This week, the Drake Student Alumni Association is hosting its first-ever BEAT week in anticipation of the men’s basketball game against the Missouri State Bears this Saturday at 7:05 p.m.
“We definitely want to get some buy-in from students, and we hope students will take advantage of all of the fun stuff going on during BEAT Week,” said Jessica Berger, assistant director of campus and student engagement. “Not all of the activities even need student participation, but as long as students can get some entertainment and fun out of the activities and build their school spirit a little bit, we think BEAT Week is definitely worthwhile.”
Today, T-shirts are available for $5 in the Olmsted breezeway, and those same shirts will also be given to the first 150 students to arrive at Saturday’s game. A campus-wide “battle” between mascots Spike and Boomer will take place Tuesday, and they may even make an appearance in a few academic buildings.
Wednesday is “Find the Bears and Bulldogs Day,” in which five stuffed bears and five bulldogs will be hidden around campus. The students who find them can bring them to the BEAT Week headquarters in Olmsted and receive a $10 gift card to their choice of one nearby restaurant.
On Thursday, which is “Banish the Bears” day, students can donate a dollar for a teddy bear and a note to United Way, which will pass it along to local daycare children in need.
Finally, on Friday, SAA representatives will hand out prizes to those sporting their Bulldog blue.
“To plan the week, we took the theme of ‘Beat the Bears’ and tried to integrate it into different, fun activities on campus,” Berger said. “We wanted to be sure that BEAT Week activities were unique and would get students’ attention. We want people to get revved up for the game, and all of the activities are meant to get students, faculty and staff ready to root on the Bulldogs to victory.”
Last year, the SAA hosted a “Beat Creighton” game when Drake hosted the Bluejays in men’s basketball, and senior Ann Schnoebelen, vice president of marketing and public relations for the SAA, said that the group’s efforts were successful. This year, the organization wanted to take it to a new level.
“One of our goals is to foster school spirit,” Schnoebelen said. “I wouldn’t say there is a lack of it here, but I would say there’s definitely room for a lot more. Rallying around our athletic teams is an easy and fun way to get everyone excited to cheer on Drake.”
The men’s basketball team is currently 13-9 overall and 6-5 in the Missouri Valley Conference. Drake is tied for third in the conference standings.
“Both our women’s and men’s basketball teams are competitive in the conference this year, and the games are so fun to attend, so we want people to get pumped up for the games and are hoping we can pack the student section to cheer on the Bulldogs for a win against the Missouri State Bears,” Berger said.
Schnoebelen also said that BEAT Week is something that SAA hopes to continue every year from here on out.
“I hope (students) are excited about it,” she said. “I hope people get engaged and fired up. It doesn’t require any work from the students. They get to go to a fun basketball game and cheer on Drake.”