There’s no place like home

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In the spirit of homecoming week, Cardinals were asked to consider their passion for the university.

According to Emily VanFleteren, member of the homecoming planning committee, the year’s week of events has been in the works since March 2014.

The Valley Vanguard

Vanguard photo | Tyler Bradley & Cody Shrader

Saturday, Oct. 25, wrapped up the revelry of Saginaw Valley’s annual homecoming week. A parade preceded the SVSU varsity football’s contest against Northwood University in the 40th annual Axe Bowl.

“This year’s homecoming is similar to other years, but we are starting new traditions and bringing some old events back into the light,” VanFleteren said.

The festivities commenced on Sunday, Oct. 19, with the “Yell Like Hell” event. Registered student organizations gathered in the courtyard at 8 p.m. to chant their favorite mantras and vocalize their school pride.

Men involved in student organizations were then welcomed to the campus recreation courts on Monday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. to compete in “Macho Volleyball.”

The women got their chance to vie against female members in other organizations later in the week during the powderpuff football game.

Jenni Putz, an applied mathematics and economics sophomore and member of the Optimistic Club, played in the flag football tournament.

“I thought that (the game) was a great way to have fun with other members of my club and to participate in friendly competition with other organizations,” Putz said. “I think that, as a club, this brought us closer together.”

On Tuesday, Oct. 20, organizations constructed makeshift boats out of cardboard and paddled them across the North Ryder Pond in a race to finish first.

The “Disney Lip Sync” event took place on Wednesday from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. in the Malcolm Field Theatre. Participating organizations entertained the audience with their synced interpretations of Disney song mash-ups.

Head football coach Jim Collins and his team captains, along with the SVSU Marching Band, electrified the President’s Courtyard during Thursday’s pep rally.

A service project organized in collaboration with Bay City’s Habitat for Humanity took place from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday, Oct. 24.

Mimi Marcus, criminal justice and professional and technical writing senior and candidate for homecoming queen, saw the value of the events that comprised the week leading up to the football game.

“It is awesome to see people go to events during the year for different organizations, but these events are completely different,” Marcus said. “It brings a new sense of red pride, because each (organization) is able to show off their talents and compete for something fun, like the homecoming trophy. (These) events show SVSU that the students have motivation to compete but come together during the process to celebrate the joy of this week.”

Beginning at 5:30 p.m.  Saturday, Oct. 25, the homecoming parade trailed around campus, leaving immense amounts of red pride in its wake.

Following the parade, the Saginaw Valley Cardinals kicked off against the Northwood University Timberwolves at 7 p.m. in the 40th Axe Bowl.

“It’s great to play a rival like Northwood for our Homecoming game. We get a great crowd and it makes for a really amazing end to a great week of events,” associate director of Student Life Jason Schoenmeyer said.

SVSU claimed its fourth consecutive victory in the annual bowl, beating Northwood University 16 -14.

Wickes Stadium was illuminated with fireworks, sponsored by Campus Village, after the game’s completion.

“(Homecoming) brings many alumni and community members home to celebrate their experiences at SVSU and to show their Cardinal pride,” VanFleteren said. “It’s the best opportunity for alumni come back to see campus and enjoy a fun day of red pride, from the parade, to tailgating, to the game and fireworks. It is a wonderful tradition that reminds everyone how important their SVSU experience has been to them.”

Tom Sutherland, an economics, finance and international business junior, and Bethany Thrun, a nursing senior, were crowned homecoming king and queen at halftime.

“I wouldn’t say I am a queen, but a happy Cardinal,” Thrun said. “Receiving the opportunity to represent such an incredible institution with a handsome and talented running mate was a true blessing. My heart will forever be overflowing with joy and gratitude for the support and love from my fellow Cardinals.”

Sutherland shared similar sentiments.

“I feel truly blessed to have had this opportunity,” he said. “It just goes to show that when you are surrounded by people who are, the opportunities are endless.”

Fraternity Phi Kappa Tau was awarded the homecoming trophy.