The rock, Coop make SVSU home

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Returning students may already know campus traditions, but newcomers may not be as enlightened.

The Student Association (SA), SVSU’s student government,  has brought many campus traditions to life.

The Spirit Rock, often know as just “the Rock,” located by Living Center North, continues to be one of SVSU’s outstanding traditions.

Students will frequently go out and paint the rock, usually at night, to promote an event or organization.

SA brought the Rock to campus in 2001 after several failed attempts at creating other campus traditions through hosting outhouse races.

An unwritten rule exists that people should wait three days after it is painted before painting it again.

Another piece of university tradition is the annual event known as Battle of the Valleys (BoV).

SVSU has had a long-standing rivalry with Grand Valley, and both schools use this relationship to fundraise for charities during BoV.

Student Association began this event in 2003, and has raised about $250,000 for local charities in the 10 years since BoV began.

Whichever university raises the most money takes home the trophy nicknamed “Victoria.”

SVSU has held the trophy for the past five years. Last year, the Cardinals beat the Lakers by $29,000.

This year’s event will occur during the week of November 16.

SVSU will have apparel and merchandise for sale to promote this traditional rivalry game, host a date auction and bring in a car that can be smashed by students.

One tradition that has since disappeared in recent years involves the Gazelle Fountain.

According to a 2008 “Vanguard” article submitted by Executive Director of the Foundation Andrew Bethune, students used to pour soap into the fountain.

Coop the Cardinal can also be considered a university tradition.

In 1969, the university’s first athletic team played its first season as the Saginaw Valley College “Redbirds.” The second season saw the introduction of the revamped version: the cardinal.

The Cardinal logo was upgraded in 2006, which included changes such as facing right instead of left.

The mascot itself received a new outfit in 2007, featuring some shoes and a muscular abdomen.

Coop even has his own Facebook page.

Other traditions include rounds of capture the flag and others put on by registered student organizations.

Program Board holds a Coffeehouse every other week during the school year, where singers and musicians can come perform for an audience while free coffee and hot chocolate is provided for all who visit.

Marketplace at Doan also holds annual events such as the International Food Festival, which started in the late 1990s where international students bring in different recipes and foods from their home countries.