Staters for State: a connection between SDSU alumni and current SDSU students

Jesse Batson

Jesse Batson

They honor SDSU grads, they decorate President Miller’s home and they play in the mud each spring. They are a group of students collectively known as Staters for State.

“They’re the student side that helps us with our mission of staying connected with alumni,” says Jim Speirs, Staters for State advisor.

Currently consisting of 30 to 35 active members, the group plans a slew of events each year.

Some of the more publicized events that Staters plans are: A Stately Beginning, Oozeball (mud volleyball) and Senior Appreciation Day.

“The day before classes start, we have ‘A Stately Beginning,’ which is a welcome ceremony and picnic for incoming freshman and transfer students, and President Miller speaks at that,” says Sara Bittiker, Staters for State president. “The last couple of years we’ve worked with the UPC (University Program Council) on that.”

Oozeball is an event that takes place each spring. Basically a mud volleyball tournament, it takes place on campus between teams of students.

Senior Appreciation Day is an event that takes place each April. It’s a banquet that honors graduating seniors.

“For most seniors, that will be their first true introduction to the alumni center, and Staters is the group that puts that on,” says Speirs, director of Tompkins Alumni Center. “It’s a pretty structured deal. They start planning months out.”

Staters for State also decorate Woodbine Cottage each Christmas, and plan Alma Mater Employee Day, where the alumni center honors SDSU grads that still work for the college.

This year, Staters set up a tent beside Coughlin Alumni Stadium for tailgating before football games.

Staters handles all aspects of business for most of these events.

“Besides tailgating and (decorating) the president’s house, we plan everything from start to finish – every aspect of it – whether it be marketing, advertising, food – we plan everything,” Bittiker says.

The management experience is one of the advantages that Staters offers students, Bittiker says. Speirs points out another advantage: close ties with President Peggy Miller.

“A lot of our events feature the president in a prominent role, so a lot of our Staters are working side by side with President Miller,” Speirs says.

Now in her fifth year, Bittiker will graduate in May. Two other positions of power will also be available when other Staters graduate in May, so the organization is faced with the challenge of making a smooth transition from this year to next.

“That’s one of our big goals this year: to get more leadership out of the members of Staters,” Bittiker says.

If you would like to join Staters, stop into the Tompkins Alumni Center and ask for Jim Speirs, or call him at 697-5198.