With a little over a week left in the semester, it is interesting to look back and see everything that has happened at SDSU over the past year.
The Collegian staff has reviewed all of its newspapers from 2007 and compiled the top 10 stories from the year. They ranked them using certain criteria, including the number of hits on the Web site, the number of comments on the stories, continuing effects on students and SDSU and the importance in school history.
#10 Rugby team suspended
In April, both rugby teams were suspended after damaging the field they played on. They had been warned not to play on the field because of safety reasons after melting snow made it too muddy. The men’s rugby team had just been reinstated in March as an SDSU club after a two-year suspension. The men’s team was then suspended for six consecutive months and the women’s team was suspended for one month.
#9 Vogel drafted
On April 4, Megan Vogel became the first South Dakota collegiate athlete to be drafted into the WNBA by the Washington Mystics. She was drafted in the second round-19th overall-and while she did not make the regular season roster, she was one of the last cuts. At SDSU Vogel led the team with an average of 17.5 points per game and set a number of records, including single-season free throws (154), career free throws (492) and career attempts (633). She also started all 120 games of her career.
#8 Wellness Center construction
Students’ Association members and dignitaries officially broke ground for the new SDSU Wellness Center on April 30. This signified the end of the facility’s planning phase, which began in 1993 when a consultant found that the existing facilities no longer met the needs of SDSU. The $12 million dollar facility is scheduled to be open in the fall of 2008.
#7 Chicoine moves and gets to business
SDSU alumnus David Chicoine took over as university president in January after former president Peggy Gordon Miller retired. An economist by training, he was born on an Elk Point farm and had focused on the tie between economic growth, farming and public policy.
#6 A dream Saturday
The big day began with a $6 million donation from Dana Dykhouse and T. Denny Sanford for the Dykhouse Student-Athlete Center, a completely modern, first-class sports facility. Later, the SDSU football team beat NDSU to win the Great West Football Conference championship and to bring home the Dakota Marker. Finally, the volleyball team won the Summit League regular season and tournament championship to become first team in SDSU history to qualify to play in an NCAA Division I national tournament.
#5 Sioux Falls to host Summit tournaments
18 of SDSU’s 21 varsity sports-all except football, wrestling and equestrian-were accepted as members of the Summit League (formally the Mid-continent conference) in January, effective immediately. In the 2008-2009 and 2009-2010 seasons-the first two years that all varsity teams, except wrestling and volleyball, will be eligible for the NCAA Division I postseason play-Sioux Falls will host both the men’s and women’s Summit League basketball tournament championships.
#4 Avera pledges $15 million gift
The Avera Health Board of Directors approved a $15 million pledge to SDSU-the largest single gift ever made to the university-on Nov. 14 to be paid over the course of the next ten years. The donation will enable construction of the Avera Health and Science Complex. The $48 million complex will house the College of Pharmacy, chemistry and biology departments, laboratories and classrooms and is scheduled to open in the spring of 2010.
#3 Women’s basketball team earns historic berth in first WNIT
After winning their last 12 games in a row during regular season, the women’s basketball team earned an invitation to play in the Women’s National Invitational Tournament. They secured a bye for the first round, beat the Illinois State University Redbirds 61-48, defeated the Indiana University Hoosiers 60-53-both in Frost Arena-and lost on the road to the University of Wyoming Cowgirls 70-59, who would go on to win the WNIT championship.
#2 Tailgating banned during games
University officials banned tailgating during football games at the beginning of this football season, angering students and sparking an alternative plan by the student government president. School administrators cited safety concerns and a desire for increased attendance as reasons for the change. This led to the arrests of 12 students and alumni on Sept. 29-Hobo Day-after they refused to leave the Backyard.
#1 The search for Jack’s new look
The design firm hired by the mascot design committee-Phoenix Design Works, based out of New York City-was close to finishing the new SDSU mascot in January, but many people disliked the design. In May the firm designed three more versions of the mascot to be voted on by students, faculty and alumni. When none of those were widely accepted, the committee decided to hold a contest to design the new Jackrabbit. In December the committee sent a design to administration officials for final approval.