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Thread: Alumni Association Events

  1. #1
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    Default Alumni Association Events

    89Rabbit posted this link in another thread.

    Check it every so often to find out the when and where for upcoming Alumni Association events.

    http://www.statealum.com/s/357/start.aspx

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Alumni Association Events

    While at the Indiana State game we stopped by the SDSU Alumni tent. The family and I were wearing our Jacks gear but for some reason we didn't feel welcome. I know that there are reasons why they charge to eat and drink but after driving 450 miles ($gas), the hotel ($270) for two days, tickets($65), I felt adding another $50 for the wife, myself, and one of the three kids, two were free, on top of that was a little excessive when we didn't plan to eat. Every ISU tent was offering us free food and drink plus a friendly atmosphere. It seemed the people that were at the tent at the time didn't care if we were there or not. So we moved on to another State tent was much more friendly. Every other aspect of the weekend was great at the hotel with the boosters and the team.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Alumni Association Events

    Quote Originally Posted by SturgisJeff View Post
    While at the Indiana State game we stopped by the SDSU Alumni tent. The family and I were wearing our Jacks gear but for some reason we didn't feel welcome. I know that there are reasons why they charge to eat and drink but after driving 450 miles ($gas), the hotel ($270) for two days, tickets($65), I felt adding another $50 for the wife, myself, and one of the three kids, two were free, on top of that was a little excessive when we didn't plan to eat. Every ISU tent was offering us free food and drink plus a friendly atmosphere. It seemed the people that were at the tent at the time didn't care if we were there or not. So we moved on to another State tent was much more friendly. Every other aspect of the weekend was great at the hotel with the boosters and the team.
    I'm sure 89rabbit would appreciate it if you let him know about your experience. I'm sure he will work hard to make sure that other alums to experience the same thing you did. Just PM him as he is way too busy to read every post here.
    We are here to add what we can to life, not get what we can from life. -Sir William Osler

    We do not see things as they are, we see things as we are.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Alumni Association Events

    Quote Originally Posted by SturgisJeff View Post
    While at the Indiana State game we stopped by the SDSU Alumni tent. The family and I were wearing our Jacks gear but for some reason we didn't feel welcome. I know that there are reasons why they charge to eat and drink but after driving 450 miles ($gas), the hotel ($270) for two days, tickets($65), I felt adding another $50 for the wife, myself, and one of the three kids, two were free, on top of that was a little excessive when we didn't plan to eat. Every ISU tent was offering us free food and drink plus a friendly atmosphere. It seemed the people that were at the tent at the time didn't care if we were there or not. So we moved on to another State tent was much more friendly. Every other aspect of the weekend was great at the hotel with the boosters and the team.
    Must admit, I have felt the same "stuffyness" at many alumni events over the past few years. I don't think it's solely the fault of the Alumni Association, although they can come across this way. Most of the time it just seems that folks hole up with they people they came with/already know, and any "new" attendee is left out.
    "I'd like to thank the good Lord for making me a Yankee." - Joe D.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Alumni Association Events

    Only one I attended was the one in UNI. Actually, I never actually made it into the tent. I brought my 5 yr old daughter with me and there were kids activities set up within 50 feet of our alumni tent. I spent the entire pre-game watching my daughter jump around and work up a sweat before heading into the dome.
    "You just stood their screaming. Fearing no one was listening to you. Hearing only what you wanna hear. Knowing only what you heard." Metallica

