Aztecs ROCK college food drive

by Antonio Zaragoza

Antonio Zaragoza, Photo Editor
Antonio Zaragoza, Photo Editor

San Diego State won first place at the Colleges Rock Hunger Food Drive award ceremony, which occurred yesterday at the Hard Rock Hotel downtown. The award ceremony was the culmination of a 17-day food donation campaign sponsored by the Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank.

The food and fundraising event encompassed local universities including Cal State San Marcos, UC San Diego, Point Loma Nazarene and SDSU in a competition to see which university could raise the most food during the contest, which ran Oct. 5 – 21. Of the four universities that competed, SDSU collected the most food and took the top prize for the fourth consecutive year. In all, the university raised 54,526 pounds, greatly surpassing last year’s total.

“I was extremely nervous … After talking with some of the other schools, it seemed like they had some really great strategies to win this year. After we heard the third- and second-place winners, I knew we had it in the bag. I was in shock when they told us we raised 54,000 pounds of food. It seemed unreal but I was so proud of the Aztec community and their willingness to give back to the San Diego Community,” Associated Students Vice President of External Affairs Krista Parker, who was among the SDSU representatives on hand to receive the award, said.

SDSU President Elliot Hirshman was a guest speaker at the event. He spoke of the commitment and determination of SDSU students to make a strong impact in the community.

“I think about what our students have seen in their lives and they’ve seen everything from 9/11, two wars, to significant environmental challenges to the severe economic issues and it would be very easy for them to become fearful, discouraged and anxious. But what I see happening every day on my campus is that our students have become leaders. They have served our nation in our volunteer military; they’ve started environmental initiatives on all of our campuses; they are creating the entrepreneurial energy that is going to move us into an economical recovery. Our students are going beyond the classroom, applying the things that they’ve learned and really making the difference,” Hirshman said.

This year, A.S. and various participating organizations and clubs used a variety of strategies to raise the most food. Vice President of Finance Rob O’Keefe spoke about the ideas, which were employed this year.

“This year we took a more proactive approach to getting the whole campus community involved. Over summer, A.S. collaborated with Aztec Shops, the president’s office, Student Affairs and Student Life & Leadership, Cultural Arts and Special Events, Aztec Athletics, the Alumni Association, College Councils, Residence Hall Association and Greeks to make sure everyone was on the same page. Each campus entity played a huge role in our campus’ success this year with Colleges Rock Hunger. We also focused on having internal competitions amongst the different on-campus entities in an attempt to make collecting food a fun and engaging activity. We did really well with our “Two Minute Madness” in the second quarter of the homecoming football game against TCU, where we had several student volunteers running down the aisles collecting change from Aztec football fans,” O’Keefe said.

The Aztec community already has its eyes set for next year’s challenge.

“With our efforts in this year’s food drive we were able to create a great sense of pride on campus in being an Aztec. Everyone that was involved hopefully can see what kind of momentum we can create when we band together to take on an ostentatious task. As for next year’s food drive, we definitely set the bar high,” O’Keefe said.