Family Weekend aims to be more inclusive

According to the theme of this year’s Family Weekend, family can be a little bit corny.

The event will be held this weekend, Sept. 20th through Sept. 22nd. There will be an abundance of activities including an ice cream social, family expo, tailgating, a showcase performance, and more for family and friends to attend. 

Behind the scenes of Family Weekend is the committee led by Family Weekend chair  Katie Ohren and assistant chair Josephine Núñez along with 22 other students who are in charge of the different events that make up the weekend.  

Núñez wanted to be a part of the committee because she wanted to help create a safe space where students felt connected and supported by the rest of the campus. 

“Family Weekend means celebrating everyone in our lives that gives us a slice of home. Whether that be our biological families, our Cobber families, or loved ones not on campus. Family weekend is all about celebrating those who give you a sense of safety and happiness when you are with them” said Núñez. 

This is the first time Núñez’s parents will be on campus for Family Weekend.

Ohren describes Family Weekend as a time where students are able to reunite with their families or friends and show them how far they have come. It is also a time to reflect and be proud of getting through your first few weeks of school.

“I really do enjoy Family Weekend, but it’s kind of hard because of the way we have it right now only fits for a few types of students and it’s only students that their parents are able to come. We can’t really have an event that draws everybody in. That’s one thing that I’ve been thinking about a lot during planning. People talk about Concordia being their second home but for some people, they can feel the complete opposite,” Ohren said.

Ohren has tweaked some existing activities to fit Concordia’s larger student body. One of the changes includes the family breakfast that has usually been held in Memorial Auditorium will now be held in Anderson Commons, so nobody feels excluded. 

Matthew Dymoke,  the assistant director of Alumni Relations and an advisor for the upcoming Family Weekend, explains how it is not only for families, but for everyone. 

“We are working to make Family Weekend feel as inclusive as possible, even for those students whose families are not able to attend for the weekend,” Dymoke said.

The committee has made a few changes to this year’s Family Weekend.

“We’ve made some changes this year to help expand our reach – moving breakfast from Memorial Auditorium to inside Anderson Commons, inviting students to all events through multiple methods, and trying to expand Family College and Family Expo/Ice Cream Social to be seen as all campus events. We’re hoping that with the increased marketing presence and these changes that students will feel more welcome at Family Weekend events and choose to celebrate with their Cobber families as well,” Dymoke continued.

So far about 250 families have registered for Family Weekend, although more families come to visit their students without attending the events, so the number may be greater than 250. 

“Regardless if they’re registered or not, we’re excited to welcome all Cobber families and friends for the festivities this weekend and can’t wait to get started,” Dymoke said.

A full schedule of events is available here. 

 

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