Oct 01, 2023  

Campus Life

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The “Davidson Experience” is not confined to the classroom. The college offers students a broad environment in which to develop socially, physically, intellectually, and spiritually.


The Honor Code and the Code of Responsibility


As students and alumni proudly attest, the honor system at Davidson is the touchstone of the college life, creating an atmosphere of trust in the college community. In addition to faculty and administration support, the students believe in this system, defend it, and shoulder the responsibility for its implementation. Evidences that the system actually works are the open stacks and unguarded doors of the library, the absence of proctors during tests, the self-scheduled final examinations, and the sense that a person’s word is his or her bond.

The Honor Code is very simply stated:

“Every student shall be honor bound to refrain from cheating (including plagiarism). Every student shall be honor bound to refrain from stealing. Every student shall be honor bound from lying about official college business. Every student shall be honor bound to report immediately all violations of the Honor System which come under his or her observation; failure to do so shall be a violation of the Honor System. Every student found guilty of a violation shall ordinarily be dismissed from the college for a period.”

Entering students sign a pledge that they will live under the system which includes the condition that they will report an observed violation. A student who does lie, cheat or steal is tried under the Code of Disciplinary Procedures. Students who admit guilt or who are found guilty by the Honor Council may be suspended from the college.

The Code of Responsibility is the basis of daily life at Davidson and attempts to foster an atmosphere of good conduct by emphasizing “the responsible use of freedom, as opposed to license.” Students who violate the rights of others are subject to sanctions as applied under the Code of Disciplinary Procedures.

The college community believes that these two codes, the Honor Code and the Code of Responsibility are an integral part of the educational experience, helping students to develop an honorable, responsible lifestyle. The codes produce an atmosphere of trust and freedom rarely found among American colleges. They form the cornerstone of this community.


Residence Life


As a four-year residential college community, Davidson houses approximately 95 percent of its student body. Students grow emotionally, spiritually, and intellectually in residence hall settings. Daily interaction of students within the residence halls has helped to build campus traditions unique to Davidson.

The Residence Life staff assigns first-year roommates and rooms with special attention to the learning and leadership styles of each student, as well as family and educational background. All first-year students are required to live on a first-year hall with about thirty classmates for the entire year. Single rooms are not available to first-year students. Two upper-class hall counselors live on each first-year hall and work closely with residents easing their transition into campus life. This is an exciting and challenging period for students, highlighted by hall rivalries, social activities, intramural sports, and community service projects. During this time, first-year students learn the difficulties and rewards of communal living and develop a sensitive appreciation of people with different backgrounds and needs. Close friendships which are established during this year regularly continue throughout a student’s Davidson years.

Each spring upper-class students participate in a lottery process to select rooms from among eleven traditional residence halls (some with suites) and six apartment-style residence halls. Most students participate in the lottery in pairs, as most rooms are designed for double occupancy. There are a limited number of single rooms from which to choose. All residence halls are equipped with lounges, some have kitchen facilities, and all are air conditioned. Each apartment contains a living room, kitchen, and four or five single bedrooms. The college provides each student with a bed, mattress, desk, desk chair, chest, and space for hanging clothes. All students share with the college the responsibility to maintain a clean, safe, and enjoyable living environment in the residence halls. A resident advisor is assigned to each upper-class floor or building to promote cooperation and accountability on each hall. Additionally, a courtesy policy protects a student’s right to sleep or study at any hour.

Because the college is able to accommodate such a large percentage of its student body in the residence halls, most students are required to live on campus all four years. Upper-class students may live off campus only with the permission of the Residence Life Office; however, fluctuating demand for housing from year to year means that the college cannot guarantee on-campus housing to every student desiring it. In the event students cannot be accommodated, there are apartments and houses for rent in the Davidson community. The Residence Life Office maintains a current listing of off-campus properties for students.

Although Davidson College strives to provide safe and secure residence halls, the college cannot accept responsibility for the loss, damage, or theft of personal property. Students wishing to protect themselves from such loss should cover their belongings with appropriate insurance.

Dining Services

The college operates three dining facilities on campus during the academic year-Vail Commons, the Union Café in the Alvarez Student Union, and the Wildcat Den in Baker Sports Complex.

Vail Commons offers 19 meals a week. It is an “all you can eat” facility during meal serving periods. The Commons provides a wide range of offerings including multiple entrées at each meal, vegetarian entrée options, a variety of breakfast cereals, pizza made to order, a sandwich bar, a large salad bar, and a choice of desserts, many made from scratch in our bakery. Soft serve ice cream and yogurt are available daily as well. Beverages include soft drinks, fruit juices, milk, coffee, and tea.

The Union Café located in the Alvarez Campus Center has deli, grill, and pizza counters, as well as an array of daily specials. Convenience foods and snack items are also available.

The Wildcat Den is located on the lower level of Baker Sports Complex. The Den operates as a lunch counter only, providing sandwiches, chips, beverages, and a candy selection. A sandwich special is available during the lunch period five days a week.

