Alumnus advises newcomers on the campus experience


Welcome to South Dakota’s flagship university, South Dakota State University! The time you spend at SDSU will go by fast. Of course your time here will not go by as fast as mine.

When I came to SDSU one year ago, I came with a mission. I began my education in South Dakota by taking courses at University Center in Sioux Falls. When I came to Brookings to finish my degree, I realized that taking classes in Sioux Falls had hindered my having a true college experience. So with this realization in hand, I approached The Collegian and proposed a column in which I would write about my attempt to squeeze four years of SDSU experiences in two semesters.

Some of my favorite experiences of the past year include Hobo Day activities, eating at Nick’s Hamburgers, enjoying SDSU ice cream in the newly renovated dairy bar, and taking in my first ever basketball game (I don’t mean my first SDSU or collegiate basketball game. It truly was my first basketball game ever).

Hobo Day is one of SDSU’s biggest events. The past Hobo Day found me dressed as an actual hobo and shaking my bean can for extra money. I made $9 that night. I like to think that I was the inspiration for John Stossel’s recent Freeloaders special on Fox News. There is no way to know for sure, but I did see a conspicuously mustached man following me around all night.

Dining on campus can be an experience and I will leave it at that. Campus does have some gems though. If it’s ice cream you crave then the SDSU dairy bar is your place. The SDSU dairy bar is where cookies and cream ice cream was invented. It’s pretty much the Taj Mahal of ice cream joints.

If dining on campus doesn’t suit you then venture into downtown Brookings. There you will find a plethora of pizza places. Among the pizza places, there is a great little burger joint called Nick’s Hamburgers. Although I generally defer judgment to the Food Network when it comes to naming the best hamburgers in America, I really think they missed the mark on this one. Has anyone even heard of Hemmer Brothers?

Some of the activities that every SDSU student should partake in during their time at SDSU include.

Climb the campanile

Tailgate at a football game

Partake in Hobo Day activities

Go someplace for spring break

Join a student activity

Enjoy some fine SDSU ice cream

Make a new friend

Tell your D2L discussion board that you’re not here to make friends

Visit a professor in his or her office


SDSU has many activities to keep students entertained and occupied. Take advantage of them. Most of all enjoy your time here in Brookings, it goes by fast.

Tony Reiss is an alumnus of South Dakota State University. He received his degree in economics in 2011.