Academic year full of ups and downs

Issue:  An academic year in review at SDSU. 


The last academic year has been full of ups and downs for SDSU. 

The fall semester saw the 100th anniversary of the university’s most unique event, Hobo Day. The theme was focused on Hobos and it was a resounding success. The floats were better than they have been in many years, and participation in the parade was outstanding. The Hobo Day Committee poured their hearts and souls into the celebration, and it showed.

Fall also saw the football team, off back-to-back average seasons, make the Division I Football Championship Subdivision playoffs and crush their first round opponent, Eastern Illinois, by nearly 50 points. Just one week before that, one of South Dakota’s most storied rivalry games was played for the first time since 2004. The Jackrabbits welcomed their downstate rivals, the USD Coyotes, to Division I football with open arms and a crushing 31-8 defeat in front of a large home crowd.

The year was kind to both of SDSU’s basketball teams as well. Both the men’s and women’s teams finished their seasons at the top of the Summit League in the regular season. Both teams went on to win their respective Summit League tournaments, making it back-to-back years that SDSU sent both of its basketball teams to the NCAA tournament. For the women’s team, it was the fifth time they’ve made the tournament in as many years.  

On campus, SDSU has come a long way through the year in the construction of both The Union expansion and new residence halls. Both are on pace for completion before the start of the next school year, which should be exciting for everyone involved, especially those of us who will be back in August. The construction, though a pain, hasn’t been as bad as it could have been and for that we’re grateful. The university continued to increase its population of international students, which helps everybody gain a better understanding of their world.

It hasn’t been all sunshine and daisies, however. 

Residential Life, for its part, saw a few troubling issues crop up this year — none of which was all that great. Perhaps the most disturbing incident was the racist vandalism in a Brown Hall bathroom. There were some questions as to how Residential Life responded to the incident, and to our knowledge, the culprit was never found. That incident unfortunately reminded us that even at a modern university, there are incredibly ignorant people.

Another issue that has dogged Residential Life is changes to Hansen Hall — specifically, moving the Agriculture and Biological Sciences Living Learning Community across campus. Naturally, the students living in that community were less than impressed with the changes. The controversy originally started sometime in 2008, but this year’s students didn’t feel they had much say in the process — something that might need to be worked on in the future. Going forward, it will be interesting to gauge the success of allowing students to have alcohol and pets in their rooms in the reprogrammed Hansen Hall. 

The idea of transforming SDSU into a walking campus was tested more than ever before with this spring’s weather and has been found less than ideal. Winter never really ended, and what would normally be a few months of snow and ice turned into more than a semester of snow and ice and general discontent among students. Thankfully, this spring’s weather is a rare occurrence. But the fact remains: walking from one end of campus to the other in subzero temperatures isn’t safe. Add in a parking situation that is less than ideal in the best of circumstances, and you’ve got a long-term problem that should be looked at and rectified. 

There is a bright side in our view though: parking ticket prices have been reduced for next year. 


 Stance: Another year will go into the books at SDSU, and it has been a roller coaster of ups and downs.