First-year students are required to participate in a full meal plan for the entire year. Upper-class students may select from a variety of meal plans. Each meal plan includes Bonus Bucks that students may use at any dining location as well as in vending machines located throughout campus. Unused Bonus Bucks do not carry over to later semesters. Students may use meal plans at the Café and/or the Wildcat Den on a limited basis and charge up to a pre-set amount for an “equivalent” meal at these locations at designated times of the day.

A registered dietitian is on the Dining Services staff and maintains an office in Vail Commons. The dietitian is available to all students for nutritional counseling.

Dining Services also operates a catering program for college activities and community events. Many students are employed by the catering department throughout the year. No prior experience is necessary.


The college operates a central laundry facility where students may drop off laundry and pick it up clean, folded, wrapped, or in the case of dress shirts, pressed and placed on hangers. This service is included in the tuition and fees which all students are required to pay. Large items like blankets, quilts, and sleeping bags can also be laundered for an additional charge. The laundry facility, located behind Cannon and Sentelle Residence Halls, is open five and one-half days a week. Dry cleaning and alteration services are also available for an additional charge payable by cash or against the declining balance account on the CatCard. During the summer prior to the first year, each student receives a laundry number to place in each piece of clothing and on the student’s laundry bag. This number is retained throughout the student’s career at Davidson. At the opening of school, the laundry provides residential students with bed linens which may be exchanged for clean linens as necessary during the year.

Patterson Court

The Patterson Court system provides an outlet for leadership, social, service, athletic, and community-based interaction in a small-group setting. About 58 percent of Davidson women and 36 percent of Davidson men participate in one of the twelve organizations that make up Patterson Court Council: seven fraternities (Alpha Phi Alpha, Kappa Alpha, Phi Delta Theta, Phi Gamma Delta, Pi Kappa Alpha, Sigma Alpha Epsilon, and Sigma Phi Epsilon); and four women’s eating houses (Connor, Rusk, Turner, and Warner Hall). Alpha Phi Alpha does not have housing while the remaining organizations rent facilities from the college around the area designated as Patterson Court. All organizations situated on Patterson Court provide meal plan options for upper-class members.

Every first-year student in good academic standing is invited to participate in the membership process known as court selection. In January, first-year students (and interested, unaffiliated upper-class students) may complete a membership form on which they indicate an interest in joining one of the eleven single-gender organizations. Students may join any organization. Any male student may join a fraternity on Patterson Court for eating, social, and service activities. However, in order to be initiated into the national organization as a full member, male students must have been extended a bid for membership. Any female wishing to join an eating house may participate in the Court Selection process in January.

Participation in Patterson Court events is open to those students who have an investment in the risk management obligations of the organizations as demonstrated by the Patterson Court sticker on the student ID. Stickers may be obtained by independents each semester for a nominal fee. System-wide activities, policies, and initiatives are coordinated by the Patterson Court Council. The organizations are accountable for their individual and collective actions to the Patterson Court Judicial Board. Members of Patterson Court organizations who excel in leadership, scholarship, and community involvement are recognized by the Order of Omega National Honor Society.




The Katherine and Tom Belk Visual Arts Center houses two galleries, the William H. Van Every, Jr. Gallery and the Edward M. Smith Gallery. Throughout the year the galleries feature both one-person and group exhibitions that explore a wide range of media and cultural issues. The work of internationally renowned, nationally recognized, emerging, and regional artists is presented in a series of exhibitions that focuses on contemporary art and ideas. Selections from the Davidson College Art Collection of over 2,700 prints, drawings, photographs, paintings, and sculpture that range from old masters to modern and contemporary artists also are exhibited regularly. There is an annual group exhibition featuring student work in the spring and an exhibition of the studio art faculty held traditionally in the fall.

In keeping with the educational mission of Davidson College and the galleries, a series of related programs accompanies the yearly exhibitions and includes individual speakers, panels, or forums. These are comprised of artists, art historians, critical thinkers, and experts in various disciplines who bring unique perspectives to the understanding and appreciation of each exhibition. The programs are usually held in the Visual Art Center ‘s Semans Auditorium, followed by a reception for the artist or speaker in the atrium.

Every spring senior studio art majors present solo exhibitions in the Smith Gallery. Throughout the year students are encouraged to interact on an informal, elective basis with the professional artists working on gallery installations and to seek the input of visiting artists and critics available for individual critiques. In addition, visiting art historians give free public lectures and special seminars singularly designed for art majors. The visits by these artists and art historians are co-sponsored with the Friends of the Arts at Davidson.





The Music Department offers many performance opportunities through various ensembles, some of which tour. Vocal opportunities include the Chorale, the Concert Choir, and the Opera Workshop. Instrumentalists may join the Symphony Orchestra, Wind Ensemble, Jazz Ensemble, Flute Choir, and African Drumming Ensemble. Chamber Music opportunities involve various student ensembles coached by instructors. Private study in voice and a diverse array instruments is available. For additional information, contact the Music Department.

