Battle of the Valleys fundraiser likely to return in 2021


Courtesy//Lanthorn Archive

Kellen Voss, Print Associate Editor

In conjunction with the SVSU Student Association, Grand Valley State University’s Student Senate announced Tuesday, Dec. 1, the fundraiser that coincides with Battle of the Valleys week will likely restart in Fall 2021 on the week that the schools meet on the football field.

A tentative agreement has been drafted between the two student governments to restart of the annual competitive element between the two schools.

That agreement could be passed by both bodies as soon as Monday, Dec. 7, as GVSU Student Senate votes on Thursday, Dec. 3 and the SVSU Student Association votes four days later. 

Since it’s inception in 2003, the competition has approximately raised a cumulative $690,000 for non profit organizations in the Great Lakes Bay and Grand Valley regions.

Prior to the 2019 edition of the fundraiser, GVSU Student Senate ended their participation in the competition, partially due to an unclear definition as to what qualified as a donation for the competition and partially due to the strenuous nature of organizing the affair.

“I’m just super thankful that Saginaw was still willing to partner with us on this effort, considering we were the ones that left the competition,” said GVSU Student Senate President Kelly Dowker.

Joel Pagel, GVSU Student Senate Vice President of External Relations, said that this return of the competitive fundraising has been more than a year in the making, and was one of many things in 2020 that was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We had a resolution ready to go in March of 2020…but when COVID-19 hit, we cancelled our (general assembly) the day it was supposed to happen,” said Pagel. 

Pagel has reached out to members of GVSU’s Student Alumni Association to get the ball rolling and start the marketing campaign surrounding the annual football game.

He is excited to get this competition started again after a lot of conversations with lead members of the SVSU Student Association.

“There’s been an optimistic tone with these meetings — everyone’s enthusiastic — and it’s been something that’s been in the works for well over a year now,” Pagel said. “I think we’re both excited to get this back, but to not rush it and do it the right way.”

Dowker is also excited to see the competition restart, as with all the negatives surrounding the pandemic in 2020 and going into 2021, they hope that this fundraiser can not only raise a lot of money, but also raise spirits around campus.

“I think it will be great for students on campus,” Dowker said. “Morale is quite low right now considering the state of the world, and I think that having something that the entire community can rally around will do wonders for everyone’s morale and school spirit especially.”

Both student governments will continue those conversations surrounding the event going into 2021. To follow those conversations and get continued updates surrounding Battle of the Valleys, follow both GV Student Senate and SVSU Student Association on Facebook and Twitter.