The Davidsonian

Highlighting PCC Educational Aims and Service Impacts

Stella Mackler ’26 (she/hers)

Staff Writer

Patterson Court Council (PCC) organizations take up a majority of the social scene on Davidson’s campus, and from the outside, it may appear as though that is their only purpose. However, that is not the case. Georgia Morris ‘23 is the president of Turner Eating House. She thinks it’s important that students see beyond the surface of what it means to be a member of a PCC organization. “I know that a lot of people going into a PCC organization, and in my experience eating houses specifically, don’t fully understand
some of the educational and the service aspects of it,” Morris said. “I think people really only see the social aspect of it, which is great, but not the holistic experience and not everything hat you get out of it.”

Members of PCC organizations must complete service hours and attend educational events hosted by their organization or another one on campus. Education events must fall under one of four categories: health and safety, personal professional development, cross cultural diversity and sustainability. Service missions are determined by each organization. Turner is in the process of determining their service mission.

“This year, we did a house vote, and rather than just picking one community partner that we wanted to work with, we were putting out feelers for a few things that our members are passionate about,” Morris said. “The things that came out of that were mental health, reproductive justice, and working with the Davidson community garden. This semester, we’ve just been floating opportunities to our members that surround those three things.”

Completing the service requirement comes in many different forms. Connor Eating House runs the non-profit Bosom Buddies to raise money for breast cancer patients and spread awareness about early detection. “We raise almost $100,000 every year, which is sick, through a ton of different events,” Connor President Sophie Eldridge ‘23 said. “We have a 5k in the fall, and a couple
other smaller events. Then in the spring, we have a huge gala in the Lilly Gallery with a silent auction.”
Unlike the Eating Houses, the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority on campus is provided with service guidelines by the national branch of
the organization. The initiatives for 2022-2026 include “empowering our families, building our economic wealth, enhancing our environment, advocating for social justice and uplifting our local community.”

Alexia Baker ‘23 is the president of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority chapter at Davidson. She explained the many ways through which her sorority approaches their service. “One program we did that targeted empowering our families was we went to The Pines, a senior community and living center, and talked about technology, helped them with their computers and learning Microsoft,” Baker said. “It’s just like making sure that we were staying in touch with that community of people and that they don’t feel left out or disconnected from the younger generations that we have now. We also have gone to a couple of schools and we did one event with composting to get in touch with children and teach them things that can help the community.”

Baker touched on the importance of prioritizing service and engaging with the community. “Even though we do join these things to have fun and be a part of social activities, at least for us, the main reason that we come together and have sisterhood is to be of service to other people,” Baker said. “Partying is fun, and having social events is a great time. But the reward that you get out of giving back to the community, it’s a lot more than yourself.”

Ephi Light ‘25 is a member of the Phi Gamma Delta Fraternity (Fiji). Fiji’s community engagement partner is Continuing the Mission, a non profit organization that provides veterans with service dogs. Light’s experience with service on campus has reframed his perception of PCC. “I feel like the reputation [of PCC] is it’s a group of people who just like partying together, who like hanging out to do stupid stuff on the weekend,” Light said. “This is a chance to reframe what it means to be a PCC org around communal values, and to use our communal platform to really make a difference in the community, use our privilege to help other people around us.” Service activities don’t always have to be connected to an organization’s specific mission.

“For example last year, right around when the war in Ukraine started, I was sending these daily weather emails as my pledge task,” Light said. “They were all funny and whatever. Then on the last one, I started a fundraiser for Ukraine because I was gonna donate like, 25 bucks and then, I was like, you guys should also, everyone should donate. We ended up raising more than $300.”
Similar to service, the education (EDU)requirements are a defining factor of PCC organizations. Members must attend at least one of each category of EDU event every semester. These events are put on by the PCC organizations and other groups on campus.
Julie Moock ‘23 is the EDU chair for PCC and is working to highlight recent changes in the EDU criteria. “This was changed in spring of 2020, so not everyone knows this, that any campus event can count as your credit,” Moock said. “That was recently changed because as students, we are really busy. We have a lot of things that take up our time. If we’re already going to campus events, and we’re already learning, I think we should get credit for that.”

Eldridge highlighted some of Connor’s recent and upcoming events that fit into the different categories. “We have a sustainability talk and we’re getting a Connor career fair thing,” Eldridge said. “Those will just be in the house, but members can also go to a career center event, or for example the Judy Heumann talk counted as an EDU event.”

Turner often hosts their EDU events following a house meeting, so members are already gathered. “For personal professional development, we had an event with academic tutors, where they discussed different ways that you can be a successful student at Davidson, and also take care of yourself in that process,” Morris said. “For cross cultural engagement, we did an event with DCF (Davidson Community Fund), about wealth, redistribution and the work that they do with black trans femmes in Charlotte.”

Morris noted how EDU events encourage collaboration across campus organizations. “It’s always important that we’re learning
from each other, and also growing as a community,” Morris said. “I think that we all have a lot of things to share with one another.
With all of these events, generally you are learning from other student organizations on campus which is awesome.” While he agrees that some EDU events are important, Light questions the significance of some of the categories.

“The mental health stuff is really important,” Light said. “It’s something that we wouldn’t have spoken about before. The alcohol stuff is really important. Personal and professional development, it feels like maybe there is no reason to do that as a group.”

Moock emphasized the role EDU events as a whole play in creating a more well-rounded community. “Having EDU events is meant to make us better people,” Moock said. “I think there’s a lot of learning that we as a campus should do. These four categories that I mentioned before encompass a lot of really good areas for growth. If we have this big platform as PCC,and we reach so much of the student body, why not do some education along with that?”

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