The fall semester is up and running, and Charity Week is just around the corner. It’s a week to fork over your spare change for a great cause while having fun at the same time; it’s a University of Dallas tradition that dates back to our school’s first years; it’s an opportunity to get out of class, fingers crossed. Charity Week is a lot of things, but perhaps most importantly, it’s an experience that unites the UD community, bringing people together to share in what makes this a Christian environment.
As a freshman, I remember escaping from a group of students about to be thrown into the Charity Week jail en masse. With a healthy dose of self-perceived cleverness, I silently thanked my anonymity among my peers and slinked back to my room. I just didn’t see the point of Charity Week and I was not keen on getting involved, an idea only strengthened by conversations with friends who shared the same opinion. Little did I know, I was missing out on a great UD tradition — and one in which i woudl have to participate in order to appreciate.
Charity Week is almost as old as UD itself, and rightly so. As one of the cornerstones of Christianity, charity defines who we are as members of society. Now, I know that the vast majority of our particular community (including myself) are poor college students living on ramen and Doritos. However, I also have a peculiar feeling that UD is a place overrun by good people. Charity Week is an amazing tradition founded on the belief that good people brought together can do great things, and it should be one of the great prides of UD that this idea never fails to be demonstrated at Charity Week every year.
Charity Week is simply a wonderful idea. You get to pay a few bucks to throw a friend (or an enemy) in jail, you can join in on a game of K.A.O.S. if you desire to be driven mad with paranoia, you can watch your peers make fools of themselves at the air band contest; or you can bid on the man of your dreams at the male auction. Any event that succeeds in combining so many utterly ridiculous activities into one week is a feat of ingenuity. Not to mention the fact that thousands of dollars are raised for a good cause in the process. Simply put, Charity Week is a blast.
Charity Week is more than just a week of fun; the true spirit of the week is one of community. Why? Whether you are sitting in jail, or on stage praying that someone will bid on you, or just watching a movie outside, the friends you make during this week can be friends who stick with you for the rest of your life. This is what Charity Week is all about and it is something that simply would not be the same at any other school. At the very least, just getting involved in the crazy traditions of the UD family can completely alter one’s experience of the University of Dallas. It provides an opportunity for new students to experience and learn to become a part of the kind of community only found at a small school. It rekindles the passion for this community that many upperclassmen already have.
This year’s proceeds will benefit Honor Courage Commitment, Inc. and Homeless Veterans Services of Dallas, two charities dedicated to giving back to those who have given their lives in service to our country. Get out of your room and onto the Mall Sept. 28 through Oct. 3 to experience the insanity that is Charity Week.