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IU Student Foundation spends months working on the Little 500


IU Student Foundation members place chips on bikes in order to track and time riders during a practice session for Little 500 in 2018. Andrew Williams Buy Photos

Hundreds of laps around Bill Armstrong Stadium, thousands of spectators and months of work from the IU Student Foundation will come together in IU’s most iconic event next weekend.

“We work all year to put on the Little 500,” said senior Addison Housand, president of the IUSF steering committee. Housand has been a member of IUSF since the first semester of her freshman year.

The steering committee is the group of seniors that oversees the events, committees and scholarship processes of IUSF. This year, the committee is composed of 19 people.

IUSF as a whole is comprised of roughly 150 members, Housand said, including all grade levels. The group offers different initiatives, scholarships and grants and puts on its biggest event, the Little 500, which raises money for student scholarships.

In the fall, IUSF focuses on events to gain general members, and in the spring members focus on Spring Cycling Series events, including Qualifications, Individual Time Trials and all the events leading up to the Little 500, Housand said.

IUSF plans these events and volunteers to ensure that cyclists’ practices are organized each day for the riders, Housand said.

“We want to make sure that the riders will be able to be safe for the race,” she said.

To put on the Little 500, there are quite a few steps, Housand said.

IUSF prepares all the materials for race day, paints balloon boxes, finds VIPs for the race, markets the event and more, she said.

“Being a member of IUSF has made me appreciate all of the hard work that goes into putting on the Little 500,”freshman IUSF member Megan Mattei said.

Housand explained some of the specific planning that goes into the Little 500 for IUSF.

“We address whether we change or add anything to the race, like skydivers or bringing a cappella groups to perform,” Housand said.

IUSF also has a marketing team that works on billboards, advertising and merchandise for the event, she said.

It also includes an alumni affairs committee that reaches out to different alum throughout the year to make sure they know they’re invited to the race and know how to buy tickets, Housand said.

Housand said her favorite part of IUSF is race week.

“It’s the most magical thing,” she said. “You’re there working every day from like 5 to 11 o’clock at night to get everything organized and set up for the race, and Bill Armstrong Stadium completely transforms from a soccer stadium into the Little 500.”

The women will race at 4 p.m. April 12 in the stadium, and the men will race the next day at 2 p.m.

“It’s incredible to step back and look at it when it’s done and look at all the hard work you’ve put into the semester, into the year, into the organization,” Housand said.

You get to be a part of something so much bigger than yourself, she said.

“It’s not about you, it’s about the university and how we can help other students come here and get an education and be a part of such an incredible community,” she said.

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