Wendi Cai is an intern for Public Safety and Institutional Assurance at IU. She's graduating in May with a bachelor's degree in telecommunications from the Media School. Her hometown is Hangzhou, China, population 9.2 million. She shares insights about Little 500 and why it's more than just a bike race.
Protect IU: When you moved to Bloomington in 2013, how did you learn about Little 500?
Wendy Cai: I heard a lot of people talking about it and asked. I went to it and it was fun, but I didn't have group to cheer for. The next year, I had joined Delta Phi Epsilon. We paired with Pi Kappa Alpha. So, I had two teams to cheer for. It was even more fun.
Protect IU: What might surprise international visitors about the race?
Wendi Cai: Right now, Little 500 is an excuse to have fun and blow off steam before finals. A lot of people don't know it started in 1951 to raise scholarship funds. There's even a movie about it (Breaking Away).
Protect IU: Do you have advice for new students from other countries?
Wendi Cai: Go to the race. The enthusiasm for the teams is really exciting. It's the most fun college weekend in the country. People come here from all over the United States -- Miami, California, they're all coming here. It's a ramped up version of Homecoming because of all the alumni returning. You don't have to drink alcohol to enjoy it.
Protect IU: Any safety tips?
Wendi Cai: If you can walk, then walk because of the traffic. Definitely stay with friends and don't walk around by yourself. Drink a lot of water because it's usually hot -- and wear a lot of sunscreen. Every year I've gotten sunburn. Also, there can be consequences for irresponsible drinking. You could end up paying a large fee and picking up garbage on Sunday as part of the Pre-trial Diversion Program.
For more tips, read this Protect IU blog post.