Real humans. Really singing. Sometimes out of tune, but we try our best.
What the heck IS Dial-A-Carol?
Dial-a-Carol is the longest running tradition in University Housing (58 years - but who's counting?) The idea is quite simple. For one week only, anyone from anywhere can call us round the clock and request any holiday tune, and we'll do our best to sing it over the phone. The best part? It's completely FREE!
Who's answering the phone?
Student volunteers are standing by to answer all the calls that come in. They generously sacrifice their study time during finals week to share some holiday cheer. But they do get a cool t-shirt, and there might be pizza involved.
They really sing?
Yes ... really!!! No matter what you request, the students do their best to sing it. They have a book of traditional holiday music, but will also take to the intraweb to find the words and tune to even the most obscure song. Check out this video from a few years ago to get an inside look.
Can anyone call?
Everyone and anyone is encouraged to call - whether they are from campus, Champaign-Urbana, or clear across the world. Last year the program logged more than 10,000 calls. All 50 states were covered within the first 24 hours of the event, and calls were received from 75 countries. We get calls from children and adults of all ages including community members, university students, faculty members, and alumni.
What time can we call?
Phone lines open at 12:01 a.m. on December 13 and students tend the lines 24/7 through 11:59 p.m. on December 19. There are 10 lines available, so please be patient if you can't get through right away or you are put on hold.
What's the Mariah Meter?
Every time we get a request for "All I Want for Christmas Is You" by the great Mariah Carey, we track it. Last year, we sang that dang song more than 300 times!
How can I ever thank the students for this wonderful moment of holiday cheer?
We want to let lots of people know about Dial-a-Carol. Like they say, the more, the merrier! If you have a great experience, please share it with your friends, family, and co-workers. Help us go viral!
Learn more about the history of this tradition
Join Dial-a-Carol on Facebook to get a glimpse behind the scenes. We'll also be doing Request-a-Song on Facebook Live on December 19 at noon.