The university’s traditional Beat Michigan Week began a little early this year.
With Thanksgiving on Thursday threatening to abbreviate the week normally packed with an assortment of events themed to beat the Wolverines, university organizers moved some events to last Friday.
“There aren’t a lot of events going on on the days when the kids aren’t here,” said Amy Murray, an Ohio State spokeswoman.
Even with the lost time at the end of the week when many students will go home for the national holiday, students, staff members and faculty will have much to choose from if they want to display their Buckeye pride.
Throughout the week, the American Red Cross will continue its battle to see which school can donate more blood. The competition uses one of college football’s most heated rivalries to help stock up on blood during a holiday season that officials said often leaves hospitals in need.
All week long, students can also donate gently used clothes to the “Lose the Blue” clothing drive supporting Goodwill Columbus. Donors will receive a Beat the Blue “rah rag,” according to OSU’s website.
Organizers of the drive, which is in its fifth year, expect to collect at least 5,000 pounds of clothing, said Karen Dertinger, who organized the event for the Office of Trademark and Licensing at OSU.
“We are at, after four years, I think close to 20,000 pounds of clothes,” Dertinger said.
The week also includes several events to rally school spirit.
Beat Michigan Craft Night, a popular Ohio Union Activities Board event where students gather to make OSU-themed picture frames, T-shirts, buckeye necklaces and other crafts, took place Sunday.
“I hope that students take away an enriched sense of school spirit and long-lasting memories with friends,” said Shari Lee, a fourth-year in business marketing and the OUAB Special Events chair, in an e-mail.
The week officially kicks off at 7:30 tonight with the Beat Michigan Pep Rally. The OSU cheerleaders, marching band and athletes will join students in the Ohio Union to rally support for the Buckeyes.
Beat Michigan Week will also feature the return of an old OSU tradition — the banner contest.
Students can craft banners cheering the Buckeyes and hang them outside their houses. Judges will rate the banners today.
Beat Michigan Week will also feature a new addition — the Thanksgiving Day dinner. Although the dinner is an annual event, Thanksgiving does not typically fall during the week before the OSU-Michigan game.
This year, the dinner, which is one of the largest Thanksgiving dinners on a college campus, according to the event’s website, will provide dinner for about 2,000 students, faculty, staff and their families who don’t travel home for the holiday. Tickets are required and can be picked up in the Office of International Affairs through Wednesday.
The activities will wrap up with a celebration before the game, which starts at noon Saturday. The Beat Michigan Brunch will take place from 9 a.m. to noon at the RPAC.
Alex Schwall, a third-year in psychology and the student planner for the brunch, said that although the brunch has been going on for years, students can expect some changes.
“I think the event this year is going to be a lot more interactive than it’s been in the past,” Schwall said.
He said the brunch will have a tailgate atmosphere and will feature a disc jockey, inflatables and a projector showing “College GameDay,” the popular ESPN show. There will also be appearances by the cheerleaders, Brutus and OSU President E. Gordon Gee, according to the website.
“One of our biggest concerns was that it’s a holiday weekend,” Schwall said. He hopes students will stop by the brunch on their way to the stadium.
The brunch is free for students, although faculty, staff and community members are asked to make a $5 donation for the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network.