[Fresh] Sibling Weekend Interview

Kelly Eastland (kelly.eastland@villanova.edu)
Wed, 15 Jan 2003 12:34:39 -0500

Interview with Maura McDaid, Assistant Director of Student Development

Fresh@News: Can you tell me a little bit about Sibling Weekend?
Mrs. McDaid: Sibling Weekend is an annual tradition at Villanova. It’s a chance for younger
siblings to come to Villanova and spend a special weekend with their brother and sister and
have fun on campus. This year, Sibling Weekend will be held January 31st thru February 2nd.

Fresh@News: What types of events do you have planned?
Mrs. McDaid: Each year, there are a number of options for siblings of all ages. This year
we are very excited about many of the events. On Friday evening, there is a roller-skating
party which older siblings usually enjoy. Also on Friday, we host a magic show and a
screening of “Lilo and Stitch” for the smaller children. On Saturday we’ve planned a
scavenger hunt and a carnival on campus. In addition, we run several trips on Saturday such
as: Disney on Ice, The Franklin Institute, bowling, ice skating and the build-a-bear
workshop. The weekend ends with a mass on Sunday morning. So as you can see, there are a
variety of things to do throughout the weekend.

Fresh@News: Is there a cost for the events?
Yes, there is a small registration fee for the weekend, which includes a t-shirt and a few
mementos of the weekend. As far as the events, we’ve tried to make a number them free of
charge such as the carnival and the scavenger hunt. The other events are optional and they
range in cost. It really depends on which events the family decides to attend.

Fresh@News: How many siblings do you have each year?
Mrs. McDaid: The Sibling Weekend program is designed for children between the ages of
5-13. Each year we have approximately 250 siblings and 200 undergraduate students that
participate in the program. Most arrive on Friday, but a few trickle in on Saturday
morning.

Fresh@News: What do the siblings like best about the weekend?
The students and their siblings generally love the weekend. For the younger brother or
sister, it’s a really great chance to spend some special time on campus. The events are so
much fun and they have made a special memory with their older sibling and Villanova. The
children also love to get a taste of college life – eating at the dining halls and staying
in the residence halls. They really find it exciting! The students themselves enjoy
spending quality time with their brothers and sisters without having to plan much, because
it’s taken care of for them.

Fresh@News: Where can I find the registration information?
Mrs. McDaid: You can go to the Parents’ web site at www.parents.villanova.edu and download
the brochure or call the Campus Activities Team office at 610.519.4211 or 610.519.7211.

Fresh@News: Are there any activities for the parents to do during Sibling Weekend?
Mrs. McDaid: The parents generally go home and enjoy a quiet weekend alone! It’s a nice
break for both the parents and the younger siblings. The goal of the program is to give the
younger siblings a chance to spend a weekend with their brothers and sisters.

Fresh@News: Aside from Sibling Weekend, you also coordinate the Campus Activities Team.
What are some of the upcoming events for this semester?
Mrs. McDaid: Our student committees are working on a number of activities for this
semester. They’re planning a series of Open Mic Nites on Tuesdays in the Good Counsel
Coffeehouse where any student can showcase his or her talents. In addition, CAT’s musical
events committee is planning a concert in February and our Ideas & Issues Committee is
producing a Career School program co-sponsored with Career Services that will feature
Villanova alumni guest speakers. Parents looking to see what’s available can check the
Student Activities Calendar on the Villanova website at www.villanova.edu.

Fresh@News: CAT also runs a Best of Philly program. What does that include?
Mrs. McDaid: The Best of Philly program is designed to introduce freshman to the
Philadelphia area. This program is great for freshman students because they get into the
city for a change. The program offers four packages for various student interests: sports,
theater, restaurant and a classic Philadelphia tourist package. This spring semester the
series includes: a performance of 42nd Street, a journey to the famous Philadelphia Art
Museum and its visiting Degas exhibition, an authentic taste of Dim sum in Chinatown and a
trip to a 76ers game. Most students purchased a package or two in the late summer or early
fall, but there are very limited seats left for individual events this spring. For more
information, students can just sign up in the CAT office in 108 Dougherty Hall.

Fresh@News: It seems like you have a lot planned, but I still hear students saying that
there is nothing to do on campus. Do you have any suggestions for parents?
Mrs. McDaid: There are lots of things to do on campus every weekend. The real problem is
that students are either unaware of the events or the programs don’t appeal to them. My
suggestion to parents would be to refer any students with that complaint to the Office of
Student Development so we can point them in the right direction. In addition to our web
calendar, the Director of Student Development emails all students weekly with a roster of
events offered that week. In addition to all of the events planned by organizations on
campus, we are in the third year of a program called “Late Nite at Villanova” which is
designed to guarantee a social outlet for students on weekends. “Late Nite” which offers
free programming in the Connelly Center every Friday and Saturday evening from 10pm-2am.
Late Night has lined up a number of programs for this semester such as: band performances,
game shows, contests and DJ dance parties. Different student groups sponsor each weekend
night so there are events for all tastes. To add to the fun, CAT shows its movies for free
at 10pm and midnight.
All of our entertainment on campus is student focused. We ask the students in surveys and
focus groups what they want to do. Then, students design the events for their classmates.
As a parent, the best advice to give a student who has tried some of the activities but
can’t seem to find their niche would be to suggest they get involved with the planning of
events. Membership in CAT and most of our groups is open all year round and new faces are
always welcome.

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