This week a new tradition called Color Wars will be kicking off the academic year at the University of Richmond, giving students the opportunity to come together and compete against their peers at a fun, all-inclusive event.

“The event itself is a paint battle, so wear something that you don’t mind gets messy,” said Meg Pevarski, the assistant director for Greek life, “and the winner is basically whoever comes out with less of the other team’s color.”

“There will be trash cans filled with red and blue powder paint, and students have the opportunity to throw paint at each other and just have fun with it,” said Kelsey Kines, the Panhellenic Council vice president for programming, who is helping to plan the event. 

“There will also be honorary captains for both teams because it will be odd vs. even class years, meaning seniors and sophomores vs. juniors and freshmen,” Pevarski said.

The event will take place on the River Road field from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 28, and will also have a water slide, food, D.J. and even some giveaways.

So where did this idea of Color Wars come from?

Color Wars, initially a general idea from other institutions, came out of student conversations, such as how does Richmond build new traditions on campus and have events that all can participate in, Pevarski said.

“Students wanted more traditions on campus because we obviously have Westhampton and Richmond traditions, but nothing as fun and exciting as orientation that takes place in the beginning of the school year,” Kines said.

The Westhampton College Government Association and Richmond Student Government Association, as well as the three Greek councils, the Interfraternity Council, the Panhellenic Council and the National Pan-Hellenic Council, and Richmond Athletics decided to take the lead to try hosting something that would appeal to students in an enjoyable and positive matter, Pevarski said.

“With these big names on campus coming together we are trying to build some spirit,” Pevarski said.

“With this new tradition, which is open to everyone, we are also trying to promote unity and relationships, while merging the different class years right from the start of the fall semester,” Kines said.

“There are a lot of traditions that Richmond can identify, but they are all in the spring, such as Ring Dance and Pig Roast,” said Olivia Karahan, WCGA president. “But, the one big thing that people want from this tradition is something that both kicks off the school year and an event that students can look forward too.”

Student’s involved in the planning of Color Wars came together through conference calls every other week of the summer to brainstorm ideas on how to make this event a success.

“We thought about a concert, or a comedian that the whole school could go too,” said Alex Krass, IFC vice president, “but we figured Color Wars was a better tradition that created more involvement and interaction rather than having someone come and speak on campus.”

This is a big year for figuring out what else can be new and how Richmond can mix things up in order to respond to what students are interested in, Pevarski said.

“We really have been taking the lead from the students to ask what is fun and interesting, and its seem to be live music, an opportunity for everybody to be together without making it too long, but also have other things, like food and water elements,” Pevarski said. 

With other events down the road, such as Inauguration and Homecoming, Color Wars is just the first of many ideas that will hopefully develop into something new throughout the years, Pevarski said.

“Color Wars may grow and change as we continue to do it, but for this year we just want people to come out and have a great time.”

Contact reporter Catherine McTiernan at catherine.mctiernan@richmond.edu.