Campus musical events include the Concert Series; Adams Foundation Piano Series; Classical Indian Music Series; Musical Interludes; recitals by visiting artists, faculty, vocal and instrumental ensembles, and students; and lectures by visiting musical scholars. In nearby Charlotte, concerts are offered by the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra, Opera Carolina, the Oratorio Singers and various other musical organizations.

Students especially gifted in music performance are encouraged to apply for scholarships provided through the Zachary F. Long, Jr., Vail Family, and James C. Harper Endowments.




Through its curriculum and production program, the Theatre Department seeks to develop an appreciation and understanding of the theatrical arts for the newcomer and to offer in-depth training for experienced students. The department’s program provides many opportunities for student involvement in its production season. Typically, four full-length plays and numerous one-acts are presented annually. Roles are cast by open audition and students are encouraged to try out regardless of experience level.

Theatre Department main stage productions (one each semester) are performed in the Duke Family Performance Hall, a 600+ seat proscenium theatre in the Knobloch Campus Center. Other performance spaces, located in Cunningham Fine Arts Building, are Hodson Hall and a smaller black box facility. Studio productions, student plays, and performance projects are presented in these spaces year-round.

Full-length plays are directed by theatre faculty, guest directors, or advanced theatre students. One-acts are directed by students. Other student performance projects are encouraged and supported by the department. Guest artists, including playwrights, directors, actors, and designers, work with students on a regular basis.

There is ample opportunity to see quality theatre in the area aside from department productions. Davidson’s Artist Series regularly brings touring plays into the Duke Family Performance Hall. Many resident companies and university programs produce quality work in the Charlotte area. The department keeps a list of current offerings on file for those interested.



Athletics and Physical Education


Davidson College is an excellent liberal arts college with a unique tradition of intercollegiate athletic competition. The college considers physical education, recreational sports, and intercollegiate athletics an integral part of every student’s educational experience. Davidson supports a competitive athletics program with equal opportunity for participation of men and women. Davidson fields eleven men’s and ten women’s intercollegiate teams at the NCAA Division I level. Both men and women play varsity basketball, tennis, and soccer; run indoor/outdoor track and cross country; and participate in swimming and diving. Men’s sports include wrestling, golf, football, and baseball. Women’s teams include field hockey, lacrosse, and volleyball. The college strives to provide keen competition at a realistic level for every sport and offers a limited number of athletic scholarships in both men’s and women’s sports.

Davidson students aspire to excellence in athletics, as in academics. The college seeks to maximize opportunities for student participation as athletes and spectators in a variety of sports. A remarkable 85 percent of students participate in the intramural sports program. One-day intramural events are planned throughout the year. Residence halls, fraternities, eating houses, faculty, and staff field teams in six sports including flickerball, three-on-three and five-on-five basketball, softball, small-field soccer, and volleyball. Seventeen club sports pit Davidson teams against club teams of other colleges. Students are responsible for organizing, regulating, and scheduling activities for these club teams. Clubs include women’s lacrosse and volleyball; men’s rugby and weight lifting; and open clubs for men and women in sailing, fencing, water skiing, crew, canoeing, ultimate frisbee, field hockey, tennis, and soccer.

Davidson’s physical education program is based upon the belief that physical activity is important to a person’s overall development. Mandatory in the first two years, the program emphasizes the carry-over value of sports as a lifetime endeavor. The more than 50 courses offered in the physical education curriculum range from aerobics and archery to racquetball and scuba. For additional information see Physical Education in the Courses section.

Davidson athletic and physical education facilities are outstanding. The Baker Sports Complex includes the Ben T. Craig Plaza, the Newell Entrance Court, and the Nisbet Lobby. In the lobby are two racquetball courts, a squash court, a Nautilus center, and the Hall of Fame Room.

The centerpiece of the facility is the John M. Belk Arena, featuring a main varsity court with a hardwood floor. For athletic events, the Belk Arena seats nearly 6,000. When the bleacher seating is retracted, two additional hardwood basketball courts and two volleyball courts are available.

The Charles A. Cannon Pool is an eight-lane pool with a stainless steel movable bulkhead to accommodate competition in both yards and meters. The separate diving well features both one and three-meter boards. The facility includes a balcony for spectator seating.

The Louis and Carl Knobloch Indoor Tennis Center features a durable acrylic-based hard-court surface covering four courts. They are lit with indirect lighting and have movable screens between them. The center also has locker rooms, offices, and a conference room.

The Finley Physical Education Center incorporates a weight room with both Nautilus and free weights, a state of the art athletic medical facility, a wrestling room, and a dance studio. The center also has locker rooms for student/faculty/staff use and for sports teams, one additional racquetball court, a classroom, and office space.



Religious and Spiritual Life


Related to the Presbyterian Church, Davidson values the life of the spirit and fosters openness to and respect for the world’s various religious traditions.

