Giving Challenge against UDM: Get involved

For the third year in a row, Oakland University hopes to defeat University of Detroit Mercy, not only on the court, but in the annual Giving Challenge as well.

The Giving Challenge started three years ago as a way to bridge the rivalry between the two schools and make it productive. The idea spurred from Oakland joining the Horizon League five years ago and deciding to bring fans and donors into the rivalry.

Each team, OU and UDM, have a win under their belt in the challenge from the last two years. The donation time frame is Monday, Feb. 5 at midnight to Friday, Feb. 9 at 5:00 p.m.

To win the challenge, a school must have the most individual donors. It is not based on monetary amounts, but on how many people donate. Donors can give money to any branch of OU such as the Communications Department, University Athletics or amidst construction in the Oakland Center.

There will be tables, led by the Grizz Gang, inside the OC where potential donors can fill out forms and donate money to certain parts of OU. However, there will be tables in various other areas around campus as well.

“Every gift matters,” said Kelly Brault, director of annual giving.

Each team has won once on the other team’s home court. UDM won at Oakland and OU won at Detroit Mercy.

“It’s an opportunity for OU supporters and Detroit Mercy supporters to show their pride for respective schools and go head-to-head and win by number of donors,” stated Tara Bergeron, assistant director of annual giving.

The win would mean pride for the community, university and students, and makes it mean more than just an athletic rivalry. Whichever team loses the challenge, their mascot must wear the winning team’s jersey during the game. So, UDM might have to wear OU’s jersey or vice versa.

The Annual Giving Department is hoping to get the student food pantry off the ground with the donations from this event.

“It hurts students academically when they are worried about where their next meal is coming from and not getting the nutrients they need,” Bergeron said.

If there are enough donations, the department will ask for students or donors to give non-perishables so students will not have to go hungry and stress about where their meal is coming from, especially during exams. Eastern Michigan University has a program like this in place already and OU is hoping to follow in the university’s footsteps.

However, the Giving Challenge Proceeds by individual students can go to any program on campus whether is be the student’s major’s department or the potential future student food pantry.

The winning school will be announced during the pregame of the OU vs. UDM men’s basketball game on Friday Feb. 9 at 9:00 p.m. in the O’rena.