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A Western Tradition: Charity Week 2013

Charity Week is one of the most anticipated events of the fall semester, but if you are not on campus at the time, the list of crazy activities may seem a little unorthodox. What exactly does K.A.O.S, the Jail or Male Auction have to do with charity?

The junior class is in charge of organizing Charity Week each year. This year, Maggie Krewit and Chris Goldkamp are the co-chairs of the event. Co-chairs are nominated by past Charity Week leaders and elected by their classmates. Their job involves selecting the various charities to which the money goes and delegating tasks to other classmates.

They have selected three charities: Living Water International, The Least Among Us (an alumni-founded charity), and the Catholic Psychotherapy Association. Visit the UD website to learn more about each charity specifically.

"We picked these charities because they share the same values as the University of Dallas and we thought they would appeal to a large part of the UD community. Also, they seemed appropriate given the recent emphasis on social justice throughout the Catholic Church and at UD," said Krewit.

"The biggest responsibility involves raising as much money as possible for the charities," said Goldkamp, and this is where delegating various tasks comes in. Many members of the junior class are involved with organizing different events, from K.A.O.S (water gun wars to raise money) to the semi-formal dance. As most of the juniors have just completed their semesters in Rome, Charity Week is a great opportunity to reunite the fall and spring classes. Both co-chairs say that reconnecting with their whole class was one of the reasons they decided to accept their nominations. "It's been really enjoyable seeing both classes mesh back together," Goldkamp noted.

To help foster that unity, there is a theme to Charity Week every year. This year, it is "Wild West." From the jail to "Two Buck Two-Stepping," a western theme gives everyone an excuse to wear cowboy boots all week.

"We wanted to appeal to a majority of people," explained Goldkamp. "A lot of people come here because they like Texas...it is also a simple theme to incorporate into the activities."

"We decided on the Wild West theme because we thought it would be fun to remind UD students that they aren't just part of Western Tradition, but actually in the American West; we don't often emphasize the fact that we're in Texas," added Krewit.

This year's Charity Week is maintaining the tradition of having fun while raising money for charity, but will be making few changes. The semi-formal dance has been changed to "Two Buck Two-Stepping" to celebrate the theme as well as offering a type of dance that is very popular at UD. The senior class, which is in charge of making the jail, will also be working to make the make-shift prison more permanent in the hopes that it will last for more than one year.

While organizing Charity Week takes a lot of time and commitment, both Krewit and Goldkamp agree that all the effort is worthwhile to raise money for those in need as well as build and foster campus community.

"This year we're focusing a lot on publicity," said Krewit. "Hopefully everyone will know what is going on during the week and get involved."

-Alexa Turczynski '15

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