Campus Quality

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Campus Quality


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5 College Junior

Campus Quality: All of Davidson's facilities are breathtakingly beautiful, pristine and well-suited for the subjects and activities they house. All buildings are within a seven minute walk from each other, connected by lovely brick pathways and luscious green space. Such structure foster the wonderful community of Davidson College.

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5 College Freshman

Campus Quality: Not many students take advantage of this (perhaps because of the humidity), but there are plenty of chairs outdoors that are great study spaces. Most events take place in the Union, which is always a great place to be if you want to see familiar faces. Davidson has its own traditions like the Freshman Cake Race, Flickerball, the midnight scream, and Spring Frolics.

5 College Freshman

Campus Quality: The most noticeable thing about Davidson is that it is beautiful. There is not a single day where I venture outside and am not amazed by something that I see. There are events going on on campus every night, and there are clubs, activities, and events for every taste.

3 College Sophomore

Campus Quality: Davidson College brings together a group of bright and determined intellectuals. It is a beautiful campus of red brick and oozes southern charm. There are many programs devoted to student success and has wonderful financial aid programs.

4 people found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Campus Quality: No Complaints – The Union is one of my favorite places on campus for studying, study breaks, and weekend activities alike. The fitness center is fine, athletic facilities are great, and the recently renovated library gets the job done too. Plus, campus facilities look good, too. I honestly have no complaints.


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Student Author OverviewWhat's this?

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For a small school, Davidson boasts some big-time facilities. Students consistently rave about the Student Union, which provides an array of pool tables, work spaces, and inviting couches in a four-story, atrium atmosphere. The Union also houses a full-service Post Office, 24-hour workout room, and the state-of-the-art Duke Performance Hall.

As for athletic facilities, Davidson’s status as an NCAA Division I school grants students access to athletic facilities that simply can’t be found at schools of similar size. The athletic nexus of the campus is the 142,000-square-foot Baker Sports Complex, which houses the Knobloch Indoor Tennis Center, racquetball courts, Cannon Pool, and Belk Arena. The arena has a maximum capacity that seats a crowd five times the size of the student body, which provides ample space for Davidson’s dedicated alums and involved fans from the surrounding community.

Davidson seems to have an overall dedication to maintaining and improving the facilities on campus. The facilities are well-equipped, and designed in an appealing Georgian, neoclassical style, merging the old and the new in a stately theme of red brick and columns. Despite its obvious efforts, Davidson can’t compete with the extensive facilities found at larger schools, and students here occasionally complain about the lack of food choices and places of entertainment on campus. If you’re looking for a small school atmosphere with bigger-than-average facilities, however, Davidson should certainly be on your list.

