Campus Wonders, ‘Who’s Danny?’
Sidewalk messages from organizations generate reactions among students
Published: Monday, October 14, 2013
Updated: Monday, October 14, 2013 15:10
A person strolling around campus during homecoming Week could not go a few feet without literally stumbling across a question:
“Do you agree with Danny?”
The chalk message was scattered across all corners of campus.
The message was deliberately ambiguous. If one was not privy to upcoming events, they unquestionably wondered who Danny was and what was potentially being agreed upon. Preliminary speculation ranged from LGBT celebrations to doings of the Illuminati. The seemingly surefire website doyouagreewithdanny.com was only a countdown clock that expired last Friday.
The average student before Friday stood in the dark.
“I have no idea who Danny is,” said Faith Stoltenow, a freshman studying nursing. “I would really like to know why and what this message is [about] all over campus.”
Friday arrived and the message was proclaimed; the instigators unveiled themselves.
Jake Oliversen, a junior in marketing and NDSU’s Cru president, said his organization, along with Chi Alpha, was behind the madness. The chalk writing started the previous Sunday after sunset.
He explained that between 50 and 60 student leaders strolled the campus writing the message anywhere they could. In fact, they used around 50 cases of chalk.
“It was a pretty big operation,” Oliverson said.
Also part of the chalk committee was Austin Hanson, a senior studying biology and a member of Cru and Chi Alpha.
“It was probably around 10 [p.m. when we started],” Hanson said. “It took probably around two hours to complete.”
Their vague message centered on the mystery man of the week, who turned out to be student leader Danny Luecke.
Luecke, a senior studying mathematics education, has been an active member of Cru and Chi Alpha since his freshman year.
“[The organizations] are both amazing student organizations,” Luecke said. “…The people in both [organizations] live their lives surrendered to Christ…There are dozens of other great things I like about both Cru and Chi Alpha, but having Jesus Christ at the center of these organizations is what I like the most.”
But why this Danny? Luecke ponders the same question.
“The idea for ‘Do You Agree with Danny’ has been used by Cru on many college campuses around the United States,” Luecke said. “I was chosen as the person who happens to have their name all over campus and on t-shirts because I am a student leader on campus. I greatly desire to share with people how Jesus Christ has radically changed my life.”
Oliversen said the full “Danny message”—after spending the better part of the school week in anonymity on the sidewalks—was fully uncovered on Friday, when doyouagreewithdanny.com released Danny’s statement of faith.
“[The whole campaign] “is just really to get the conversation started about things that people would not normally talk about,” he said.
At 7 p.m. Tuesday at Festival Concert Hall, Luecke will proclaim his message.
“We are hoping to pack it out and it will be the big official ‘hear what Danny has to say,’” said Oliversen.
Luecke plans on sharing “some of my personal life story; more specifically how Jesus saved me from the traps of the life that I was stuck in.”
Danny will undoubtedly talk about topics like balancing the college and faith life, a subject that Cru and Chi Alpha tackle regularly.
“Cru is… a nondenominational church that partners along with different churches in the area,” Oliversen said. “It really opens up the floor to all people from all sorts of denominations to be welcomed in our environment.”
The Christian organization, according to their website, “promotes evangelism and discipleship in more than 190 countries around the world.”
The Cru organization also follows rules.
“Just to clear the air,” said Oliversen, “we did get permission from the University to do [write on sidewalks.] It’s amazing what just asking one simple question can do to people. It caused pandemonium within.”
Pandemonium has included outrage on Overheard at NDSU and people chalking up “No!” underneath the original sidewalk message.
It has not been easy. “This week, keeping my identity unknown was really unique,” said Luecke, “It was difficult to hear some of the negative things people said about this event.”
On Thursday, Oliversen cleared the air on Overheard at NDSU by stating that Cru has followed the University’s policies in regards to chalking for the “I Agree with Danny” event and that they had permission to do so.
“Cru is in no way affiliated with the open-air preachers who have been heckling students at the Union,” Oliversen later went on to write. Oliversen made it clear the speakers were not associated with Cru in ideology or association.
“Cru is an organization that does not force Christianity on anyone,” Oliversen said.
“The complete love, joy and peace that I have solely comes from God and my relationship with him,” Luecke said. “I want to tell my fellow Bison about the greatness of God and his desire to begin and keep intimate relationships with every person at NDSU and in the world.”
For more information on Cru, its meetings are at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday nights in the Century Theatre in the Memorial Union. Chi Alpha congregates at 7 and 8:30 p.m. Thursday nights at the Century Theatre as well. Danny Luecke will speak at Festival Concert Hall at 7 p.m. Oct. 15.