West river meets east river, the state rivalry runs deep

Brianna Arity Columnist

It’s a rivalry as old as campus itself. No, I’m not talking about the USD vs. SDSU rivalry. I’m talking about the argument of East side vs. West side; good ol’ South Dakota style.

Even if you aren’t from South Dakota, you have heard of this rivalry and the many crude remarks associated with it. Simply put, the east side of South Dakota is cold, humid and horribly flat. There are very few hills past the famous river that separates our precious state, which leads into the polar vortex of the east.

Though I am from the west side of South Dakota, I am trying not to take sides. We should all embrace this not as an evil rivalry but as friend vs. foe kind of relationship. Yes, we all have our opinions, but that is not the most important thing here. We are in college, at the same college. We are rooting for the same team, most importantly against USD and NDSU. We drink at the same bars, some more than others. We all celebrate the day being called a hobo is an honor. We all embrace blue and gold and wear it proudly, always supporting our school. 

Whether or not you are from South Dakota doesn’t really matter to me, it’s the fact that we all chose to live in the nation’s “fifth drunkest city” and second happiest state. We are sweeping over that “Minnesota nice” nickname they have, and giving some good ol’ South Dakota butt chewing and it seems to be working for us. Put aside the fact that our state is divided into East and West, and you have the perfect place to live.

I have lived in South Dakota my whole life, and wouldn’t want it any other way. I have heard every Eastern joke out there, and have received many western jokes from easterners. Let’s just clear a few things up. First off, the west side of the state is far from being all “flat-billed hicks.” I do not know of anyone who wears a flat-billed hat and cowboy boots at the same time. I see that more on campus than anyone should in the first place. Secondly, not every male west of the river has big diamonds pierced through his lobes. I don’t think that guys who have their ears pierced is a trend. That should have ever taken off anyway. The west side of the state vs. east side will always be debated but when it comes down to it, no one will ever win.

Since I am from the Black Hills, I will always root for the Black Hills. But, it is plain silly. Who says one side is truly better than the other? We all live in the same town now, we all walk to the same buildings, and most importantly, we are all  Jackrabbits. Brookings should be proud to have us all. 

Stay classy Brookings.



Brianna Arity is majoring in early childhood education. She can be reached at [email protected].