The Student Leadership Council is hosting BJU’s third biennial weeklong competition, Bruin Daze, for the student body during the week of March 15-19.
Bruin Daze involves two teams of students divided by societies. Designated team leaders will guide and support their teams through various competitions, including a food drive for canned goods, scavenger hunt, capture the flag, shark tank and the Greek Games. The SLC also has many events planned, like doughnuts on the way to class, themed casual dress days, a prayer and worship night and recreational activities, to name just a few of them.
The week will conclude with a Greek-themed dinner, followed by the Greek Games on the athletic fields. The games serve as the culmination of the competition, particularly in the athletic activities. The games’ host will announce the winning team in ceremonial-like fashion after adding up the final point totals of both teams. A dessert and coffee bar will be available for students in the activity center, and the evening will end with fireworks.
SLC women’s senior class representative Sarah Rumpf appreciates the primary goal and motivation behind Bruin Daze. “The whole idea of the event is to build unity in the student body and to celebrate what it means to be a Bruin,” she said.
This year’s Bruin Daze theme reflects BJU’s original tradition, Gold Rush Daze. With a retro 1970s feel and the implementation of the original teams Blue Thunder and Red Lightning, the SLC hopes to incorporate more of the original Gold Rush Daze traditions into this year’s Bruin Daze. One tradition they plan to implement is faculty serving breakfast to students in the dorms. Breakfast for day students will be offered at various on-campus locations as well.
Research in the archives revealed that Gold Rush Daze started in March of 1977 as a surprise from faculty to students. It then occurred once every four years. Faculty brought students breakfast in the dorms since students had the morning off. During the afternoon, the entire student body engaged in athletic games on the fields. A picnic dinner was provided, and the evening commenced with a program entitled Faculty Body involving a humorous faculty performance for the students.
Originally, competitions were between dorms, rather than societies as they are today. Gold Rush Daze continued in this format until 2017, when the administration decided to change the event to Bruins Daze to better meet the needs of the student body. The competition is now a week long, and since Bruin Daze occurs once every two years instead of every four years current students can experience this unique event twice during their time at BJU. Students pursuing two-year degrees are also now able to join in on the event.
Alumni remember Gold Rush Daze as an exciting time during their college years. 1995 grad Laurie Orr said, “[Gold Rush Daze] was a fun day for us to let loose and pull out our recreational attire.” She also said she thoroughly enjoyed watching Dr. Bob Jones Jr. play a mafia-type godfather in Faculty Body.
Jonie French, a 1996 grad, remembers an iconic aspect from the Gold Rush Daze during her time. She said an E.T. poster was changed to “E.P.” to represent Edward Panosian. “[Since] he rode his bike everywhere around campus . . . they put up this picture with his initials, played the music from the [E.T.] movie, and [Panosian] rode into the FMA on his bicycle during the program,” French said.
Years later, students who experienced the Spring 2019 Bruin Daze have fond memories as well. Senior Kristen Rutledge said, “I am a camp lover, so Bruin Daze…feels like we have camp on campus for a week.”
Rutledge said her favorite part of the 2019 Bruin Daze was campus tag. Senior Jessica Lovely enjoyed getting to sit on a throne and hold the trophy after her team won. Junior Aaron Marquez said, “[Bruin Daze is] the most fun activity BJU has after the Rush party.”
Rumpf said the SLC is particularly excited for the students who have not yet experienced Bruin Daze. “[Since] they are coming in with a perfectly clean slate, they do not have expectations of previous years,” she said. With Bruin Daze on the horizon, the SLC encourages students to participate in Bruin Daze activities as much as possible to get the richest experience possible. Students will also be able to purchase team T-shirts to show their team spirit. More information and upcoming announcements on activities can also be found on the SLC Instagram page.