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Dooley’s Week 2021 offers a throwback to childhood fun in the 2000s

Dooley’s Week, a campus tradition for students that honors the university’s unofficial mascot, is scheduled for April 5-11. The week is packed with plenty of fun events, thanks to a combination of in-person and virtual activities.

After making last-minute shifts to a virtual format in 2020 because of COVID-19, the campus tradition of Dooley’s Week is back stronger than ever in 2021 with a wide mix of virtual and in-person events.

The annual celebration of school spirit — dubbed “Dooley2k” this year — will be April 5-11.

“The nostalgia from the pop culture around when we were children inspired us to bring that fun and quirky attitude of the decade to Dooley’s Week,” says Teffin Benedict, president of Student Programming Council (SPC), which organizes Dooley’s Week and other student activities during the year. “The switch to a digital Dooley’s Week last year was very hard, but it feels like we have come full circle and are now able to give students the experience we have typically created for the best week of the year.” 

“What makes Dooley’s Week 2021 particularly exciting is that, despite the unusual circumstances, the pandemic has afforded us the opportunity to offer new and innovative programming opportunities for students,” adds Dooley’s Week co-chair Matthew Friedman. “In addition to planning the in-person events that Dooley’s Week is typically known for, we are also offering virtual activities like escape rooms and mixology classes. In many ways, adding virtual events to the lineup has allowed us to enhance the Dooley’s Week experience, by offering a wider array of activities to suit different time-zones, schedules and interests.” 

Prepping for the fun

Beginning Sunday, April 4, students will receive emails with the details for each day including Zoom links and tips on how to order merchandise on the SPC website. Students can also find the direct links each day on the SPC homepage.

The RSVP link for on-campus students will open at midnight preceding each day’s in-person activities. This serves as the student’s ticket for that day, including the day’s merchandise, activities and food (while quantities last).

For off-campus students, merchandise will be available beginning every night at midnight EST until the items are all sold out.

“We’ve ordered even more giveaways this year due to the high demand from last semester,” Benedict says. “Off-campus students can also receive a code to access merchandise early. Our off-campus giveaways page is locked during the day by a password, but students will receive that password after attending some virtual events and before the remaining merchandise releases at 12 a.m.” 

Daily highlights

Venture into the world of cartoons on Monday, April 5, with a virtual jiu-jitsu session, an inflatable jousting activity on campus and virtual escape rooms that night.

On Tuesday, April 6, Dooley’s Food Court brings a modified version of Taste of Emory with food from five Atlanta-area vendors. All food will be individually packaged in order to follow the university’s COVID-19 guidelines. 

Wednesday, April 7, invites students to decide whether Disney Channel or Nickelodeon is better. First up is the “Dooley Channel,” with events and food inspired by iconic TV shows such as “That’s So Raven,” “Suite Life of Zack and Cody,” “Wizards of Waverly Place” and “Hannah Montana.” Activities will include virtual tarot card reading, a surfboard simulator and virtual mixologist.

Nickelodeon gets its chance to shine during Wonderful Wednesdays After Dark, when “Dooleylodeon” comes to life. From making Nick’s classic slime and riding on a mechanical bull to creating a graffiti wall for a photoshoot, the night will bring plenty of fun. The virtual, biweekly SPC Trivia will center on a Disney-inspired theme. 

No 2000s week would be complete without a day full of arcade games. On Thursday, April 8, Dooley’s Arcade will offer games for students to play, including Dance Dance Revolution and an entire mini-golf course. Plus, relax that afternoon by joining a virtual yoga class and be entered in a raffle to win a Nintendo switch.

Friday, April 9, will throwback to iconic TV commercials of the 2000s. Enjoy a photoshoot with classic 2000s backdrops, eat biscuits from the Silver Skillet (as seen on the TV show “Diners, Drive Ins and Dives”) and play lawn games. Then learn some funky dance moves from an Emory dance professor during the Virtual 2000s Dance Class and end the day with Flashback Friday Movie Night on McDonough Field and at the SAAC Field.

Dooley2k will end with a food truck festival and DJ on campus Saturday, April 10, and a virtual Q&A with comedian Pete Davidson of “Saturday Night Live” fame. 

Davidson, at age 27, is SNL’s youngest cast member. His successful stand-up gigs led to a hit Netflix special (“Alive from New York”) and the big-screen movie “The King of Staten Island,” which was the top bestselling title across all video-on-demand platforms after its release in June 2020.

Registration for the show is required; Emory students can sign up and submit questions through the SPC website.

“I am incredibly excited to showcase everything SPC has planned for Dooley’s Week 2021,” says Alyson Lo, Dooley’s Week co-chair. “We have been able to both adapt and grow through these circumstances, as now we are capable of reaching students through in-person and virtual activities that engage audiences worldwide. In switching back to normal events while also increasing our online presence, I believe student programming in the future will thrive due to our problem-solving and navigation of activities during the pandemic.” 

“After leading SPC during COVID-19, I seriously thought demand for our events would decrease and students would be less enthused about our campus traditions,” Benedict adds. “However, Homecoming showed us that even without concerts students feel connected to Emory through our events and giveaways. Whether a student is off-campus or on-campus we want to provide a source of joy and excitement during a year that has been extremely tough for many of us.” 

Find the list of events here.  

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