Worship opportunities on campus include Catholic Mass, Episcopal Eucharist and a Friends (Quaker) meeting (all on Sundays), several ecumenical Christian services led by students and the chaplaincy staff throughout the week, and a monthly Shabbat service.

Student-led religious organizations provide opportunities for fellowship, faith-based community service, scripture study and the celebration of holy days in their respective traditions. Among these groups are: Canterbury Episcopal Fellowship, Catholic Campus Ministry, Hillel (Jewish), Methodist College Fellowship, Muslim Students Association, Orthodox Christian Fellowship, Reformed University Fellowship (PCA), and Westminster Fellowship (PCUSA). Non-denominational Christian organizations include Campus Outreach, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship and Young Life. Our Interfaith Fellowship also draws together Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jewish and Muslim students, as well as students of no specific tradition who are spiritual seekers for conversations, retreats and visits to houses of worship in many traditions.

Davidson’s chaplaincy staff includes Presbyterian clergy, a Catholic lay minister, and a Rabbi. Our chaplains offer pastoral care and counseling to all members of the college community and coordinate activities including on-campus worship, international mission/study trips, programs integrating service and social justice, and interfaith dialogue.



Vocational Exploration


Though it has a complex and intimidating name, the Lilly Programs have a relatively simple purpose—to assist the whole college community to embrace the “big questions” about identity, purpose, faith, and vocation. Embracing these questions is fundamental to a liberal arts education. Moreover, despite the great diversity within human life and society, every person and every community must come to terms with these fundamental issues. Therefore, through opportunities for personal introspection and community dialogue, the Lilly Programs creates space for people to explore who they are, why they are, what they believe, and how they are called to contribute to a life shared in common. Celebrating differences, acknowledging commonalities, and wrestling with the “big questions” is the mission of the Lilly Programs for the Theological Exploration of Vocation, which is served through a variety of programs and initiatives.

Vocational Vertigo: A Sophomore Experience—The sophomore year is full of critical choices, questions, and life changes. It’s a year of searching for direction, purpose and balance. To support and challenge sophomores, this year-long program, that starts with a retreat at the beginning of sophomore year, helps students deepen their sense of identity, purpose, faith, and vocation.

Care Internships—Each summer six students are awarded eight-week Care Internships. They live on campus, intern in the local area, and meet regularly to explore the big questions of identity, purpose, faith, and vocation.

Profs on God—On a monthly basis, students are invited to participate in a dialogue led by a faculty or staff person, which explores the big questions of identity, purpose, faith, and vocation. The hallmarks of the program are diversity and dialogue.

Lilly Lectures—Each year, several lectures and other community events are offered that draw attention to and help the college community explore the big questions of identity, purpose, faith, and vocation.

Ministry Fellowships—Each year, up to ten juniors, who are identified as having gifts for ministry, are given the opportunity to explore it as a vocation through an eight-week summer internship in a congregational setting and a communal discernment process throughout their senior year.

Academic Enrichment—The bi-annual Lester B. Coltraine III Visiting Professorship and funds for the development and support of courses related to faith, values, and vocation enrich the academic as well as the extra-curricular environment.

Alumni Summer Seminar—Bi-annually a three-day, summer seminar is offered to alumni interested in embracing, once again, the big questions of identity, purpose, faith, and vocation.



Social Life


Social life at Davidson takes its cue from the setting: activities are often the result of small-group interests—sailing at the lake campus, entertainment in the Campus Center, going to Charlotte for dinner and other entertainment, bowling in Huntersville, or skiing at Beech Mountain. In addition there are many campus-wide activities which involve large numbers of students as well as other members of the college community. These events are often sponsored by the College Union Board, the Patterson Court Council, the Residence Life Office, and other student organizations. Student groups work cooperatively to sponsor campus events. Spring Frolics, ‘Aftermidnight,’ The Red and Black Ball, Homecoming, major concerts, and the Campus Christmas Party are a few of the major events. Social activities are planned and produced by students.



The Knobloch Campus Center


The Knobloch Campus Center is the center of college community life. The Center combines the Alvarez College Union and the Duke Family Performance Hall. Knobloch is the gathering place for students, faculty, staff, and visitors. It provides opportunities for involvement in formal and informal activities.

Special features abound, including the Café in a three-story atrium with skylight, a 600-seat state-of-the-art performance hall, a fitness center, climbing wall, outdoor center, information desk, post office, copy center, meeting rooms, bookstore, student organization offices, and offices for the Chaplain, Career Services, Student Activities, and Community Services. Outdoor features include an amphitheater on the west side of the building and a terrace overlooking the football field to the south.

