Who’s your Pooba?

Talisa Wager

This year’s Grand Pooba  has been working hard to ensure an exciting Hobo Week of zombie  hobo mayhem.

Hobo Day is a day like none other. School spirit and tradition abounds in many forms and culminates in the Hobo Day Parade, a yearly highlight for Briana Troske, this year’s Grand Pooba.

“The energy at the parade is amazing; there’s just nothing like it,” said Troske, a senior history major from Turton, S.D.

From the marching members of the Pride to students and families adorned in school colors, Troske loves every aspect of the parade. This Hobo Day she will have a view of the parade from a different seat than usual while she rides in the Bummobile.

“It meant so much to me to be chosen as Grand Pooba,” Troske said. “I get to be in a position on campus that not many students get to experience, and I am very grateful to have the opportunity.”

The parade was just one reason why Troske wanted to be Grand Pooba. She not only holds a passion for Hobo Day events, but said the position would challenge her.

As Grand Pooba, Troske is essentially the Hobo Day coordinator. Some of her responsibilities include overseeing committee members, selecting the Grand Marshall, publicizing events and organizing the parade.

“It’s a really stressful position, but it’s worth it,” Troske said.

Another major responsibility Troske holds during Hobo  Week is representing the entire student body.

“During the week she serves as a representative of our students to alumni and friends of the university,” said Catherine Bigbee, the advisor for the UPC.

Troske’s preparations for Hobo Week began this summer and as the event draws closer, she only gets busier. Beside her duties as Grand Pooba, she also works at Information Exchange in The Union and is involved with the University Program Council. Bigbee said Troske is often in the office around 20 to 30 hours a week.

“Her ability to maintain a level head through all of this and balance her priorities has really impressed me,” Bigbee said.

Ten years ago, Nick Wendell was representing SDSU as Grand Pooba. Wendell now works for SDSU as the assistant director of Student Activities.

“I built a lot of skills from the position, but I also gained a sense of respect for tradition,” Wendell said.

Hobo Day is an event with a long history and the Grand Pooba gets to be a small part of that every year, Wendell said. He discussed long-lasting traditions that the Grand Pooba enjoys, including sleeping at the top of the campanile one night during Hobo Week.

“I was a sophomore when I was Grand Pooba so it was a great learning experience,” Wendell said.

While he has many memories from his week as the Pooba, Wendell’s favorite was seeing the parade all come together and celebrating a successful Hobo Day.

The Grand Pooba is selected through an interview process during the spring before Hobo Day. Bigbee said the position is open to any student, but typical applicants have already served on the Hobo Day Committee or have other strong ties to the event.

“Briana certainly expressed a deep appreciation for Hobo Day in her interview and we felt really comfortable selecting her for the position,” Bigbee said.

An appreciation for Hobo Day is one characteristic most Grand Poobas have in common, as well as being organized and outgoing, Wendell said.

Organization is one thing Troske recommends to future Grand Poobas, as well as keeping procrastination out of the picture. She said things will go wrong and not according to plan, but that’s OK.

“Make the most of being the Grand Pooba,” Troske said. “You are the face of the student body during the entirety of Hobo Week, so have fun.”