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Alumni Association Events

    Quote Originally Posted by SturgisJeff View Post
    While at the Indiana State game we stopped by the SDSU Alumni tent. The family and I were wearing our Jacks gear but for some reason we didn't feel welcome. I know that there are reasons why they charge to eat and drink but after driving 450 miles ($gas), the hotel ($270) for two days, tickets($65), I felt adding another $50 for the wife, myself, and one of the three kids, two were free, on top of that was a little excessive when we didn't plan to eat. Every ISU tent was offering us free food and drink plus a friendly atmosphere. It seemed the people that were at the tent at the time didn't care if we were there or not. So we moved on to another State tent was much more friendly. Every other aspect of the weekend was great at the hotel with the boosters and the team.
    I agree that $50 is pretty steep to add on top of ticket prices, gas, lodging, etc. I realize that the $20 price for adults includes beverages but there are alot of people who don't drink alcohol and aren't getting $20 worth. I'm sure its hard to keep track of people after they pay and maybe thats why there is the flat rate, but for families like yours I think there should be something like a $10 food only price for adults or something.

    I'm guessing that the alumni tents, like alot of things since we've moved to DI, are fairly new things and probably still need to have the kinks worked out a bit.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Alumni Association Events

    Quote Originally Posted by SturgisJeff View Post
    While at the Indiana State game we stopped by the SDSU Alumni tent. The family and I were wearing our Jacks gear but for some reason we didn't feel welcome. I know that there are reasons why they charge to eat and drink but after driving 450 miles ($gas), the hotel ($270) for two days, tickets($65), I felt adding another $50 for the wife, myself, and one of the three kids, two were free, on top of that was a little excessive when we didn't plan to eat. Every ISU tent was offering us free food and drink plus a friendly atmosphere. It seemed the people that were at the tent at the time didn't care if we were there or not. So we moved on to another State tent was much more friendly. Every other aspect of the weekend was great at the hotel with the boosters and the team.
    I sent you a PM on my thoughts about this but will mention things that have pretty much been the hard reality of Alumni Association events. There has always been a charge for food and that is because, the AA is a separate organization form the SDSU Foundation and does have a limited budget. Unless things have changed a great deal, the AA gets a few cents from each donation that comes along to the SDSU Foundation. So the Alumi Association has to collect something in order to pay the catered food vendor and other items.

    I have been to a number of out town events, and it seems like when further away from Brookings and the smaller the group, its tended to be more friendly than say a larger group gatherings at Tompkins or in the Backyard. Apparently this is not what you found at ISU. I regret that very much as AA has a number of functions, but providing social opportunties is one of the more important ones.

    I wasn't there so I have only my own experience to base this statement on. We have had some very hardworking staff who have helped this process along and they help reconnect to the alums who have been gone from campus for a few years.


    I am disappointed that this was your impression, and I dont question your integrity in sharing this impression, but if our staff was sitting in tent like a bunch of potted plants, then they were not doing their job.

    Finally, it would be nice that the Alumni Association had its own endowments that allow them to do more. The big donations have often when elsewhere and the Alumni Association has been passed over. Thats not right either. Other institutions combine the Foundation and Alumni Association into one entity and with generous donors they can host events like ISU did and offer free food. There no free lunch so these might be "fund raisers" are hoping you will pay for your lunch later with a donation. That I believe is how it works and be gratiful that you are not an ISU alum.

    StrugisJeff keep up your interest in SDSU, those back on campus need your support in any form that it may come in even in the form of a long drive to an away football game.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Alumni Association Events

    Sturgis,

    Hi, I am sorry you felt that you were not welcome. All Jackrabbit, Alumni, Students, Faculty, and Friends are always welcome at Alumni events.

    I am also sorry we were unable to offer you free food and drinks but in fact it does cost the Alumni Association a lot of money to put on these events. In most cases we have the pay the home school to have a spot, tent rental, table and chair rental, catering, cost to get staff people to and from events, cost of the beverages (both adult and soft), marketing, etc.

    My favorite example of how costs work at this kind of event happened at UNI. To have beverages at the tailgate we were required to purchase a 16 gal. beverage container for the bargain price of $350 for a domestic light.

    Turning to the issue of set up. Think of the away tailgate tents like a pizza buffet. It is a good deal if you are hungry (thirsty), not a good deal if all you want in one slice. As pointed out, by another poster, we just don't have the staff to do it restaurant style (and of course we would run into liquor law issues) or ala carte.

