The decades-long rivalry between the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Marquette will continue this weekend when their respective men’s basketball teams play Saturday.
But the Office of University Advancement and Marquette Nation, a two-year-old group of students who organize and plan events to encourage school pride, are not waiting until Saturday to fuel the fire. Beat Bucky Week, a 5-day event aimed at strengthening and encouraging Marquette spirit before the game against the Badgers, began yesterday and will continue through Friday.
Events include a non-persihable food drive at the AMU to benefit the Hunger Task Force today; a Desk Receptionist desk decorating contest Wednesday at all residence halls hosted by the Office of Residence Life when desk receptionists will compete for best desk design; MU Trivia Night at the Annex Thursday; a Badger Roast, which will provide “Badger Meals” of pulled pork sandwiches in dining halls this week and a weeklong campus-wide Penny War in which students can donate money at a table in the AMU.
Kathleen Schaefer, a sophomore in the College of Health Sciences and a member of Marquette Nation’s student committee, said she hopes Beat Bucky Week becomes an annual tradition.
“These events are all planned to get everyone into school spirit,” Schaefer said. “We want this to be a campus event that gets bigger and bigger every year.”
Donations collected from the penny war will benefit the Students Helping Students Fund, which gives financial aid to students whose families have experienced unexpected economic difficulties that threaten their ability to attend Marquette.
Schaefer said last year’s fundraising efforts for Students Helping Students brought in between $500 and $1,000. She said she hopes the organization can reach similar numbers this year and added that yesterday’s T-shirt trade, in which students could exchange old Madison T-shirts for new Marquette T-shirts at the AMU, seemed to interest students.
With finals looming next week, Schafer said she and her committee worried about students’ enthusiasm and ability to participate this week.
“We know a lot of people aren’t going to be lining up early for the game,” Schafer said. “But we hope people come out and show support this week.”
Jennilee Schlinsky, a senior engagement officer in the Office of University Advancement, said many of the events only take a few minutes to attend and the week “mimics a homecoming” in that it leads up to a major sporting event and focuses on both school pride and tradition.
“We hope that Beat Bucky Week is an opportunity for students to escape from the stress of finals – even if it is just for a little while,” Schlinsky.
Schlinsky said service is an important part of Beat Bucky Week.
“Given the holiday season, the food drive with Hunger Task Force is an excellent opportunity for students, faculty and staff to serve the Milwaukee community,” Schlinksy said.
Jordy Anderson, a junior in the College of Business Administration, said she thinks most people are already excited for the game because of the long rivalry between Marquette and Madison but that school work may prompt some students to limit their involvement this week.
“I think these are good ideas, but it is bad timing with finals next week,” Anderson said.
Taylor Schult, an associate engagement officer in the Office of University Advancement, said that in addition to Marquette Nation, Student Alumni Embassadors, Marquette Athletics, the 6th Man Fund and Sodexo also contributed to Beat Bucky week.
She added that the rivalry between the two universities should be based on fun before competition.
“We strive to demonstrate Marquette’s mission and the pride we all have for supporting students and the greater community,” Schult said.