2016 Charity Week: the fall of Carpenter Hall

Riley Beckwith, Resident Ball of Anxiety

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Carpenter Hall will be demolished to raise money for charities. It is a win-win situation. Photo by Kaity Chaikowsky.

The University of Dallas’ 2016 Charity Week will feature an event that many have been looking forward to for decades: Carpenter Hall’s demolition.

The building has hosted a number of departments, offices and classrooms since the very beginning of UD’s history.

Students, faculty and staff have spent years advocating for the building to be retired and replaced, citing its sad appearance and generally demoralizing atmosphere.

Now, with renovations popping up all over campus, the administration is finally ready to say goodbye to Carpenter Hall.

The Office of Student Life (OSL) had the idea to involve the entire campus community in a big way.

Next fall, students and faculty will be able to donate to charity in the hopes of getting a chance to help demolish Carpenter Hall.

The idea, while unconventional, is perfectly in line with Charity Week’s general aims.

“Charity Week has always been about finding creative ways to get people to donate money to a good cause,” Dr. John Plotts, Senior Vice President of Enrollment and Student Life, said. “You get to donate to a charity, and then you get an opportunity to help destroy UD’s iconic eyesore. Everyone wins, which is really in the spirit of Charity Week.”

Donors will purchase lottery tickets, with more money earning more tickets.

At the end of the week, tickets will be drawn to select the students who can participate in the destruction of Carpenter.

The number of potential winners is still undetermined.

“We do have to see how many people we can safely involve before deciding [how many],” Plotts said.

Due to faculty concerns, students and faculty will be entered into separate lotteries.

The higher volume of students would otherwise diminish the faculty’s chances, a consequence many considered unfair.

This is especially true of the many faculty members who have both studied and taught at UD, and who thus know Carpenter better than any undergraduate can.

“There’s just no way I’m going to let some freshman take a whack at this building before I do,” Dr. Greg Roper, Associate Professor of English and UD alumnus, said.

All participants will have to sign a release form, relieving the school of all personal responsibility for injuries incurred during the demolition.

While this may strike some as foreboding, Plotts pointed out that Charity Week events have always held some degree of physical risk.

Indeed, few Charity Weeks go by without a handful of students or professors putting their physical safety in jeopardy while resisting arrest on the Mall.

“Killing As an Organized Sport,” or “KAOS,” is another potentially risky activity.

Unlike with these more unregulated events, the university will be required to follow state and local safety protocols to the letter.

“Students might actually be safer [demolishing Carpenter] than they are during most of Charity Week,” Plotts said.

Plotts is optimistic for the new event, describing the initial response as overwhelming.

“We may be looking at a record year in terms of donations,” Plotts said.

Still, certain complications that have come to light will need to be resolved before Charity Week comes around in the fall.

Dr. Susan Hanssen, Associate Professor of History, has already declared her intention to stand on the roof and recite the Gettysburg Address.

In principle, this is not an issue.

Unfortunately, the administration does have one concern.

“Quite frankly, we aren’t sure if the roof is structurally sound enough [for her to stand on],” Plotts said.

Additionally, some have expressed worries that UD’s penchant for traditions might work against the administration in this case.

“What are they going to do the next year, when everyone wants to take down Augustine or Anselm?” one such detractor, who wishes to remain anonymous, said. “Just look at Groundhog’s history.”

The administration is not currently planning future Charity Week demolitions, though Plotts does not reject the possibility.

“We certainly have no shortage of buildings to tear down … it’s about what’s best for this school and the students,” Plotts said.

Whatever the future holds, the UD community can look forward to an event that will not be forgotten easily.

Disclaimer: This is the April Fools’ edition of the paper. All stories are fictitious in nature.

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