A planned program of social and co-curricular activities is initiated by the College Union Board and provided in collaboration with a host of other student organizations and departments. Student committees are responsible for presenting films, speakers, dancers, artists, poets, and musicians of all types. Recent performers include the Black Eyed Peas, Bill Cosby, Ben Folds, Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds, John Mayer, Bob Dylan, Ludacris, OAR, the Roots, and the Indigo Girls. Recent Public Lecture Committee and College Union Speakers Committee guest speakers include Fareed Zakaria, Paul Krugman, Sister Helen Prejan, Derek Walcott, Zadie Smith Ron Suskind and Marian Wright Edelman.

Students, assisted by faculty and staff, are responsible for the Artists Series which has recently presented the Poncho Sanchez Latin Jazz Band, Chicago City Limits, Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, Cirque Le Masque, the Second City Touring Company, Fuygako Taiko Drums, Hubbard Street II, Omar Sosa, and Ladysmith Black Mambazo.

The Davidson Outdoors Center invites students to get away from campus on weekend trips for canoeing, rock climbing, camping, hiking, and skiing. Two professional staff members work with a group of twenty student trip leaders to provide outdoor activities. Major trips have taken students canoeing in the Everglades and on the Rio Grande, sailing off the Gulf Coast of Florida, hang gliding at the Outer Banks, sea kayaking off the Georgia Coast, and whitewater rafting on the New and Gauley rivers in West Virginia.

Through its programs, facilities, and services, the Campus Center is the heartbeat of the college and the focal point for out-of-class activity.



Student Government


As stated in the by-laws of the Student Government Association (SGA), the purpose of the student government is “to share with the Board of Trustees, the Faculty, and the Administration the responsibility for developing and maintaining Davidson as a superior academic community.”

Based on one of the earlier student government constitutions (1910), Davidson students govern themselves through the senate, headed by the president and vice president of SGA, and the many committees of the SGA. The student senate is made up of three representatives from each class, representatives from each Patterson Court House, and independent representatives. Officers and senators are elected by student vote.

Although activity is centered in the senate, active participation in student government is not restricted to elected officials. Students from all classes serve on numerous committees of the senate and fill student positions on faculty and trustee committees.



Leadership Development


Leadership Development—The Chidsey Leadership Development Office is Davidson College’s clearinghouse for leadership development programs, resources and opportunities. The mission is to cultivate opportunities for Davidson students to build on their existing strengths and abilities so that they may be effective leaders in any group or setting.

Chidsey Leadership Fellows—Up to 20 first-year students are selected to be Chidsey Leadership Fellows each year. This program provides a 4year comprehensive leadership experience in which Fellows develop self awareness, knowledge of leadership theories and contexts, leadership capabilities and connections with others. The program includes seminars, retreats, mentoring, coursework and visiting lectures with significant leaders. Fellows learn how to use their unique strengths and values to become leaders who are able to inspire a group of people to powerfully and effectively accomplish a common purpose.

Leadership Davidson—Designed to improve students’ overall leadership skills and enable them to use these skills beyond Davidson, Leadership Davidson provides a year-long opportunity for participants to identify, acquire, and hone the skills necessary to lead effectively. Through experiential learning-learning by doing-students build skills in communication, listening, motivation, value clarification, self-awareness, and critical thinking. Based on their expressed interests, students are matched one-to-one with local and Charlotte area professional business and community leaders in mentoring relationships.

Leadership Development Interns—Interns provide a critical link between the Davidson student body and the Chidsey Leadership Development Office. The interns are chosen to represent different perspectives in the Davidson community. Interns identify leadership development needs of student organizations, work with the Chidsey Leadership Development staff to develop programming to address these needs, deliver programming directly to students, and help to build awareness of leadership development opportunities.

Annual Leadership Retreat—Each year immediately following Spring exams, up to 40 students have an opportunity to participate in a 3-day, 2-night leadership retreat. During this retreat leadership development topics are explored that are relevant to a broad cross-section of the student body are explored. Recent themes have included “Leadership for Social Change” and “Building a Balanced Life of Leadership.” The retreat is planned by a committee of students, staff, and faculty.

Chidsey Leadership Lecture Series—Once each semester the Chidsey Leadership Lecture series features Davidson alumni and other inspiring leaders who have made exceptional contributions to their communities. Speakers are invited to gave a lecture, dine with students beforehand, and meet with students during the day in a class, workshop and/or informal setting. Recent speakers have included former Davidson College President, Bobby Vagt (‘69) and CEO of Burger King, John Chidsey (‘83).

Leadership Library—Located in Jackson Court # 8, the leadership library consists of books, journals, videos, and a collection of group development activities. Students can access online resources or have small group meetings in the leadership lounge. Staff is available to consult with student leaders by appointment.



Special Interest Groups


New groups are founded each year through the Student Government Association and the College Union to meet student interests and concerns. Students may join existing groups in the following areas: academic specialty clubs and honoraries, club sports, political action groups, religious groups, international clubs, social service groups, hobby clubs, and performing arts organizations. Students may also establish new groups according to their interests.



