Following the recent court appearances surrounding Kristin Smart’s disappearance, students are hosting a walk to raise awareness about Kristin Smart’s story on Tuesday, May 25 at 6:30 p.m. on the corner of Foothill Boulevard and Crandall Way, according to the Facebook event. The event will follow COVID-19 guidelines, and all participants must wear a mask.
The walk will follow what students believe to be the route Smart took from where she left an off-campus party to where she should have ended up back in her dorm, according to music senior Elle Larson.
“That is to spread awareness of both her last walk, and the dangers off campus,” Larson said.
Organizers hope the walk will be accessible to students since it’s close to campus, she said.
“A lot of the events that have been held for Kristen have been in North County, and a lot of students have a harder time getting to it,” Larson said. “So bringing this event to somewhere where one, it’s easier for students to get to, and two, more students are going to see it because we’re walking right next to campus, will get more people involved and interested in the case.”
Larson said she also thinks how the university handled the case further highlights its importance.
“The really terrible response that the university and the police had to her case at first, is really disheartening,” Larson said. “I hope that if something like this had happened to me, people would also continue to push for justice.”
The event is hosted by chemistry junior Tessa Witkofsky, who has been following the case since her first year at Cal Poly.
Witkosky said that she wants to push to get Smart’s story into the Week of Welcome (WOW) curriculum in order to spread awareness about the dangers of sexual assault and parties on campus.
“This case is pretty relatable to a lot of college students, especially young women like myself,” Witkofsky said. “It could have been me, it could have been my friends that this happened to.”
Witkosky worked with Denise Smart, Kristin Smart’s mother to organize the walk and spread awareness.
“It’s been pretty incredible,” Witkofsky said. “I never thought that I would be working so close with her, and I’m really just honored to do anything I can to help them and help their daughter and just be part of the cause.”
History and liberal arts and engineering junior Nishanth Narayan has also been helping promote the event.
“I think it’s just an important part of the school’s history and the community’s history that deserves to be told,” Narayan said.