Charles

Heights Editor

Published: Monday, April 30, 2012

Updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 19:01

The Honors Program participated in the Run of the Charles, New England’s largest canoe race, on Sunday for the second year in a row since the end of the long-standing tradition’s five-year hiatus, started in 2006.

The return of the tradition was a result of the return of the Honors House Council, an institution that was also discontinued for several years.

The Honors House Council is an organization within ResLife that consists of student leaders from each of the Honors residence halls. It was reinstated for the 2009-2010 school year, and last year, the then-president brought back the tradition of the Honors Program’s participation in the Run of the Charles. Previously a project of just the Arts and Sciences Honors Program, since its return, the Run of the Charles has been the joint project of ResLife and the A&S Honors Program.

“We hope to make this into a tradition again,” said Katherine Yu, president of the Honors House Council and A&S ’14.

The Run of the Charles is a 24-mile, 5-leg canoe race.

“It’s like the Boston Marathon, but for canoes,” Yu said.

This year, enough students signed up to fill three boats—a freshman boat, a sophomore boat, and a combined junior and senior boat. A total of ten students—two for each leg—race for each boat. Participation was slightly down from last year, but Graduate Resident Director for 66 and Co-advisor to the Honors House Council Katy Maher remarked that overall enthusiasm was up. The junior and senior boat proved victorious.

“A lot of freshmen and sophomores were interested, which bodes well for next year,” Maher said.

When it was under the control of the A&S Honors Program, the Run of the Charles was the project primarily of former Director of the Honors Program Mark O’Connor and professor Timothy Duket. Both have continued to be involved since the switch of control to the Honors House Council. Early in the preparation process, Duket held an information meeting in 66 and did a paddling demonstration for all the first time participants.

This was one of many “check-points” held by those spearheading the event to ensure that the students who signed up were committed to coming and making the event a success.

“We wanted to make sure they’d show dedication,” said Sarah Robbins, graduate assistant of the Honors House Program..

Through these check points, Maher became convinced of the student’s enthusiasm. “There was definitely some trash talking at some of the meetings, especially by seniors who participated last year,” she said. In addition, there was a significant wait-list for freshmen.

“It’s really great to see that people want to participate in something outside the normal scope of the Honors Program,” Maher said.

The Run of the Charles is one of the Honors House Council’s largest projects of the year.

“I got this position over the summer, and one of the first things I heard about was how much work I’d have to put into Run of the Charles,” Maher said. She and Yu agree that the work is worth it, however.

“[The Run of the Charles] is a big Boston tradition, and it’s really nice that the Boston College Honors Program is a part of that,” Yu said.

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