Facts & Statistics

Service & Maintenance Staff
Campus Size
556 acres
Student Centers
Alvarez Student Union in the Knobloch Campus Center
Campus Library?
Main Libraries
Popular Places to Chill
  • Chambers lawn
  • Hall lounges
  • Summit Coffee
  • Union Café
Bar on Campus
The 900 Room serves alcohol once a week and additionally for concerts
Bowling on Campus
Coffeehouse on Campus
Movie Theater on Campus
None, but the union runs frequent midnight showings of recently-released movies or modern-day classics.
School Slang
  • Beast: Milwaukee's Best, the Court drink of choice due to price, not taste (definitely not taste). Beast Light for the ladies.
  • BSC: Black Student Coalition.
  • CatCard: Your Davidson student ID. This works for dorm entry, charging meals, and buying books. Most campus vending machines are on CatCards, as is the Domino's delivery guy.
  • Commons: Short for Vail Commons, the main dining hall.
  • The Court: Patterson Court is where all of the frats and eating houses are located, so going "to the court" means going to a frat party.
  • DCPC: Short for Davidson College Presbyterian Church.
  • The Depot: Off-campus apartments located next to the Brickhouse
  • Down the Hill: Going down the hill means you are either going to the frats for a dance party or going to hang out or drink at the senior or sophomore apartments. This term is almost always associated with the presence of alcohol, whether or not you drink it.
  • D-Road: The curving brick road spanning Chambers lawn. Actually looks like more of a `C.'
  • FIJI: Phi Gamma Delta.
  • IMac Field: Intramural field.
  • ITS: Information Technology Services.
  • KA: Kappa Alpha.
  • The Laundry: Davidson's free-of-charge laundry service, open to students year round. They return clothes to you folded neatly and wrapped in brown paper, or ironed on a hanger. You can drop off dirty clothes as frequently or infrequently as you want.
  • The Library: The Little Library. If you say "Little," people will think you're talking about the dorm.
  • Phi Hall: Philanthropic Hall.
  • Phi-Delt: Phi Delta Theta.
  • Pika: Pi Kappa Alpha.
  • Prospie: A prospective student
  • RA: Resident Advisor.
  • ResNet: Who you call if your computer isn't working-they work for ITS.
  • Review: (Careful with this one) A Review is what all Davidson professors call "an exam." Don't mistake it for an in-class study session.
  • Rich: Richardson dorm.
  • SAE: Sigma Alpha Epsilon.
  • SCC: Student Computing Center.
  • SigEp: Sigma Phi Epsilon.
  • U Hall: Eumenean Hall.
  • The Union: Refers to the Alvarez College Union, part of the Knobloch Campus Center.
  • Up the Hill: Where most of the dorms, the library, the union, and the main academic buildings are located.
  • The Vac: The Visual Arts Center.
  • WaHo: Waffle House, a fine Southern tradition.
  • The Cake Race : The Cake Race is a one-mile, cross-campus race run by members of the freshmen class during the first few weeks of school. Those who place in the top 50 receive cakes, all donated by members of the town community.
  • Campus Christmas Party : The Annual Campus Christmas Party is an informal campus-wide gathering to light the two enormous pine trees in front of Chambers. Complete with cider, cookies, carols by candlelight, and Santa Claus on a zip line, this is an event not to be missed. What better way to kick off the holiday season?
  • Christmas in Davidson : Didn't get enough holiday cheer at the Christmas Party? Christmas in Davidson is a three-night festival sponsored by the town of Davidson. Shops and restaurants are packed with yuletide sundries, and the neighborhood is filled to the brim with carolers, parkas, and one-horse open sleighs.
  • Court Selection Night : Court Selection Night is the biggest party of the year. All freshman girls are inducted into eating houses for the first time, usually by way of ceremony involving ketchup, shaving cream, and extremely cheap champagne. To top it off, freshman fraternity pledges run semi-nude through all the girls' houses (used to be all nude, but the administration has been cracking down). Court Night is basically Davidson's best stab at emulating an average weekend at a "big party school."
  • First Night Down : First Night Down is the second biggest party night on campus. Freshmen are allowed down to Patterson Court for the first time (they are banned for the first few weeks of school), and get to check out the fraternity and eating house scene. Virtually every house on the Court throws a party to try and impress some new recruits.
  • Flickerball: It's hard to get through Davidson without playing Flickerball, most basically described as a mix of touch football and ultimate Frisbee. Freshman girls and guys teams compete throughout the year, with the final match played under the big lights. This is a great way to earn your PE 101 team credit.
  • Freshman Olympics: A staple of orientation each year, the Freshman Olympics consists of freshman halls competing against one another in a ferocious manner. Events include the two-person sprint, scooter challenge, and beach volleyball played with an enormous inflatable balloon.
  • The Honor Code: "The Code" is an unspoken testament among Davidson students agreeing not to lie, cheat, or steal. The Code is the main reason why students choose to leave dorm room doors open and laptops unattended. Also, it affords luxuries such as community bikes and self-scheduled exams. Offenders are tried and judged before the student-composed Honor Council, and the majority of cases heard usually concern plagiarism.
  • Midnight Scream: It may not be the most elaborate tradition on campus, but Midnight Scream is certainly one of the most fulfilling. During exam week, hundreds of students drop everything and scream as loud as they possibly can out their windows on the stroke of midnight. This is really amusing when heard from afar.
  • Reading Day : Reading Day is the Thursday before exams on which there's no class-it's really more of a sleeping day.
  • Red Bikes : Recently refitted and re-released, campus Red Bikes are available for use by any student or staff member. Simply pick one up where you find it, ride to your destination, and drop it off for the next user. These are key for that morning rush to class.
  • Self-Scheduled Exams : If you come to Davidson for only one tradition, this is it. Very much a formal academic procedure, self-scheduled exams take place instead of regular, professor-scheduled exams at the end of each semester. Students can chose the order of their exams and when they want to take them during exam week, and then complete them unproctored in any room in Chambers (you will never be told your bio exam is on Tuesday at 8:30; you can take it when you want). Get them out of the way on Friday and leave for break early, or save them all until Wednesday and Thursday morning. Professors don't even come to school during exam week, and exams are passed out and collected by a student-composed staff. This takes a big chunk of stress out of exams week-all brought to you by the Honor Code.
  • Vespers: Vespers is an enormous service of lessons and carols held before Christmas break each year. Some features are the Concert Choir, Chamber Singers, Symphony Orchestra, Brass Ensemble, and Flute Choir. Over 1,000 students and community members crowd into DCPC for this truly memorable event.
Urban Legends
  • Davidson used to be the wealthiest school south of Princeton-until the Civil War.
  • Duke dormitory was built after Duke University lost a bet to Davidson over a basketball game in the 1950s. Angered, they constructed the building with halls that lead nowhere and windows in all the wrong places (it has since been renovated, but is still an architectural anomaly).
  • President Woodrow Wilson attended one year of college at Davidson in 1873 before transferring to Princeton. Why'd he leave? Davidson was too hard.
  • The building of Old Chambers burned down in 1921, but its `ghost' remains-on dry spring days, the careful observer can see the old foundations pushing up through Chambers lawn.
  • The library carpet is green because that color instills natural tranquility (the same reason the inside of baseball caps are often green). However, most Davidson students still feel it instills natural vomiting reflexes.
Favorite Things To Do
Davidson offers plenty of opportunities for study breaks on campus. For fitness buffs, try out the 24-hour workout room, 25-foot climbing wall, Cannon Pool, tennis and racquetball courts, track, or cross-country trails. Students also head to the union to play pool or Ping-Pong, rent videos, watch TV on a big screen, or holla at friends in front of the two-story fireplace. The student-run Union Board hosts constant events throughout the year, including concerts, dances, coffeehouses, films, speakers, and special events (from pottery workshops to foam parties). The Union Café is a favorite student hangout. The Union Café is also open late Wednesday through Saturday. Additionally, students will head across Main Street to the shops and coffeehouses, which provide an off-campus getaway within walking distance!
Student Activities Offered
  • Campus ministries
  • Choral groups
  • Concert band
  • Dance
  • Drama/theater
  • International student organization
  • Jazz band
  • Literary magazine
  • Music ensembles
  • Musical theater
  • Pep band
  • Radio station
  • Student government
  • Student newspaper
  • Symphony orchestra
  • Yearbook
Air Force ROTC: No
Navy ROTC: No
Army ROTC: Yes

