The tradition of Charity Week is back at the University of Dallas, this time with a medieval spin. Ye Olde Charity Week has transformed the campus into a Crusader’s Christendom, complete with dragons, damsels, dungeons and the rhythmic sound of clapping coconuts.
Luke Enriquez, junior politics major and King of Charity Week, said, “I’ll say it: this is going to be the merriest time of the year. We’re hoping to make this Charity Week one for the history books.”
The medieval theme has never truly been used. The closest was a Renaissance themed charity week in 1983 when Dr. Gregory Roper, dean of students, was himself a student.
Alexa Mascola, junior politics major and Queen of Charity Week, said, “The medieval theme has been a long time coming. It really fits so well with the character of UD and tons of our classmates were coming up to us and talking about wanting to do a medieval theme beforehand. It really wasn’t our decision. It was something the whole class wanted to do.”
The crusader-style of UD was tailor-made for a medieval Charity Week.
“I think it’s very, very UD-esque. I think that the medieval age reminds us of the times of Christendom,” said Peter Key, junior business major and one of the organizers of the talent show.
Enriquez and Mascola have allocated $1,000 from student government to help fund costumes, allowing for the profuse presence of monks, knights and nobles on campus.
New additions to this Charity Week include putting people in the stocks and Monty Python-style coconut horses.
“You can pay for people to follow your friends in between classes with coconut horses and it’s gonna be great. I think that one’s going to be a lot of fun, because people are gonna get so annoyed with it. They can’t get out of it,” said Mascola.
Monday started the week off with the bake sale and the professor panel, as well as the beginning of the weeklong CHAOS event. All Charity Week booths are open Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The dorm tuck-ins have also made their debut.
Tuesday was the kickoff for Chief Greene’s second annual mustache competition. The Talent Show began Tuesday night, complete with medieval pageantry.
Today, the silent auction was held, and tonight the quizbowl will kick off with a Lord of the Rings theme from 7-9 p.m.
Thursday will jumpstart the scavenger hunt, better known as the quest for the Holy Grail, from 6-9 p.m. A medieval TGIT with a karaoke twist will conclude the night’s festivities, run by Enriquez and Mascola.
Friday, the tower will be open from noon to 5 p.m. The physics department is planning to launch a catapult from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
The athletic department is hoping to get in on the charity action on Friday as well. Past editions of Charity Week have seen the acclaimed dunk-a-monk event, but this year’s Charity Week will include an added bonus of pie-a-player. Both these events will be taking place from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on the Mall.
Friday will end with the mystery match event, in the Rathskeller from 8-11 p.m.
Charity Week will conclude on Saturday, with the 5k taking place from 9-11a.m. The women’s powderpuff flag football will occur from noon to 2 p.m. Per tradition, the finale of Charity Week will be the male auction on the Mall from 8 p.m. to midnight.
“I will be singing for the male auction, which I’m really excited for,” said Enriquez. “Buy the king for a certain fee.”
The goal for this Charity Week is $40,000. As an added incentive to reach that goal, both Enriquez and Porter Schmidt, junior politics major and vice president of student government, have agreed to shave their heads completely bald if the $40,000 is achieved.
“40k is a big goal to be sure. We haven’t ever done something like this before, so we need a big prize,” said Mascola. “This will be the last thing at the end of the male auction. If we do get up to that money we will shave their heads bald.”
The overarching point of Charity Week is, surprisingly, charity. The two charities are In My Shoes, a nonprofit organization based around Dallas that assists pregnant and homeless women, and A Woman’s Haven Pregnancy Center, a pro-life organization that provides resources, diapers, baby needs, counseling and job opportunities for women with unexpected pregnancies.
“The most important thing that Alexa and I want to emphasize for this whole event is that it’s all for a great cause,” said Enriquez. “These charities show a strong resonance with the prolife community here at UD. We can basically sum up that this entire week will be going to the fight against abortion.”
Charity Week comes but once a year, and Enriquez and Mascola are hopeful that everyone will enjoy the festivities.
“Charity Week is such a fun tradition. It’s my favorite part about UD, and it’s just fun to lose yourself in that way. You can really just have fun with it. Just let yourself go and really get into the spirit of things because it’s such a wacky and unique tradition that you’re not going to find anywhere else,” said Mascola. “You [have] really got to take advantage of it.”