Candidates Day welcomes prospective Wildcats

Jenny Dwoskin

If you are not a member of the Blue Key Society or the Ambassadors, chances are you’re pretty much out of the loop about the upcoming Candidates Weekend. You’ve seen flyers everywhere, broadcasting what appears to be two days of action-packed festivities – but, for whom, what candidates?

Back in the day (think all the way back to your senior year in high school), every present Villanovan found him or herself drowning in a sea of college acceptance letters. Parents were screeching, “Pick one!” while you were thinking “Um, how?” There are just too many schools, too many unique environments and students – just too many options. That’s why Villanova is hosting Candidates Weekend today and Saturday. It’s an opportunity for prospective Wildcats to get a real feel for what our university is all about. This way, the 1,600 students most suitable for a life here on the Main Line will be able to make the final decision.

“Last year I attended Candidates Weekend,” quotes freshman Human Services major Dana Cedrone said. “Although I’m a tour guide, I think that actually being on campus and interacting with present students gives you a better sense of what life is like here at Villanova.”

The festivities begin at 12:30 p.m. on Friday, and the objective of the entire weekend is to answer this question: what is it that distinguishes Villanova from other universities?

First off, the Candidates Weekend committees aims to explain what it means to be an Augustinian university. Because our patron saint appears in statue-form with his name etched into every building, we often take the Augustinian tradition of education and community service for granted.

Most high schools do not offer programs like Habitat for Humanity, Bigs and Littles, Special Olympics and the like, which is why a Service Activity Information Center will be presented in the Villanova Room. As a public high school alumnus, I can attest that I was both shocked and impressed by the involvement and commitment to community service activities.

Hospitality, however, is not the only characteristic which can be attributed to the University’s students. On Saturday, the rising freshmen will be introduced to the diversity of the Villanova student life.

Each of the four schools will present the objectives, departments, tracks and highlights of the particular field, whether it is the arts and sciences, commerce and finance, engineering or nursing. Meanwhile, the Connelly Center will transform into an open house with representatives exhibiting the different clubs and societies at the Student Activity Forum.

In Dougherty and Donahue Halls, be on the look out for sampling visitors. The candidates will have a chance to personally experience Pit and Spit cuisine as a little interlude to what their diets will consist of for the next four years.

Before Candidates Weekend concludes, visitors will have a chance to address any freshman angst during the “First-Timers” seminar in the Connelly Cinema. Current Villanova students and parents will answer any questions that the incomers may have wondered about including housing, financial aid, social life, meal plans, and so on.

Also, Blue Key and Ambassador members will be available for group tours and the Office of Residence Life and the Office of Financial Assistance will be open throughout the festivities.