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Battle of the Valley week is a smashing success

Student Association raises money for Bay Area Women’s Center with Battle of the Valley. Vanguard photo | Brooke Elward

On Oct. 18, SVSU kicked off its famous Battle of the Valley week.

This year, Student Association (SA) chose Bay Area Women’s Center as the benefactor of the weeklong fundraiser.

“The mission of the Bay Area Women’s Center is to eliminate domestic violence and sexual assault,” said Olivia Nelson, SA’s Philanthropy Chairperson. “BAWC provides free-of-charge crisis intervention, advocacy and safe haven to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault; and violence prevention education to the community while actively pursuing social change.”

SA doesn’t set a fundraising goal for events like these and chooses to instead encourage students to help in other ways.

“We do not typically set a fundraising goal because we like to encourage people to donate in any capacity that they are willing and able,” Nelson said.

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, BOV had a full schedule of events.

SA made the decision to hold all BOV events outside this year, allowing functions to be more friendly to social distancing.

The decision was coupled with the enforcing of SVSU’s face covering policy. All events were planned alongside Student Life with the campus’s safety as the No. 1 priority.

As another COVID-19 friendly alternative, SA established a new website for BOV this year.

“The biggest addition to BOV this year was our website, www. svsubattle.com,” Nelson said.

The website allows people to donate to BOV, purchase apparel, bid on silent auction items, follow the events calendar and learn more about the BAWC.

Although all of the events held this year were successful, a community favorite was the Bay Area Women’s Center clothesline project display.

“Two representatives from BAWC brought a small part of their collection of 500 T-shirts created by victims and survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault,” Nelson said. “These T-shirts are created as a method of therapy and healing for the people who come through the center. The display was an incredibly powerful event and a clear reminder about why we battle.”

Another notable event was Greeks in the Square, held on Wednesday, Oct. 21, in the President’s Courtyard.

Several of the Greek organizations on campus gathered to discuss the ways they have committed to supporting BOV this year.

“It was great to see fraternities and sororities come together for such a great cause and for BOV,” said Ramon Hernandez, an Alpha Kapa Lambda brother.

SA will be accepting donations through Wednesday, Oct. 28.

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