The summer-like temperatures we have enjoyed this week may fool you, but we are in the thick of the fall semester, and that means we are about to embark upon the 13th annual Battle of the Valleys fundraising competition. I like to win. So do our students, as evidenced by their seven-year winning streak. This year, the selected charity partner is Get Outside For A Healthy Inside, an affiliate of the Saginaw Community Foundation whose goal is to increase physical activity in Saginaw, focusing specifically on building parks and maintaining trails. I met with B.O.V. chair Natalie Schneider this week, and she is organized, energized and ready to go. Please support our students in this effort as you are able. More information and a full event schedule is available online at www.svsu.edu/bov.
My continued thanks to all the faculty and staff who already have volunteered to participate in this Saturday’s Admissions Open House. Our colleagues in Admissions have done well in generating interest for this event, as we are expecting 1,000 visitors to campus, and now it is up to all of us to ensure a good experience for prospective students and their families. This university has so much to offer, and that is best evidenced by our faculty and staff who teach and work with our students every day. I look forward to seeing you there.
I spent a long day and evening in Lansing this week, meeting with my fellow university Presidents and targeted legislators, both regionally and tied to higher education. It was a productive day with sessions geared to recent legislation and higher education funding. We invited several legislators to visit our campus over the next few months with several visits booked. I always enjoy ending my day with more than 20 alumni, many of whom work in legislative and state government positions in the Lansing area. This is one of our first alumni affinity groups formed and I thank John Kaczynski, director of government relations, for arranging a most satisfying day.
We also received good news from the State of Michigan this week, as we were awarded $34,321 to implement a program that will train faculty, staff and students in campus sexual assault prevention awareness. The funding comes from the state’s $500,000 Campus Sexual Assault Grant Program championed by Gov. Snyder’s wife, Sue. Our funds will support STEP UP Cardinals, a training program for bystander intervention strategies. Of the 22 colleges and universities who received funding, ours was the fourth largest grant award. My thanks to the many colleagues who worked quickly to put forward our successful grant application: Joni Boye-Beaman, Merry Jo Brandimore, Chris Fike, Pat Graves, Matt Mitchell, Christine Saltzberg, Mamie Thorns, and Carol Zimmerman.