Little Wildcats prowl campus in University tradition

Katherine Silkaitis

Once again, the City of Brotherly Love plays host to Villanova’s Siblings Weekend. Beginning today, many students will put away the books and become kids again as they welcome younger brothers and sisters to campus.

This tradition, planned by the Special Events committee of the Campus Activities Team, has been uniting Villanova’s family with students for over four decades.

“Siblings Weekend was created to bring more family closeness to campus,” junior and Special Events Coordinator, Kate McNamara said. “It gives siblings an opportunity for a fun weekend to share together and make memories. The siblings love the chance to be away from home for awhile and spend time with their big brother or sister.”

Several of this weekend’s events will be held on-campus. On Friday night, there will be a showing of “Lilo & Stitch” in the cinema and “Magic Time” in the Belle Air Terrace. Saturday will feature a scavenger hunt in the Villanova Room and a carnival in the Belle Aire Terrace. On Sunday, there will be a closing Mass at 11:30 a.m. in the St. Thomas of Villanova Church.

When selecting the various activities to offer around town, CAT decided to stay with the classics, while continuing with some new favorites. “Ice skating, bowling and roller skating are always popular,” McNamara said. “We also have a Build-A-Bear workshop and Disney on Ice this year. We tried them for the first time last year and they were popular.”

After registration, which is $15 per participant (including Villanova students), many of the events also require a small fee ranging from $3 to $20. One can sign up for any of the events through today, although all trips are reserved on a first-paid basis. The magic show, carnival, movie and scavenger hunt are open to everyone.

Although some find the student fee a bit surprising, many are simply looking forward to the fun that CAT has planned. “The whole point of the weekend is to spend quality time with your brother or sister,” junior Shannon Pedrani said. “You’re away from them for a large part of the year, and I’m sure most of them really look forward to visiting for a weekend. Having a good time together is all that really matters.”

Sophomore Margaret Dziadosz agrees that while the weekend could get pricey, it is only money. “It will be very expensive due to the $15 fees each of us has to pay, plus the fees for nearly all of the activities we can do through the school and on our own,” Dziadosz said. “But, we’ll finally get to spend time together and it will absolutely be worth it.”

Some students who do not have the opportunity to have siblings come to campus invite cousins, other relatives or family friends.

While the activities target children ages 5 to 13 there is no age limit on the weekend. Regardless of relation or age “the event has been successful because it incorporates the idea of family and fun into the campus life,” McNamara said. “The students here have a chance to be a kid again … and it [helps children] experience life on campus.”

As far as giving kids a glimpse of the college life, Dziadosz looks forward to taking her brothers Oscar and Adam, “around to see friends, letting them play video games with some of the guys, watch movies and do whatever else they want to!” she says. “It makes the kids feel very grown up to be away from their parents and sleeping over at their older sibling’s college.”

From ice skating at Penn’s Landing to building a teddy bear, memories will be made this weekend. Just remember, as hundreds of siblings begin to invade campus today, “Family Feud” is not part of the program!