The 2012 Battle of the Valleys event between Grand Valley State University and Sagniaw Valley State University has come and gone, and GVSU has once again fallen frighteningly behind in fundraising, with students here raising $1,100 total for the university’s chosen charity, compared to SVSU, who came out on top with $30,000 of total fundraising.

The event, which just wrapped up it’s tenth year, has raised about $418,737 for different charities since its advent. Since the first year of BoTV, GVSU has been outgained $253,089 to $165,684, a total fundraising gap of $87,441, and ultimatley championed by SVSU for seven out of the last 10 competitions.

Though in a philanthropic event like this, winning and losing isn’t as important as raising money for a good cause, but with numbers that astronomically polarized, this year’s total begs the question: what is SVSU doing that GVSU isn’t?

From traveling bake sales to t-shirt sales, donation collections, a car smash, and a date auction, SVSU has launched a whole host of different events to raise money for BoTV. This year, GVSU used a 5K race, a Pie a Senator event and t-shirt sales to raise money.

The fact that GVSU does anything at all is still commendable – fundraising isn’t easy in college, and any effort is better than no effort – but the numbers show a clear difference between the universities and improvement should be our goal.

This goal does not rest in only one person or group’s hands; it is up to each of us to make a difference.

It starts with advertising and raising awareness for the event leading up to Battle of the Valleys. Though the more familiar upper-classmen at GVSU should already be somewhat aware of BoTV, many freshman and sophomore have never even heard of it before – so make fundraising accessible to them, make the event almost unavoidable. Also, adding more avenues for fundraising might also help to increase participation; events like bake sales, garage sales and also having donation locations around campus would all make the event more recognizable and would make students more aware of the event.

So heading into next year, event organizers are tasked with evaluating their methods, regrouping and rethinking, and coming up with a better strategy for next year while GVSU students are tasked with participating in those events, helping to publicize them, and rallying around not only their school, but a much bigger cause.