Battle of the Valleys should focus on the cause, not just the money

The annual Battle of the Valleys is over, and even though we won the fundraising competition, I am still convinced we need to step up our game.

The main point of the battle is to support a cause, and we accomplish this through competition between two rival schools. However, there is a difference between supporting a cause and promoting a cause.

SVSU students have proven time and time again that they can raise money and support a cause. We have beaten GVSU in the fundraising competition for multiple years, which is something to celebrate. But, is all the money in the world really worth it if we aren’t promoting help for the cause?

This year, SVSU was raising money for the Cory Rivard Jr. Promise Foundation, which aims to raise awareness for the hardships depression, anxiety and suicide create for college students.

However, not many of the fundraising activities from the past week actually helped spread that awareness. Activities included a date auction, a talent show, a Saginaw Spirit hockey game and a football game.

Smashing the car in the courtyard was the best fundraising event I saw last week. Not only did it help raise money, but it allowed students to blow off some steam, which can help relieve the symptoms of depression and anxiety. That seems to provide a lasting effect for the cause.

All the other activities were great at what they did, which was raise money. It helps to keep in mind that even though we may not see the direct results or impact of raising money, there are results somewhere out there.

Raising money has been the point of Battle of the Valleys for twelve years now, but does that mean our yearly tradition should never change or never grow? Would students still give as much money if they had been asked “Would you like to donate to depression awareness in college students” instead of “Would you like to donate to Battle of the Valleys”?

If the battle becomes more about the competition than about battling for a good cause, then maybe it is time for a change.

To be completely honest, I do not remember what the cause was last year, and that is something I am disappointed in. I wish I did remember it so I could feel like I made a difference last year instead of just knowing I added a couple dollars to the pot.

Students should feel at the end of the week that they are making a difference, not just that they beat another school in a fundraising competition.

I believe that it is time for students from both GVSU and SVSU to become active in promoting a cause instead of passively supporting it. Changing it up would add extra excitement and new motivation to the battle.

This change could include volunteering somewhere, getting art students to auction off projects that promote the cause or finding a way to get information out to students about the cause through fundraising.

Battle of the Valleys is already considered one of the biggest and most exciting weeks on SVSU’s calendar, but it should still keep expanding.

I’m challenging myself to remember the Cory Rivard Jr. Promise Foundation for the next year by finding ways to promote happiness among college students on this campus. While money can make a difference, things won’t really change until we start actively participate in being the change.

This entry was posted on Monday, November 17th, 2014 and is filed under Opinion. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.

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