Despite rivalry, SDSU and USD don’t compare

Heidi Kronaizl News Editor


 Before I step onto my soapbox, there are probably a few things you should know about me.

My hometown is Vermillion, home of the University of South Dakota, land of the coyotes. Being a Jackrabbit you certainly have all heard of it. Being raised there, and as a Jackrabbit I should expect this, but I have gotten major smack and slurs thrown at me for choosing SDSU. My best friends go to school there, my brother studies there, heck my mother even works there. Being a Jackrabbit from Vermillion is a never-ending battle of the two rivalry schools, and frankly I have grown sick of it.

The remarks I receive when I say I go to school at SDSU are usually relating to agriculture or animal science, even though that isn’t my major. A friend of mine once remarked that USD has “culture” whereas SDSU has “agriculture”. I was hurt and found this statement completely ignorant in several aspects.

The South Dakota Corn Council sponsors both of these institutions. All year long the two schools compete with each other in the South Dakota Showdown Series, which is sponsored by the council and the trophy for winning the series is an opened cornhusk. The council even shows advertisements that say, “Every South Dakota Farmer feeds 155 people” at both institutions’ athletic events. So for those of you who use agriculture or animal science in a derogatory way when describing SDSU, let this remind you who sponsors your institution, and who puts food on your table. Just because something is weird or different to you, doesn’t mean it isn’t normal to someone else. It doesn’t make it wrong either.

Through all the insults and remarks, a large reason why students and fans have grown biased to the other, is because we are very different. SDSU and USD clearly have their differences and because they are so contrasting, I feel in several aspects, they should not be compared. 

We do have obvious similarities like being the two Division I schools in South Dakota, and we have to follow similar guidelines and curriculums. However, we were built differently, all going to back to 1881 when SDSU was created to be a land-grant university. Land-grant universities were created to focus on agriculture, engineering and science. Because of this, SDSU’s strengths are USD’s weaknesses. SDSU has agriculture, animal science, pharmacy, engineering and the largest nursing program in the state. USD’s larger programs are business, law and pre-med. They also have the only medical school in the state of South Dakota. Once again, they both were created with intentions to be different. There is some crossover in programs, such as journalism, economics, pre-professional, nursing and teaching, but the key programs are not the same.

Even though I feel they shouldn’t be compared, I am completely guilty of bashing USD and saying SDSU is the better school. I can also guarantee that I will have the loudest voice shouting “Screw the U” at any game SDSU plays USD. To be honest, I never thought that I would be a Jackrabbit. However, I am very glad that I made the choice to come to SDSU, no matter how much smack I get.

Heidi Kronaizl is a news editor at The Collegian. She can be reached at [email protected]