Minority Student Programs and Services


On the Davidson College campus, several programs and services are available specifically to assist students from minority groups:

Asian Cultural Awareness Association—A student-led organization for all members of the Davidson community interested in the Asian American culture. A variety of social and cultural activities are sponsored throughout the year.

Black Student Coalition—The BSC is a student run organization designed to establish and maintain a spirit of solidarity among African American students. In addition, its purpose is to create a sense of awareness within the Davidson College community regarding the contributions of African Americans, to provide an outlet for the social and cultural needs of African American students, and to support the African American citizens of the town of Davidson in overcoming any problems that they may face. All Davidson College students are eligible to be members of the BSC.

Counselor for Minority OutreachOne of the counselors at the Student Counseling Center is designated in this manner. As such, the CMO has a special responsibility to address the community needs and resources for minority students, who include ethnic/racial minorities, international students, and those first in family to attend college. This responsibility includes performing needs assessment on campus, coordinating Counseling Center services and programming with that of others on campus working with minorities, planning and providing or supporting minority-oriented programming, and supporting minority students in expressing their needs to faculty and administration.

Davidson Africa Students Association—DASA is a student led organization designed to promote African Awareness and culture. Open to all members of the community, DASA sponsors many cultural and social programs throughout the year.

Exchange Programs—Davidson College has cooperative arrangements with Howard University and Morehouse College which provide students opportunities for study at campuses with significant African American student, faculty, and staff populations. Study may be arranged for a year or a semester.

Gay-Straight Alliance—The GSA is the main organization at Davidson with the fundamental aim of enhancing the College’s understanding and acceptance of issues related to sexuality. A long-time fixture on Davidson’s campus, the GSA represents those members of the College community who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (GLBTQ) as well as straight allies. Membership in GSA includes students, faculty and staff.

Dr. Martin L. King, Jr./Black History Month Cultural Arts Series—During the months of January and February, an assortment of activities commemorating the history and accomplishments of African Americans are held on campus. Typical activities include a gospel songfest, speeches from political leaders, lectures by historians, art exhibits, films, and literary performances.

Organization of Latin American Students—OLAS is a student-led organization for all members of the Davidson Community interested in the Latin American culture. A variety of social and cultural events are sponsored throughout the year.

Students Together Reaching for Individual Development in Education—S.T.R.I.D.E. is a support program for first-year, ethnic minority students to assist with their adjustment to Davidson College. A series of designed experiences offer academic, cultural, and social support, as well as vital information to aid students in understanding and working effectively within the college community.



Community Service


Davidson College’s commitment to service is clear in its statement of purpose: “The primary purpose of Davidson College is to assist students in developing humane instincts and disciplined and creative minds for lives of leadership and service.” While service and community involvement are principles practiced across campus, the Community Service Office serves as the hub for service efforts on campus. Through its programs, events, and resources, the office works with students, faculty, staff and community members to promote learning through service and engagement with the community.

Bonner Scholarship Program—The Bonner Scholars Program offers 20 four-year, developmental, field-based community service scholarships each year as an alternative to Federal Work-Study placements. The program’s mission is to provide opportunities for students with financial need to use their talents in the surrounding community. The Bonner Scholarships integrate individual initiative and leadership with intellectual, spiritual, and emotional growth.

Community-based Learning—The increasing need for volunteers in the surrounding community invites student participation at many levels. Students often engage in community service work inside and outside the classroom. Students may enroll in courses which include a community service component; courses of this kind exist in political science, foreign language, biology, economics, English, and psychology. In addition, students may pursue independent study work addressing community concerns.

Freedom Schools”—The Children’s Defense Fund describes its Freedom Schools program as “an educational and cultural enrichment program that provides summer options for children where there are none and strengthens parent and community involvement with the year-round achievement of children.” Freedom Schools at Davidson College serves a limited number of children in primary and secondary grades. The program integrates reading, conflict resolution and social action in an activity-based curriculum that promotes social, cultural and historical awareness. Davidson College students primarily serve as servant leader interns or the program at two community sites.

Leaders in Service—Organizing around service provides students with an incredible opportunity to assume leadership roles. Many opportunities exist both on and off campus for students to take on such positions. The following are several student-led initiatives and organizations that focus on service and social change:

Engage for Change is a student-led, campus-wide initiative designed to unite the student body and engage in discourse regarding social change efforts. By combining efforts of several chartered student organizations, the intense focus enables students to encounter and respond to one theme for social action throughout the course of an academic year.

United Community Action (UCA), a student-run organization, coordinates many student community service efforts and works to address community needs. These leaders work closely with the staff in the Community Service Office to discuss developments in the community, to plan activities that build self- and community- awareness, and to coordinate on-campus programming related to community service. Projects such as service trips over student breaks, the annual Project Life Bone Marrow Typing Drive, the Ada Jenkins After School Program, tutoring, and weekend construction work with Habitat for Humanity are some examples of UCA’s work.

The college employs four staff members who work with students on a regular basis to coordinate and initiate community service efforts or projects. Overall, Davidson provides a wealth of one-time and on-going opportunities for students to work directly in the community in meaningful ways.





