BRANDON, MB – The chanting is boisterous. The playing passionate. The weather, flawless. The 3rd annual Battle on the Border pitted students from Brandon University (BU) against Minot State University (MSU) in an afternoon of friendly dodgeball at the International Peace Gardens, located between Manitoba and North Dakota.
Both universities fielded teams of 50 players, including Americans from California to New Jersey and international students from places as far away as Norway, Russia and China. The Battle on the Border has become an anticipated highlight of BU’s return-to-classes orientation activities.
“This event is all about fun and team-building,” says BU’s Director of Student Recruitment and Retention, Katie Gross, organizer and ‘referee’, amid the singing and cheering. “We come together for the games and proudly wear our colours but there are other opportunities for students to mingle including the bus ride, free time to explore the Peace Gardens, and the supper barbeque.”
“I’m here to meet people,” says Akash Patel, a first-year BU science student who came to Brandon with his family from India in 2012. “I’m new to the university and thought this would be a fun way to make some new friends.”
Surrounded by trees in gorgeous autumn colours, mascots Bailey the BU Bobcat and Buckshot the Beaver from MSU led their teams onto the playing field which straddles the Canada-US border. University songs were punctuated by blasts from plastic Vuvuzela horns. Enthusiasm on both sides was unparalleled but MSU retains bragging rights for another year, and delivered a rousing rendition of the US National Anthem during the group photo.
“It was outstanding to see the coming together of students from two universities,” says BU President and Vice-Chancellor Gervan Fearon, also on the sidelines cheering, “including students from Canada and the United States as well as international students from around the world.”
Brandon University, founded in 1899, promotes excellence in teaching, research, and scholarship; educating students so that they can make a meaningful difference as engaged citizens and leaders.
- Brandon University
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