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Govs in 10: Our favorite APSU experiences

From getting caked in mud to spotting bagel-eating squirrels on campus to volunteering for The Big Event, there are all kinds of ways to find your spot in campus life. We think these 10 Austin Peay State University experiences will make your journey unforgettable.

Students cheer at football game



1. Mud Bowl Mayhem

The hype is real. Since 2002, students have put their volleyball skills to the test…in a giant mud pit? That’s right. Every fall, the Student Government Association hosts this grimy competition where even the spectators head home caked in mud.

Student Government Association Mud Bowl Request information

Don't mind getting your hands dirty? Then Mud Bowl is definitely the game for you.


Student stands in intramural field after color run
Maybe don't wear your *favorite* shirt to the run. It's going to get messy. And off brand.

2. Gov "Color" Run

A run through campus is always nice, but let’s make it memorable. We’re here to add some beats, crowds of cheering students, and an excess of color – sprays of red and yellow water, powdery clouds of orange and green, and strange combinations that Crayola can’t even name. The Gov Color Run is definitely the highlight of Austin Peay’s APEX Weekend celebration.

Student Life and Engagement Request information

This is the only run where non-red colors are encouraged. Everyone's back on brand after. Please.


Students pose with flowers before planting them
Plant the Campus Red originally started as a way to commemorate the 1999 tornado.

3. Plant the Campus Red

When the weather turns warm each April, students, faculty and staff get their hands dirty as they plant new flowers on the University grounds. This campus beautification project also serves as a reminder of the tornado that ravaged Austin Peay more than 20 years ago, and as a reflection of how the community came together to rebuild Austin Peay, one flower at a time.

Student Life and Engagement Request information

Students plant red plants in campus flowerbeds
You also get a free t-shirt for volunteering. Who doesn't love free t-shirts?


4. The One, the Only ... APSU Homecoming

Homecoming. It’s the Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson of Austin Peay events. It does everything. Bonfire? Check! Parade? Check! Gov Tug tug-o-war? Check! Sacrificing the opposing school’s mascot? Technically check, BUT it’s just a piñata decorated by APSU classics students. Everyone cool? And we haven’t even mentioned AP Apollo, the Step Show, tailgating or the Saturday football game. What more could you want?

2019 Homecoming Schedule Request information



5. Cats and squirrels and birds, Oh My!

Is that squirrel eating a bagel? Probably. And are those cats staring at me from the trees? Sure. If you didn’t already know, Austin Peay’s home to a colony of shy cats, gutsy, Einstein’s Bros. Café-loving squirrels and majestic blue birds who live, rent-free, in the little houses scattered across campus. So come to Austin Peay for the academics, but stay for the wildlife.

Paws to Care Donate to Paws to Care Request information



Students dance in the Red Barn during International Night
The APSU Red Barn hosts cultures from across the globe yearly.

6. Bring your appetite for International Night

Rumor has it, if you show up to the Red Barn on a certain night each fall, you can load a paper plate with tacos, sushi, falafels, schnitzel and nearly any other culinary wonder you can imagine. How’s that possible? Thank the the Office of Study Abroad and International Exchange for hosting Austin Peay’s annual International Night. And while you’re sitting at this free event, thinking this is so freaking good, enjoy an evening of cultural performances and decide what country you might want to visit during your time at APSU.

International Night Request information

Students enjoy buffet-style food at International Night
There's no better way to appreciate a culture than by indulging in their delicious food.



Sledders slide down an icy Emerald Hill
Cardboard boxes make for great impromptu sleds in a pinch.

7. Snow Days at Emerald Hill

Wanna build a snowman? If a winter storm closes campus (This is Tennessee, so it happens), head to Emerald Hill for some reindeer games with your friends. Build a snowman, start a snowball fight or, if you have what it takes, sled down the insanely steep hill that stretches far below the historic mansion.

Pace Alumni Center Request information

Pace Alumni center sits on top of Emerald Hill
The University's Pace Alumni Center sits on top of Emerald Hill.



8. First Fridays: The Things Dreams Are Made Of

You don’t want free stuff, do you? Like an Austin Peay T-shirt, or some other campus swag? What about food? Free pizza or cookies? Psst, the legends are true. You can find all these glorious treasures, and much more, every Friday in the Morgan University Center plaza. There might even be cheerleaders and Gov athletes getting everyone pumped before a game. And don’t forget the frog…named Friday for some reason…who will reassure you, “No, this isn’t a dream. It’s First Friday.”

First Friday  Request information



Spirit rock painted with Beat Murray
If you couldn't tell, we aren't the *biggest* fans of Mu**ay State.

9. 200 Million Years of Gov Spirit

The Spirit Rock has been around for some 200 million years, but both the history and geography departments say it hasn’t been used nearly that long to promote the Governors. Regardless, it’s now here to display positive messages and promote upcoming events, so check it out or, if you have something good to say (seriously, be cool), bring your paint and some brushes to the corner of Drane and Marion streets.

Pace Alumni Center Request information

Spirit Rock painted for Homecoming 2017
What's better than finding a fresh coat of paint on our favorite chunk of Mesozoic rock?



10. It doesn't get bigger than The Big Event

They don’t call it “The Little Event” because that’s not how Govs do things. When we say thank you, when we show our appreciation for the community that supports us, we do it in a big way. That’s why hundreds of Austin Peay students head into the city each spring to give back to the community. Help clean up litter, take care of strays at the animal shelter or plant community gardens for the hungry. There’s no shortage of ways to support this area. Because if you haven’t heard, The Big Event is kind of a big deal.  

The Big Event Student Government Association Request information




Interested in learning more about the University? Let us know!