November 24, 2014
By Mike Killeen
There are a lot of people associated with the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University who are listening to Queen's "We Are The Champions."
For good reason. CSB/SJU won the first Outdoor Nation Campus Challenge, which ended Saturday, Nov. 22.
CSB/SJU totaled 162,880 activity points to easily outdistance second-place Michigan Tech University, which had 48,910 activity points. Ten schools competed in the eight-week challenge.
During the competition, participants — students, faculty, staff, alumnae/i, parents and friends of CSB/SJU — could self-report their outdoor activities through an interactive online. The challenge aimed to reverse a drop in participation in outdoor activities among young Americans.
"Team CSB/SJU" performed exactly as Jenny Kutter, department coordinator of Saint John's Outdoor University, thought it would.
"When CSB/SJU was initially selected to participate in the challenge and we were told who our competition was, I got mixed reaction from people on campus," Kutter said. "There was a lot of excitement, but it was heavily tempered with some intimidation of both the size and reputation of many of the other schools, that this challenge would be fun for our community to participate in, but that we wouldn't win. All I could do was smile and say, we'll see.
"Am I even remotely surprised? Not at all. Team CSB/SJU did exactly what I knew it would," Kutter said.
CSB/SJU will win a prize package including a scholarship for an outdoor program assistant, a custom gear library and an outdoor campus festival.
SJU sophomore Pearce Jensen is tied with three other people in the individual portion of the competition. He logged 2,850 activity points, and is eligible to be named "Outsider of the Year." That winner will be named in December, as well as details about the prize package.