Campus Day: The longstanding tradition


Submitted to the Simpsonian

With COVID-19 cancelling two consecutive campus days, most students have little experience with the event and its importance.

by Caleb Geer, Editor-in-Chief

When people think of Simpson College traditions, Campus Day is one that many hold especially close. The time for students and staff alike to give back to the community of Indianola has the power to bring people closer together.

The day and its events have evolved over the 34 years that Associate Dean Rich Ramos has been with the college. The main switch being that the day, which would be picked by the student body president, was once kept secret until the morning of. Staff and faculty would then go through the residence halls waking students up and readying them for the day of service.

Of course, there have been both highs and lows for the special day.

Ramos recalled that the tradition came from a time where the college was struggling financially. “It was used as a day to kind of support the college but also bring the community together,” Ramos said.

Then there were years where the day was more simplified and arguably lacking in the overall message the day has worked to deliver in recent years.

“We went through a period where all we did was food and a service piece,” Ramos said. “And I think we’re getting back to it’s more than just food and a service.”

Before Campus Day and its festivities became fully paid for and run by the Student Government Association (SGA) as it is now, the day was almost done away with completely as one of the college’s previous presidents saw it as losing a full day of class and even a waste of the college’s money. Ramos did not comment further on which president this was.

Frank Cruz, the senior class president, has been working to plan this year’s events with help from the rest of the Student Organizations Committee which is a part of SGA. The focus continues to be the service that is given, but he also recognizes the fun that the day can provide as well.

Unfortunately, COVID-19 wiped out what would’ve been the 2020 and 2021 Campus Days, but it made its triumphant return last year. The tradition has come back quickly with Cruz saying that registration of campus groups has risen from 60-70 groups last year to around 100 groups this year.

“Realizing that the number grew by 30 to 40 makes me very happy, and yes, it’s going to be a lot of work to go through each one of them, but it’s worth it. Especially making it a great experience for campus,” Cruz said.

Both Ramos and Cruz recognize what the day means in regard to what the school is trying to give to students.

Cruz reflected mainly on what he had seen during his only Campus Day, until this year’s. 

“I was able to see students be happy and being engaged and communicate with those that they probably would have never communicated with,” he said.

Ramos also commented on what students get out of the day. “I think it’s important to give back. It’s important to help build an affinity towards the group, either that you’re part of, or to whoever you’re helping who’s in need,” he said.

This year Campus Day will be on Wednesday, April 5. The following is the tentative schedule for April 4-5 as sent out from the student activities email.

April 4th

10 pm to 11 pm: Late Night Breakfast with Administration/Student Body @Kent’s Atrium

April 5th

Team Captain’s Check In: 9 am to 11 am

Breakfast Bar: 10 am to 1 pm

Service Work: 11 am to 2 pm

Food Trucks: 5 pm to 8 pm