Program boosts student interest in athletics

February 17, 2014 6:19 AMComments Off

Story by Olivia O’Hea

Photo by Joel Venzke

Drake_Mens_Basketball_Vs_Loyola_0098-w2000-h2000The Drake men’s basketball team pulled out a win Saturday night against the Loyola Ramblers in the university’s third annual Beat Week game.

Beat Week, a program designed to re-engage students in athletics, began last Monday.

The Drake University Student Alumni Association runs Beat Week, primarily using social media to market the event.

The organization sold t-shirts and buttons in the Olmsted Breezeway, created an on-campus mascot duel between Spike and a Loyola Rambler and also held a campus-wide medallion scavenger hunt that ran Monday through Thursday.

The week culminated at the game on Saturday, and Drake won 70-62 against Loyola.

Students attending the game received free Drake T-shirts and pizza at halftime, courtesy of SAA.

SAA also held a pep rally in the new Student Alumni House on Wednesday, so students could learn the D-Song and practice chants against the Ramblers.

Annelise Tarnowski, a junior radio/television production and sociology double major, programmed the week for the second year in a row with the help of SAA.

“I, personally, would like to help students re-discover the excitement that comes with attending a Drake basketball game, especially in the midst of so much exciting change — new coach, new players, new practice facility on the way,” Tarnowski said.

This year, the Beat Week game was the first of three games in which students can enter to win one of two $1,000 scholarships.

SAA launched a partnership with Drake athletics in an effort to increase game attendance and bulldog pride.

“I’d like for students to want to re-prioritize Drake sports, and make them a part of their night going out,” Tarnowski said.

For Tarnowski, one of the highlights of the week was seeing students bond together at the game.

After a week devoted to Bulldog pride, the game provides an opportunity for students to cheer on their fellow classmates on the court.

“Beat Week is a campus engagement event, meant to enhance the Drake experience for the general student body,” said Katie Ramsey, a sophomore SAA member.

SAA plans to hold the event again next year, after the success of the last three years.

It hopes to keep many of the events from this year, including a Drake Pride Day and the campus scavenger hunt where student’s collected three medallions hidden on campus to win a prize.

Beat Week is planned around a basketball game, so the date will not be decided until next year’s men’s basketball schedule is released.

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