Students interested in writing, editing, photography, or broadcasting enjoy working on the following publication and broadcast media:

The Davidsonian: a weekly newspaper edited, written, and managed by students. It has received an All-American rating by the Associated College Press numerous times since 1951.

Libertas: a news and arts magazine written, edited, managed, and produced by students. Libertas, established by students in 1996, emphasizes student issues as well as Davidson’s place in the larger community.

Quips and Cranks: the college yearbook, a student project.

The Wildcat Handbook: a guide designed to acquaint first-year students with the traditions, policies, activities, and personnel of the college.

Hobart Park: an experimental magazine begun by students in 1979 to encourage writing and graphics by students and faculty.

WDAV-FM: a 100,000 watt classical music/fine arts station for Greater Charlotte and the Piedmont. Training is available for interested students; qualified students hold jobs on the staff.

WALT-AM: the student, local-band radio station. WALT has a varied musical format and is entirely student operated.

The Office of College Communications depends upon student employees as writers, designers, and photographers.



Career Services


The Office of Career Services exists to aid students in the ongoing and lifelong process of career development. The staff helps students individually to explore their interests and the work around them, define their unique niche, and take meaningful steps toward career preparation. This may include vocational assessment, community service, travel and study abroad, internships, graduate school, or a successful job search.

From their first semester at Davidson, students are encouraged to think about plans for the future, especially summer options and semester internships. An information sheet is kept on each student to help guide the career counseling process.

Exploration of Interests: Davidson students are encouraged to explore their options to discover areas of true interest. Self-assessment-through personality and interest inventories, one-on-one career counseling with staff, and interactive workshops-helps students discover where their career interests lie. Students are then coached to explore these interests through informational interviews, mentorships, and internships.

Seminars and workshops on resumes, cover letter writing, internship and job search techniques, networking, interviewing, and industry panels of alumni prepare students to implement career decisions.

Internships and Summer Jobs: All students are encouraged to participate in summer jobs and internships to explore career interests, to gain experience, and to enhance personal development. Career Services provides an online database of internship, community service, and volunteer opportunities. These experiences are regarded as the best first phase of the career implementation process.

Alumni and Parent Resources: Students are encouraged to seek information and advice on careers from alumni and parents. Indexes of all alumni citing type and place of employment are available in the office to help students understand the range of personal resources available to them.

Career Resources Library: Organized by vocational clusters, the library provides specific career planning and job search resources. These include information on various career fields; internships and summer jobs; service opportunities; and local, national, and international employers. A unique feature of the library is an international section that includes guides for researching overseas job and service opportunities.

Career Coaching & Networking: Seniors are offered a variety of structured experiences designed to assist with a job search. Alumni and employers offer resume critiques and mock interviews based on students’ needs. In the past year 1013 organizations engaged in recruiting through Career Services’ campus-based programs and activities. Through Davidson’s relationship with Selective Liberal Arts Consortium, a consortium of leading colleges and universities, seniors also have the opportunity to interview in Chicago, New York City, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C. In partnership with CSO Interfase, Davidson provides extensive online job search and campus recruiting support to students via eCareers.

Graduate School Guidance: In close partnership with faculty, Career Services supports students in selecting and applying to graduate and professional programs, and researching sources of financial aid. Each year graduate school recruiters from across the country visit campus to talk with interested students.

Davidson has pre-professional groups headed by Davidson faculty and supported by a Career Services staff member. In addition, an extensive graduate fellowship file is maintained for opportunities in a variety of fields.

Exploring Options Beyond Campus: Students may wish to spend a semester away from campus to go abroad, study at other institutions, or enhance their development through volunteer service or work. The career counselors are available to provide counseling and assist with planning for these options.



Health and Safety


The college provides for the health and safety of students through professional services and institutional policies. A few are described below. Complete information is available from the Office of the Dean of Students.

Student Counseling Center—The Student Counseling Center (SCC) offers a broad range of counseling and psychological services. Some students seek consultation at the SCC in learning new skills associated with time management, stress management, and study techniques and habits. Others desire information and assessment regarding interests, abilities, and personality. Counseling is offered regarding a variety of life circumstances, from coping with the difficulties associated with studying and living in a busy environment, dating, or moving away from home, to coping with changes in family life brought on by divorce or death of a family member. Students with a learning disability or Attention Deficit Disorder also benefit from counseling services. Eating disorders, anxiety, depression, or substance abuse can also be addressed at the SCC.

The SCC is located in the same building as the Student Health Service. The clinical staff consists of doctoral level licensed psychologists and other trained and experienced mental health professionals. Any student may be seen for up to ten individual sessions per academic year. (Arrangements for private services can be made for students who will need more services than allocated.) There is no charge beyond tuition for services provided by SCC professional staff. The relationship between student and counselor is professional and is fully confidential within the confines of safety of self and others. The Student Counseling Center is open 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., weekdays. A counselor is “on call” by pager (704-356-2118) after hours and weekends for psychological emergencies.

