Charity Week falls at a providential time of year for freshmen. The novelty and independence of college has worn off and homesickness is starting to kick in. We’ve already had a few papers and tests — which might not have gone as well as we’d hoped — and midterms are looming. After weeks of wrestling with the University of Dallas’ formidable curriculum, Charity Week is a much-needed chance to relax.
AirBand set the tone perfectly. In addition to the deserving winning performance, “It’s Raining Men,” all the acts were hilarious and fun to watch. My favorite performances were the ones that affectionately goofed on the strange little universe we call home.
Many could relate to the moment in the “Party in UD” skit, where Miley Cyrus’ lyrics were ever so slightly adapted: “This is all so crazy/Everybody here’s so CATHOLIC!” as they shouted over the karaoke track.
Assassination and imprisonment are not generally recommended as ways to build friendships, but the UD traditions of KAOS and the jail seem to defy this assumption. Written on the inside of the jail door were the words “Abandon hope, all ye who enter here,” a characteristic UD touch. The jail was well used all week, but reached the summit of its popularity on Thursday and Friday, when students were allowed to jail faculty. Students enjoyed some extra free time while their professors languished in prison. Most faculty played along and some took it a step futher.
Father Thomas invoked the Book of Jeremiah to call down divine vengeance on his persecutors, and he made numerous escape attempts, lightsaber in hand. Professor Hanssen recited the Gettysburg Address from the roof. Professor Waterman Ward made her class act out a scene from “The Odyssey” on the Mall.
“After I’ve publicly humiliated my students, I have no problem going to jail,” Waterman Ward said.
The weekend wrapped up with the “War is Over” social and Male Auction. Freshman Michelle Little called the dance very festive, while Elizabeth Mitch, also a freshman, said that Male Auction made her laugh so hard her stomach hurt.
For many new college students, being separated from family for the first time is one of the hardest adjustments to make. This rings especially true for the many students at UD who were homeschooled or come from big families. Family and alumni weekend falls almost halfway between the start of school and Thanksgiving break, and helps ease homesickness. Many students from freshman to upperclassmen enjoyed seeing loved ones again.
Now that everyone has settled in and been hard at work for weeks, the festivities of Charity Week were a great opportunity to have some fun. Whether students were squirting their targets in KAOS, rocking out in AirBand, or incarcerating their teachers, UD took full advantage of a chance to enjoy themselves while supporting a great cause.
But the tradition supports us as well. Silliness, breaks from class, social opportunities and time with family all help students, especially underclassmen, enjoy and adjust to college life.