    With that said there is never a charge if you don't want to eat/drink and all you want to do is hang out (We had 632 who paid to eat and drink at Iowa State and another 400 or so more that just enjoyed the atmospher). I was the only member of the staff at Indiana State (I did have a few volunteers helping me) and I don't think I had a chance to talk with you (however I would welcome the opportunity, please PM me) as I would like to hear more about your experience. It is odd that you felt unwelcome as a majorities of the group in attendance were the very same boosters that you said you got along with at the Holiday Inn.

    We are a small independent non-profit organization with a limited staff (6 employees) and budget. In the year that I have been on the job we have done 87 events in 23 different States engaging 10,662 Alumni (a dramatic increase from the year before). We strive to stretch our budget as far as we can to keep costs down and so that we can do more events and touch more alumni (even with the charge in Indiana the Alumni Association "lost" money on the deal - more then $1,000) and of course events are only a portion of the activates that we do in support of our mission to keep our Alumni connected with there Alma Mater.

    Finally, I understand the costs you incurred to get to the game (and only you can determain if the tent is "worth it" for you to eat and drink at: http://sdsufans.com/board/showthread.php?t=7196 but please remember as stated earlier you are always welcome to hang out for free), and I wish we never had to charge, but the reality is everything costs money. When we are at home our tailgate tent has sponsors:

    Burger King/Pete and Jo Binker
    Sioux Empire Staters
    Nick's Hamburger Shop
    University Bookstore
    West River Jacks
    Fishback Financial Corporation
    James N. Talbert
    Ray's Corner
    Chuck Cecil
    Robert L. Miller
    Hicks Enterprises
    Lantern Lounge
    Peggy and Monty Bechtold
    SDSU Alumni Council
    SDSU Dairy Bar
    Avera St. Luke's, Aberdeen, SD
    Beckman Events
    Modern Woodmen

    They help us defer some of our costs (even with our sponsors and "free will" offerings that we take in the "Backyard" we still "lose" money at home tailgates) so that we can offer complimentary food and beverage. Unfortunately we just don't have enough people contributing to the Alumni Association (and we don't charge dues to belong to the Alumni Association like some schools do) to make all the events that we do free. Sorry.

    I would like the opportunity to talk with you as I always feel that my staff and I can improve so please PM me (that is an open invitation to anyone) as I want to make our Alumni Association the very best that it can be. I look forward to the opportunity to talk to you soon.


    Go State!
    Last edited by 89rabbit; 10-29-2008 at 12:12 PM.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Alumni Association Events

    I know that there has to be a charge for the food and drink and extras and I don't have a problem with that. We didn't eat at the other tents either except for some popcorn and a beer at the SAE alumni tent. I feel uncomfortable accepting free drinks and food unless I can return the favor and because I work for the government and am offered free coffee and such I still turn it down. How noble huh. Any way I feel that this is just an isolated incident and probably wouldn't happen again. In no way will it affect how I feel about SDSU and it's supporters. I look forward to the next event that I can attend.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Alumni Association Events

    Quote Originally Posted by SturgisJeff View Post
    I know that there has to be a charge for the food and drink and extras and I don't have a problem with that. We didn't eat at the other tents either except for some popcorn and a beer at the SAE alumni tent. I feel uncomfortable accepting free drinks and food unless I can return the favor and because I work for the government and am offered free coffee and such I still turn it down. How noble huh. Any way I feel that this is just an isolated incident and probably wouldn't happen again. In no way will it affect how I feel about SDSU and it's supporters. I look forward to the next event that I can attend.

    Excellent outlook and yeah I having some time with the federal government, I know what you are talking about when you mention free coffee and other freebies. I could say a ton more, but it would be very politcal which is not what our moderators want and I do agree.
    Good luck and keep on posting here.

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