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Happy Spring! (spring semester that is…)
Even as the temperatures remain low, the energy on campus is high as we prepare for the spring semester to begin. Fresh@News has interviewed Ms. Nikki Hornsberry, Assistant Director of Student Development for Programming, who will share with us information about the upcoming Little Wildcat Weekend and other programs planned for this semester.
Fresh@News: Can you tell me a little bit about Little Wildcat Weekend?
Ms. Hornsberry: Little Wildcat Weekend is an annual tradition at Villanova. It’s a chance for younger relatives (siblings, step-siblings, cousins, nieces and nephews) to come to Villanova and spend a special weekend with a Villanova Student and have fun on campus. This year, Little Wildcat Weekend will be held January 22nd thru 24th.
Fresh@News: What types of events do you have planned?
Ms. Hornsberry: Each year, there are a number of options for children of all ages. This year we are very excited about many of the events. Our theme this year is “Where the Wildcats Are”. On Friday evening, there is a trip ice skating which everyone usually enjoys. Also on Friday evening, we host a live entertainment show in the Belle Air Terrace of Connelly Center. There is also an evening screening of “a premiere Blockbuster movie.” On Saturday we’ve planned a Jungle Theme Breakfast and a Carnival on campus. In addition, we run a trip to Arden Theatre to watch the play Peter Pan. 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?
Ms. Hornsberry: 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 of them free of charge such as the carnival, films and entertainment show. 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?
Ms. Hornsberry: The Little Wildcat Weekend program is designed for children between the ages of 5-16. Each year we have approximately 250 relatives 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?
Ms. Hornsberry: The students and their relatives generally love the weekend because of the fun atmosphere provided. For the younger sibling, cousin, niece or nephew, 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 relative and at 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 relatives without having to plan much, because it’s taken care of for them.
Fresh@News: Where can I find the registration information?
Ms. Hornsberry: You can go to the Campus Activities Team Ticket site at www.villanovatix.com and register by Wednesday, January 20th or call the Campus Activities Team office at 610.519.4211.
Fresh@News: Are there any activities for the parents to do during Little Wildcat Weekend?
Ms. Hornsberry: The parents generally go home and enjoy a quiet weekend alone! It’s a nice break for both the parents and the younger relatives. The goal of the program is to give the younger kids a chance to spend a weekend with their older family members.
Fresh@News: Aside from Little Wildcat Weekend, you also coordinate and advise the Campus Activities Team. What are some of the upcoming events for this semester?
Ms. Hornsberry: Our student committees are working on a number of activities for this semester. They’re planning a series of Live Music performances on Wednesdays in the Belle Air Terrace where any student can showcase his or her talents. In addition, CAT’s musical events committee is planning a major concert in April. In January and February our Ideas & Issues Committee is producing a variety of featured guest speakers with Villanova’s One Book Program. In addition, CAT does weekly films and special movie series, comedians, game watch parties and specialty trips. Parents looking to see what’s available can check the CAT website or News & Events section on the Villanova website at www.villanova.edu.
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?
Ms. Hornsberry: 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 student with that complaint to the Office of Student Development so we can point them in the right direction. In addition to all of the events planned by organizations on campus, we also offer “Late Nite at Villanova” which is designed to guarantee a social outlet for students on weekends. “Late Nite” offers free programming in the Connelly Center every Friday evening from 10pm-2am. Late Night has lined up a number of programs for this semester such as: band performances, comedy sketches, video game competitions 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 Blockbuster early release movies for free at 9pm and 11pm on Friday and Saturday (times are subject to change).
All of our entertainment on campus is student-focused. We ask the students in surveys and focus groups what they want to do. Then, we help 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 student groups is open all year round and new faces are always welcome.
For more information about Little Wildcat Weekend or campus programming, please contact the Campus Activities Team Office at 610-519-4211.
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