In addition to one part-time, private psychiatrist on-site, the SCC has established referral relationships with excellent nearby private psychiatrists. Students are financially responsible for such private services. Entering students who have previously received counseling or psychiatric services and wish to continue at Davidson are encouraged to contact the director in the summer before arriving on campus. The SCC provides for education/prevention by presenting talks and workshops to student groups and staff/faculty during the academic year.

Student Health Service—The Davidson College Student Health Service provides routine health care with the services of a full-time nursing staff and part-time staff of physicians contracted with nearby medical groups. The staff includes a full-time health educator who is available for individual consultation and extensive health-related programming. A nutritionist is also accessible for individual consultation in Vail Commons.

The Student Health facility is open weekdays 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., with a registered nurse on duty. Nurses provide routine screening and lab services and run an allergy clinic for students requiring allergy shots. The services of physicians are provided on an appointment basis during “sick call,” weekday afternoons. Same day appointments are available for urgent problems.

After-hours and weekends, the nursing staff provides an “on-call nurse,” who is available by pager (704-337-7047), to consult with students by phone about health concerns. The nurse can determine if the student needs to be seen immediately at the Student Health facility, referred to a local emergency room, or seen at the next “sick call.”

All outpatient services are available to students at no additional charge, with the exception of laboratory work, medical supplies, and medications which are billed to the student’s college account.

The infirmary section of the facility has a limited number of beds available for the care of students who need observation and supervision, for those who have infectious diseases or short-term orthopedic needs, and for others whose illness calls for time away from the residence hall setting. It is not a hospital; care is similar to what would be received at home. There is a $25 fee per night for an overnight stay which covers meals, bandages, and other routine medical supplies.

When students require medical care beyond the scope of the Student Health Service, the staff can assist in making arrangements for appropriate care at an area hospital. In emergencies, this may include obtaining local ambulance services. Occasionally, the physician may refer a student to a specialist as needed.

Dental care is available to students at their own expense through two private dental practices in Davidson. An optometric practice is available in the neighboring town of Cornelius. Ophthalmologists are available in Cornelius (4 miles), Mooresville (7 miles), and Charlotte (19 miles). A private physical therapist is available in Davidson.

Services for Disabled Students—The college does not discriminate on the basis of disability in the admission or education of students. The Associate Dean of Students serves as the point of contact for all matters regarding disabled students. Disabled students who request help are able to receive individualized assistance.

The Associate Dean of Students assists disabled students in locating available resources in the college community and ensures that services are provided consistent with applicable law and college policies. Additionally, there are various student organizations that provide support and information to students with disabilities.

Special procedures have been developed for students handicapped by learning disabilities. Students who seek adapted instruction on the basis of a learning disability undergo an evaluation by college-designated learning specialists, usually at the student’s expense. The results of the evaluation, made available to the college with the student’s permission, may include recommendations for compensatory learning strategies to be used by the student and recommendations for services and accommodations to be provided by the college. Using these recommendations as a guide, strategies are developed to enhance learning strengths and compensate for learning difficulties.

If any adjustments to academic requirements are recommended, they are considered by the Curriculum Requirements Committee. The result may be approval of the recommendations or a substitution for the academic requirement.

A copy of the Policy for Disabled Students at Davidson College and additional information regarding services provided by the college to disabled students are available in the Office of the Dean of Students. Hearing impaired students may contact the office via the TDD Relay Services at 1-800-735-2962.

Davidson College Campus Police Department—The Campus Police Department exists as a support unit of the college for the purpose of establishing and maintaining an atmosphere in which people can go safely about their varied activities in furtherance of the college’s higher objectives. The Davidson College Campus Police Department is the primary response agency for all crimes and incidents on campus, providing emergency assistance, investigating and documenting incidents, and is the liaison with local police, fire, and medical response agencies. The Department is located in the Tomlinson building and provides public safety services 24 hours-a-day, 7 days-a-week. Campus Police Officers may be reached at any time by dialing extension 2178 from any on-campus phone, or the duty phone at (704) 609-0344.

The Davidson College Campus Police Department enforces state laws concerning the possession of illegal weapons on campus. Weapons, including but not limited to firearms, explosives, fireworks, and martial arts weaponry, are not permitted on any property owned or leased by Davidson College. Violators are subject to disciplinary action and criminal charges. The college also reserves the right to remove from the possession of anyone on campus (or their residence) any item which may be deemed a threat to the safety and well being of others on campus. Such items include, but are not limited to, knives, pellet guns, and other objects, which in and of themselves may not be illegal.



Involuntary Withdrawal


The college reserves the right to suspend, enforce the withdrawal of, or expel a student whose academic standing is unsatisfactory or a student who violates the Honor Code, the Code of Responsibility, or college regulations. For copies of the codes, write to the Office of the Dean of Students.