Another set of candles for Coop

Students flocked around the Marketplace at Doan on Friday, Oct. 3, to celebrate the birthday of SVSU’s mascot, Coop the Cardinal.

Mechanical engineering senior Megan VanFleteren organized Coop’s birthday party with the help of the student organization Forever Red. VanFleteren said she hopes students who came to the party left with more pride in SVSU.

The Valley Vanguard

Vanguard photo | Logan Mooney

Will Martinez, a visitor during Family Weekend, feeds Coop the Cardinal cotton candy in honor of his birthday. Forever Red threw Coop his second annual birthday party Saturday in the Marketplace at Doan. The Marketplace was decorated for the occasion, and eventgoers enjoyed music by Cardinal Radio, snacks and raffle prizes.

“It’s nice to celebrate Coop and show red pride by celebrating with other people because almost all of the students on campus come (to the Marketplace) to eat,” she said.

The party, which took place from 5 until 8 p.m., did not just encourage school spirit, but reminded students of the anniversary of the university.

“Last year, we started the event as (part of) the 50th anniversary celebration to give the students something fun to signify an anniversary-type thing,” VanFleteren said.

Undecided freshman Stephanie West said she enjoyed the event.

“My favorite part was probably all the characters and the mascots coming,” West said. “It was just fun to see.”

In addition to the attendance of Lou-E Loon, Sammi Spirit and Coop, the birthday party also offered cotton candy, cake, popcorn, music from Cardinal Radio, photography from the Cardinal Photography Student Association and prize raffles.

“We went to organizations to see if they’d be willing to donate prizes,” VanFleteren said. “Last year, we just supplied smaller prizes ourselves. Now other groups can promote themselves while giving out prizes … and we have things from T-shirts to lanyards.”

Forever Red awarded scholarships to some of those who bought T-shirts. International studies freshman Kennedy Bachman said she was interested in the spirit wear.

“I’m going to eat food and then I might buy a cool T-shirt,” she said.

Bachman also liked the look of the Marketplace, which was decorated with streamers and balloons.

“(I went because) it looked fun,” she said. “I like that there’s different (student) groups and it’s very festively decorated.”

VanFleteren said she hopes to run the event again next year.

“Next year we might try and see if we can rearrange the whole menu of the Marketplace to get chicken nuggets, corn dogs, maybe mac and cheese bites,” VanFleteren said. “We’d have carnival-type food in the whole marketplace to get the whole place in the spirit of (Coop’s birthday), instead of just having cotton candy and popcorn.”

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