Every fall, Emporia State and Turnpike Rivals, Washburn, begin a friendly wager – collect the most canned foods and pie your rival’s Associated Student Government president in the face.
“Can the Bods is a canned food drive competition between Emporia State and Washburn University, in which both schools collect canned food and non-perishable items throughout an allotted time span,” said Racheal Countryman, ASG president and senior communication major.
Countryman said donations at each school go to their respective communities. ESU gives to The Salvation Army Emporia Corps.
Donation sites for canned goods will be set up in areas around campus including the Center for Student Involvement by the west entrance of Memorial Union.
Individual students, as well as Recognized Student Organizations (RSOs), are encouraged to donate cans because it counts as community service.
“RSOs will be able to collect canned food items and participate in a competition between other RSOs,” Countryman said. “ASG will provide a prize for the RSO that collects the most.”
People Respecting Individuality and Diversity in Education (P.R.I.D.E.), plans on donating any cans they receive at their upcoming events to this competition, said Spencer King, senior English and History major and P.R.I.D.E. president. He said the group’s main goal is to help those in need.
“It’s always nice to be able to contribute to friendly competition at the same time.” King said.
Several on-campus groups make this event possible.
“In the past couple of years, the Associated Student Government has partnered with KVOE and their Pack the Pantry event,” Countryman said. ASG is also working with student organizations such as the Student Athletic Advisory Committee, Community Hornets, and Sigma Alpha Lambda.
Countryman said the food collected during the month of October alone can help the Salvation Army feed the Emporia community up to next summer.
“Don’t think of community service opportunities as work – think of them as opportunities to help other people, and turn them into something fun,” King said. “The less it seems like work or the more good you see in what you do, the easier it is to do it, and the more you will want to find more community service opportunities.”
King said it’s important to help people who have hit rough spots in life to help them get back on their feet.
As for the pie, Countryman said it’s just a pie tray full of whipped cream.
“Either way, I hope I won’t have to taste it,” Countryman said.
Washburn’s student government president, Shelbie Konkel, senior political sciences major, said, “I’ll refrain from friendly threats. Its just a great program and we’re really excited. It’s one of my favorite events and I’m sure that it’s a highlight of Emporia’s year, too.”
Collections for Can the Bods will end Nov. 8. The winner will be announced at the ESU vs. Washburn football game Nov. 16 at halftime.