SRU’s SGA kicks off inaugural celebration with ‘Paws for a Cause,' pet parade


Two female students with a dog

From left, Slippery Rock University students Dallas Kline and Taylor Cochran, of the Slippery Rock Student Government Association, visit with Cochran’s dog, Eevee. They are helping lead “Paws for a Cause,” the first event in the 17-day celebration of SRU President William Behre’s inauguration. Eevee invites her friends with paws to join her for the 3 p.m., President’s Pet Parade, Nov. 9.

Oct. 26, 2018

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - Among the activities planned for Slippery Rock University's celebration of the Nov. 9 inauguration of President William J. Behre are two processions, one with a bark and another with a bang.

The Slippery Rock Student Government Association will kick off the 17-day celebration of SRU's 17th president by hosting "Paws for a Cause," which will include a Presidential Pet Parade, Nov. 1.

"We want to kick off the inauguration with a day of service, because community service is an important part of SRU's mission and something we need to celebrate," said Dallas Kline, a senior communication major from Hanover who is the SGA president. "Dr. Behre really loves his dogs; he and his wife, Leah, walk them all over campus, so our executive board thought (this event) would be a great way to start the celebration."

The First Couple's pets, Oscar and Sadie, are rescue dogs that will serve as the de facto grand marshals for a 3 p.m. pet parade in The Quad. Before and after the parade, from 12:30-4 p.m., SGA members will provide refreshments and information about responsible animal adoption, and accept donations for the Butler County Humane Society. Items needed include canned dog and cat food, chew treats, leashes and clay cat litter. A complete "wish list" of items the BCHS needs can be viewed by clicking here.

Inauguration seal

Participants in the Presidential Pet Parade are encouraged to dress their pets in costume, either for Halloween or in green and white to celebrate SRU. One proud pet owner is Taylor Cochran, a junior early childhood-special education major from Natrona Heights. Cochran is the SGA speaker of the senate and will bring her foxhound/German shepherd mix, Eevee, to the parade.

"Our campus is full of a lot of dog-moms, dog-dads, cat-moms and cat-dads and there are pet-friendly apartment complexes here so it's easy to maintain an animal," Cochran said. "You walk your dog on campus and everyone is smiling and wanting to pet them. It's a joyous experience to share that with your pet. I've made a lot of friends just by having a pet and taking her to the dog park and meeting other (pet owners)."

In addition to the service and pet themes for the first event of the 17-day inauguration celebration, Kline recognizes the importance of having a student-organized event kick off the festivities.

"SGA members were Dr. Behre's first meeting on his first day (in July) so this is fitting that we are hosting the first event of his inauguration celebration," Kline said. "He's been awesome to work with and we want to contribute to (a cause that's important to) him and celebrate his presidency."

For the formal inauguration and investiture ceremony Nov. 9, the Grand March will be led by the drumming of SRU's Percussion and World Percussion ensembles, directed by David Glover, associate professor of music.

The campus community can get a taste of what's to come Nov. 9 by attending the ensembles' concert 7:30-9 p.m., Nov. 1 at Swope Music Hall. The two ensembles, each consisting of 12-15 students will wrap up the first day of the inauguration celebration.

"There's a little bit of everything with the concert," said Glover, who is conducting four pieces of the Percussion Ensemble to start the concert, followed by a performance by the World Percussion Ensemble that will include Japanese Taiko drumming and steelpan drumming, a style that originated from Trinidad and Tobago. "If you're going to see one concert at Swope, this is a good one to catch even if you're not a huge music fan or don't know much about percussion, because there will be something for everyone. The tone of the concert is broad sweeping. There will be loud, aggressive (sounds) and then soft, sweet and sentimental (sounds). We'll also have jazz, improvisational and classical pieces."

The World Percussion Ensemble will also play Batucada, a style derived from the samba genre of music and dance that originated in Brazil. The World Percussion Ensemble will bring Batucada to life and lead the Grand March from 10:15-10:45 a.m., Nov. 9, starting at the Smith Student Center and finishing at Morrow Field House, where the investiture ceremony will take place, 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

For more information about all the inauguration events, visit

MEDIA CONTACT: Justin Zackal | 724.738.4854 |