[Fresh] Interview with Maura McDaid, Assistant Director of Student Development

Kelly Donio (kelly.donio@villanova.edu)
Thu, 27 Jan 2005 12:12:41 -0500

Interview with Maura McDaid, Assistant Director of Student
Development

Fresh@News: Can you tell me a little bit about Little
Wildcat Weekend?
Mrs. McDaid: 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 28th through 30th.

Fresh@News: What types of events do you have planned?
Mrs. McDaid: Each year, there are a number of options for
children ages five to thirteen. This year we are very
excited about many of the events. On Friday evening, there
is a trip to the Build-A-Bear Workshop which younger
children usually enjoy. Also on Friday, we host a magic
show in the Italian Kitchen of Dougherty Hall. There is an
early evening screening of “The Lion King” for the smaller
children and a later evening showing of “Pirates of the
Caribbean” for older kids. On Saturday we’ve planned a
Character Breakfast and a carnival on campus. In addition,
we run several trips on Saturday such as: The Franklin
Institute, bowling and ice skating. 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?
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 them free
of charge such as the carnival and the scavenger hunt. 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?
Mrs. McDaid: The Little Wildcat Weekend program is designed
for children between the ages of 5-13. 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?
The students and their relatives generally love the
weekend. 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 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 little relatives without
having to plan much, because it’s taken care of for them.

Fresh@News: Where can I find the registration information?
Mrs. McDaid: You can go to the Campus Activities Team web
site at www.cat.villanova.edu and register or call the
Campus Activities Team office at 610.519.4211 or
610.519.7211.

Fresh@News: Are there any activities for the parents to do
during Little Wildcat Weekend?
Mrs. McDaid: 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 the Campus Activities Team. What are some of the
upcoming events for this semester?
Mrs. McDaid: 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
concert in February and our Ideas & Issues Committee is
producing a Health and Wellness Night with the Center for
Health and Wellness Education that will feature guest
speakers. Our Class Events committee has invited freshman
to see the 76ers in action on Feb. 2nd. Our Entertainment
committee is working on a comedy performance for April. In
addition, CAT does weekly films and special movie series.
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: CAT also runs a Best of Philly program. What
does that include?
Mrs. McDaid: The Best of Philly program is designed to
introduce freshman to the Philadelphia area. This program
is great for freshman students because they get into the
city for a change. The program offers four packages for
various student interests: sports, theater and a classic
Philadelphia tourist package. This spring semester the
series includes: a performance of Mamma Mia!, a journey to
the famous Constitution Center and a trip to a Phantoms
game. Most students purchased a package or two in the late
summer or early fall, but there are very limited seats left
for individual events this spring. For more information,
students can just sign up in the CAT office in 108 Dougherty
Hall.

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?
Mrs. McDaid: 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 students with
that complaint to the Office of Student Development so we
can point them in the right direction. In addition to the
web calendar, Student Development emails all students weekly
with a roster of events offered that week. We are also in
the fifth year of a program called “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 movies for free at
10pm and midnight on Friday and again at midnight on
Saturday.
All of our entertainment on campus is student focused. We
ask the students in surveys and focus groups what they want
to do. Then, 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
groups is open all year round and new faces are always
welcome.

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