The Davidsonian

Administration Maintains Wildcat Weekend Fundraising Policy

Abby Brissett ’26 (she/her)

Davidson College’s Wildcat Weekend took over campus this past week, announced by the flurry of children, tailgates, and adoring parents. While many student organizations considered this the perfect opportunity for fundraising events, the college severely disagreed. Wildcat Weekend was full of performances, sports games, and special events; intentionally missing from the weekend was any and all fundraising events for student organizations. 

Davidson College’s strict policy forbidding student organizations from holding fundraising events on parents weekend caused a series of cancellations and rescheduling for multiple campus groups. The leaders of these organizations felt completely blindsided. Last year they had their most successful events during this weekend. 

Phi Gamma Delta(Fiji) held a fundraiser with their partner organization Continuing the Mission (a non-profit that provides free assistance dogs to veterans). Fiji senior, Atticus Hickman, said “Our ‘Slushies and Puppies’ event was a huge hit this time last year, we raised a record amount of money and helped socialize the training dogs.” He continued to express his disappointment when their Slushies and Puppies event this year was rescheduled: “we held it the Wednesday before Wildcat Weekend and attendance was much lower.”

Surprisingly, this policy has existed at Davidson for years. Director of Student Activities Mike Goode explained that “Davidson College frequently asks much of families in order for their children to be at Davidson. So when we invite them to campus, we want them to experience the campus that their child is experiencing and not have it be another opportunity for somebody to ask them for more money.” 

Many Davidson students felt frustration as the weekend was a great opportunity to showcase their organization’s hard work. Many parents wanted to see and support their children’s organizations. Others felt the college’s reasoning was silly as parents are constantly being asked to give money to the school. One angry student mentioned Doug Hick’s most recent email where he expressed his love of Davidson’s fall foliage followed by an announcement of a 5% increase in tuition. 

Students were left scrambling to reorganize their events, having to resort to scheduled events at uncommon or academically-inaccessible times, like Fiji’s Slushies and Puppies that ended up happening on a  Wednesday afternoon. While it is still unclear why fundraising was allowed last year and where this miscommunication happened, these mishaps bring up a larger issue about what has been lost during the pandemic. 

“We didn’t have a family weekend for one year and then last year it was just starting up again but not in the same way,” Goode said. “This is the first big Wildcat Weekend in a couple years. I think next year people are not going to go, ‘why can’t we fundraise?’”

Much of Davidson policy, tradition and events are organized through the passing down of information from upperclassmen. Due to the pandemic, policy is being reshaped. This gap creates a disconnect between students and faculty, as Atticus Hickman said. 

“We had no idea what was going on, and we were given very little detail about why this decision had been made, I wasn’t aware this was an ongoing policy,” he said. 

The root of this issue and many other issues that have arisen this year seems to stem from a lack of direct and clear communication between Davidson College and Davidson students. The fraternities and eating houses were not given more explicit information about this policy.

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