It’s 7 a.m. Saturday morning. The freshmen residence halls are quiet and brimming with anticipation. Suddenly, the still morning is overrun by spirited chanting and the sound of abrupt pounding on doors. Self-Selection, one of the most highly anticipated events during the Davidson spring semester, has begun.
The event is a tradition in which the eating houses welcome their new members. It is an opportunity for the eating houses to not only reveal who their new members are, but also, to celebrate them. The day commenced with the reveal. Freshmen women waited in their dorm rooms, hoping that their favorite house would knock on their door. The sophomores in each eating house ran around all of the freshmen residence halls to fetch their new members, and subsequently return them to their new houses.
Excitement filled the air as the freshmen joined their new eating houses. The upperclassmen were ecstatic to receive their new members, and dance parties ensued. After the early morning festivities, all of the eating houses proceeded to Commons for breakfast. The dining hall was a vibrant sight, as everyone was in their respective house’s t-shirts. Freshmen women were thrilled to see where their friends ended up, and they enjoyed bonding with their new houses. That morning, Commons was filled with laughter and genuine happiness.
The houses continued to bond throughout the day. This year Self-Selection was moved to Saturday so that it would not coincide with the nationally-televised men’s basketball game against VCU Friday night. This necessitated a shift in tradition. In years past, the reveal happened early Friday morning, the run-through with the fraternities was that night, and the welcome dinner was on Saturday night. This year, the reveal and the run through happened on Saturday, and the welcome dinner has been pushed to the following weekend. These changes allowed the new members to have an entire day, uninterrupted by class schedules, to get to know their new houses.
After the houses spent the day getting to know their new members, the evening festivities followed. The freshmen women returned to their houses, dressed in the respective houses’ colors and themes. Warner Hall wore pink and green, Turner wore green, Connor wore camouflage, and Rusk wore button downs and boxers, an outfit from the film “Risky Business.” When all of the new members were gathered, the upperclassmen coated them in toppings, paint, or condiments, depending on the house. Then, all of the fraternities, who had just received their new members as well, ran through the eating houses. After the evening runaround, all of the freshmen ran back to their dorms to shower, and everyone later returned to Warner for a PCC court party.
This year there was also a shift in the eating house dynamic for a number of reasons. First of all, more freshmen women are joining eating houses than ever. This can be attributed to a number of reasons, but the self-selection committee this year had a lot to do with it. The self-selection chairs this year are as follows: for Warner Hall, Ann Keating ’18 and Perry Keatley ’18; Turner, Ava Pomerantz ’18 and Claire Kane ’18; Connor, Olivia Strader ’18 and Emma Granowsky ’18; Rusk, Aditi Ghatlia ’18 and Malia Dickson ‘18. These eight women worked tirelessly to create a welcoming and inclusive environment for the women who wanted to join an eating house.
“Our mission for this role was to show that all of the houses are so similar. We are friends with all of the other self-selection chairs,” Pomerantz said. “All of us really tried to stress that it doesn’t really matter what house you’re in and it doesn’t define your social experience here,” commented Keatley.
The attitudes of these eight friends made the self-selection process much more relaxed and enticing. The cohesiveness of the self-selection committee proved that the houses are indeed very diverse and therefore alleviated a lot of pressure and nerves. “People are finally realizing that being in an eating house doesn’t necessarily define you,” Granowsky said. “You get to hang out with great girls and do philanthropy and it won’t take over your life. I think the houses have grown and no one stereotype is true. The houses are very diverse.”