SDSU community races to the top

SDSU students, faculty and community members are climbing for a reason. 

State-A-Thon hosted the Campanile Challenge for September’s campaign for the 13-hour marathon that raises money for Children’s Miracle Network.

The Campanile Challenge made people get the key to the Campanile from the South Dakota State University Police Department. To complete the challenge, groups must climb all of the stairs to the top of the Campanile, take a picture and nominate people to complete the challenge. People who did not complete the challenge had to donate $100 or people could donate if they wanted to in addition to climbing the campanile.

Dan Hansen, assistant dean for student services in the College of Pharmacy, was nominated by Greg Heiberger to complete the challenge. 

“I was exec board of the University Program Council the first year of State-A-Thon, and my wife was one of the student organizers the next three years,” Hansen said.

According to Michelle Albert, a senior human development and family studies major, the Campanile Challenge was SDSU’s version of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.

“We started off by our whole exec board going to the campanile and climbing to the top and then we nominated our friends and groups,” Albert said. 

The committee organizing State-A-Thon has different campaigns each month leading up the dance marathon.

“We [the State-A-Thon committee] really just wanted to see the whole campus being involved…toward pediatric cancer awareness,” Casey Steiner, the financial chair and senior nursing major said.

Ariel Pastian, the public relations chair for State-A-Thon and a senior nursing major, and Steiner attended State-A-Thon their freshmen year, became morale leaders their sophomore year and have served two years on the State-A-Thon executive committee.

“It [State-A-Thon] will push you out of your comfort zone in the best way,” said Pastian.

According to Pastian, none of the executive board for State-A-Thon had climbed the Campanile before the Campanile Challenge started.

“Not only does it support a great organization, it also motivates students to climb to the top of the Campanile – something every student should do before he/she graduates,” Hansen said.

In addition to Hansen are his wife and their children also climbing the campanile, he challenged his pharmacy students to complete the challenge. “My wife and I pledged to donate $1 for every P1 and P2 student who completed the challenge.  Students had five days to complete the challenge and I asked them to send me a picture as proof,” Hansen said.

According to Hansen, there were 127 students out of 158 that accepted his challenge and gave proof that they climbed the Campanile. In addition to the pharmacy students completing the challenge, a student nominated Dean Dennis Hedge.

“[Hedge] accepted [the pharmacy student’s] challenge, climbed the Campanile and then challenged the rest of the college’s administrative team – all of whom completed the challenge,” Hansen said.

The challenge was targeted for students but faculty and community members have also complete the challenge. The campaign was intended to raise awareness and donations for State-A-Thon.

According to Steiner, there is a goal to raise $1,000 of donations from the Campanile Challenge.

Currently, they have raised around $300 but students, faculty and community members are encouraged to climb, nominate and donate. There will be a Toilet Tag campaign that will start in October.

“There are pink toilets that we have acquired throughout the years. We are going to start it on October 1 for Breast Cancer  Awareness month,” Pastian said.

The September Campanile Challenge and October toilet tag campaign are just two the events that the State-A-Thon committee is doing to raise awareness. In addition to the campaigns they are selling T-shirts, there was a Kolor for Kids 5K in September and they do fundraising at Brookings businesses.

According to Pastian, State-A-Thon is not just a dance marathon. 

“The one day event is completely amazing, it will change your entire life but there’s so many other events that lead up to it that are so great it get involved with,” Pastian said. 

Last year State-A-Thon raised $67,650 that went to the Children’s Miracle Network hospitals.

“We just want people to understand that we do a lot on campus to raise awareness for these children and as far as State-A-Thon and Children’s Miracle Network all of the money stays local,” Albert said.