Student Polls

What are your favorite campus events or traditions?    Based on 7 responses

  • 17% The Honor Code
  • 14% Self-Scheduled Exams
  • 10% Campus Christmas Party
  • 10% Christmas in Davidson
  • 10% The Cake Race
  • 7% Court Selection Night
  • 7% Freshman Olympics
  • 7% Midnight Scream
  • 3% Reading Day
  • 3% First Night Down
  • 3% Finals Feast
  • 3% Basketball games
  • 3% Self-selection
  • 0% Red Bikes
  • 0% Vespers
  • 0% Flickerball

Rate the campus facilities in the following areas    Based on 27 responses

Very poor
  • Athletics/recreation
  • Classrooms
  • Computer labs
  • Dining
  • General aesthetics/architecture of campus
  • "Green" buildings/initiatives
  • Housing
  • Lawns/green space
  • Library
  • Modernity of facilities
  • Performing arts
  • Science/research labs
  • Student center
  • Study spots
  • Visual arts (work spaces, galleries)

What are your favorite things to do around campus?    Based on 5 responses

  • 21% Visit Lake Campus
  • 21% Watch movies in the common room
  • 21% Go to nummit
  • 21% Go to events at the union
  • 14% Parties down the hill

How accommodating is this school to students with physical disabilities?    Based on 7 responses

  • 71% Very accommodating. The school does everything in their power to make sure the needs of every student are met.
  • 29% Pretty accommodating. The school has taken a lot of steps to accommodate the needs of students, but they've missed a few things.
  • 0% Slightly accommodating. The school has taken a few steps to accommodate students, but not nearly enough.
  • 0% Not accommodating. Students with physical disabilities are practically ignored here.

What is your overall opinion of your school and the campus community?    Based on 29 responses

  • 34% I love everything about my school and have a lot of campus pride.
  • 52% I like mostly everything about my school, but there are some things I wish were different.
  • 14% The school community is okay-we're all just here for an education, nothing more.
  • 0% I hate my school and have no school spirit.


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