Madi Sundling, Staff Writer

While the University of Missouri–St. Louis is not the biggest campus in Missouri, it is still easy to get lost on. With around 16,000 students on campus and 460 acres between the North and South campuses, it may be tough for students to find the building their class is in. However, one building in particular might be more difficult than others to find.  

The Mark Twain building sits off the traditional quad of North Campus, the street name taking after the building as well. Twain is the hot spot for student athletes, athletic events, coaches, trainers, and sport related classes. Each of the three levels of Twain showcase different amenities and sports activities. The lower level features a swimming pool and track, also hosting the weight room, trainer’s room and various team locker rooms. The basketball court can be found on the ground level, as well as classrooms and offices. Finally, the upper balconies are multifunctional as they provide room for cheerleading practices, additional workout space, softball batting cages, balcony seating and extracurricular activities

If students were at Mark Twain Wednesday night and thought they might have caught the smell of chili drifting from the balcony, they were right. An UMSL organization named the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee hosted a fundraiser for the Make-A-Wish foundation, $5 allowed student athletes to eat any of the 13 chili-filled crockpots presented by various athletic teams. Like any good athletic event, some competition was involved.  

Throughout the night, raffles for coupons and shirts were being held. The night was capped off with the announcement of the top three chilis. The masterminds behind their homerun chili would receive bragging rights until next year’s cook-off and also some cash-loaded gift cards too. The three judges, Associate Director of Athletics Jesse Chandler, Assistant Softball Coach Lauren Lappin and Coordinator of Athletics Marketing and Sponsorships Kevin Smith, had no easy job declaring a winner. A mere 3-point difference separated silver from gold. Nevertheless, Dylan Hoelscher, senior, business administration, took home third-place for baseball, Chelsea Martinez, junior, business administration, from softball snagged the silver, and soccer player Emily Hanewinkel, sophomore, elementary education, captured the first-place standing.  

Chili wasn’t all that was brought. Coaches and players also provided deserts ranging from cupcakes to cookies and even gooey butter cake. Another table, hosted by Triton Health Educators, provided drinks for students after they completed an interactive activity. Using water, they asked students to pour whatever amount of alcohol they would normally pour for themselves. Then, their measured amount would be compared against the average alcohol consumption levels. The surprised participants were then awarded with their choice of “mocktail” and even a virgin Jell-O shot.

Regardless of all the raffles, awareness activities and camaraderie, the night was a success. Not only can our student athletes cook up some five-star chili, but also SAAC raised $500 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. However, SAAC doesn’t end there. They host fundraisers for Make-A-Wish throughout the year. For example, this Friday night at the men’s soccer game against Truman State, SAAC will be selling stars to hang throughout Mark Twain for Make-A-Wish. Students should keep their eyes and ears open for other fun fundraisers that may return this year like the cookie dough food truck and the Triton tailgate.