University of South Dakota junior Brian Juran and South Dakota State University sophomore Shannon Duxbury have dealt with the USD-SDSU rivalry much more than most college students.
Juran, a kinesiology major from Burke, S.D., and Duxbury, who is from Wessington, S.D., have been dating for a little more than four months. Their relationship started out in a “pretty random” way, Juran said.
Duxbury went to USD last fall for the first semester of her first year of college, but then she transferred to SDSU to major in animal science and biotechnology.
“She’s got a big link to SDSU,” Juran said. “Her grandpa was a professor there for quite a few years, and both of her brothers went there, so she’s got a big past there.”
His sister and both of his brother-in-laws attended SDSU, he said, but he ultimately decided on USD, his father’s alma mater, with the influence of his sisters attending medical and graduate school in mind.
Juran said he is usually busy on the weekdays and Duxbury is usually busy on the weekends, but they find ways to make the relationship work.
“Pretty much any open weekend that we get, we try to meet up somewhere at least,” Juran said.
Juran went to see Duxbury during Hobo Days and they will make spontaneous trips throughout the week, working around each other’s class schedules.
For Thanksgiving, Juran will make the trip to her house for a couple days before he spends time at home with his family, and winter break plans are yet to be decided, but are something to look forward to.
Juran and Duxbury are able to joke about the rivalry, and their families can, too.
“She gives me crap a lot and I try to dish it back,” he said.
USD first-year Conrad Adam and SDSU first-year Kaitlyn Severyn, both from Pierre, have been dating for almost three and a half years.
Severyn committed to playing basketball at SDSU early on in high school and before Adam decided where he wanted to attend college. Adam said USD would ultimately be the best fit for him as a business major.
Having to factor distance in is not new to the couple.
In the summers, both were on traveling basketball teams, and for cancer treatment, Adam had to move to Houston, Texas for about three months his junior year of high school. Life has helped them get used to not constantly being in the same place at the same time, Adam said.
“We’re used to being away from each other,” Adam said. “We just know how to make it work.”
They were able to make it work in their schedules to take part in both the Hobo Days and Dakota Days festivities together, he said, and they see each other any weekend they can.
“Now that her basketball season’s starting, I’ll be heading up to Brookings more to watch her play a little bit,” Adam said. “So, yeah, we figure it out — find ways to see each other.”
Adam said the two “easygoing kids” can joke about the rivalry between the schools, especially since both families are full of school spirit.
“We joke about it a lot, and I guess we kind of always have,” Adam said. “Her family’s a big SDSU family, and my family’s a big USD family.”
USD senior Jami Faddoul and SDSU sophomore Carson Eisenbeisz, both from Pierre, started dating when one was still in their hometown and the other was already in Vermillion.
When Eisenbeisz chose to attend SDSU, it was the next best thing to USD, as it still brought the two closer in distance than they were before. They’ve been together for almost three years now.
“It’s really not bad at all, actually,” Eisenbeisz said. “I think it works out well because we don’t take away from each other with classes.”
During the week, he said, they can focus on school, and they can visit each other on the weekends since they are only an hour and a half drive away.
Faddoul, who is an accounting major, works 15 hours per week in the Math Emporium, and she said she also stays busy for a couple of hours per week as vice president of Beta Alpha Psi, the accounting organization on campus.
Eisenbeisz, who is double majoring in biology and microbiology with his eyes on medical school, tutors chemistry students for about five hours per week, is a photographer for The Collegian and is involved with a preprofessional club and the American Medical Student Association.
Both are involved with CRU, and together they are able to continue a hobby Eisenbeisz introduced Faddoul to from campus to campus — climbing the rock wall.
“There’s not a day that I don’t wish that we were at the same school, but then at the same time, I think it’s good because we can concentrate on school,” Faddoul said.
They’ve been able to take turns traveling back and forth from school to school this semester, going only two weekends without seeing each other.
Saying goodbye gets harder after spending a lot of time together over breaks from school, Faddoul said.
“It usually spoils us,” she said. “Those are probably the harder times, when we see each other for a long period of time and then we have to go back to school.”
The two see the distance as a good test of their relationship.
“If anything, it makes us have to trust each other more,” Eisenbeisz said.
With much still up in the air pertaining to college relationships and time to contemplate, Eisenbeisz is considering USD as an option for medical school. Faddoul is planning to attend graduate school at USD for a year once she graduates in the spring, and the couple said they are sure they will figure it all out somehow, through what they consider perhaps the hardest time in their relationship.
“I think we’ve found that being together is so much more important,” Faddoul said. “We’ve really made it work, and I think we were both worried, but either of us will go anywhere, basically, to be with the other person.”
(Photo: South Dakota State University sophomore Carson Eisenbeisz, left, and University of South Dakota senior Jami Faddoul, right, have been dating for two and a half years. Malachi Petersen / The Volante)