It’s time once again for the sweet, thick smell of BBQ, the boom and crackle from the majestic display of fireworks lighting up the night sky, and the stiff faces decorated elaborately with bright paint creased from laughter. This can all mean one thing: Family Weekend is coming to campus once again.
This year, families of Union’s students will converge on campus from Sept. 30 to Oct. 1 for a full weekend of celebrating the successful transition new students have made as well as the progress and accomplishments of upperclassmen. Activities such as brunch with the president, various athletic events, a corn hole tournament and movie on the lawn promise lots of fun for all in attendance.
Union will continue traditions that have made Family Weekend special in the past, as well as incorporate new activities and events that will completely eliminate any possibility for boredom. The interesting thing about Family Weekend is that every year it has a whole new flavor, yet its yearly consistency offers a reference point for families who want to come back again. It’s a beautiful blend of the expected and the unexpected that creates the prime opportunity for memory-making.
“Between the athletic games, cookouts, brunch with the president, movie on the lawn and Union night, our goal is to help Union feel like home to the students and for their families to come and see them,” said Ken Litscher, director of residence life.
In addition to the many unique events and activities that will be held on Union’s campus, a new edition to this year’s Union Night is a ferris wheel. Due to the hot air balloon’s hour-long wait in the past, a decision was made to introduce an alternative attraction, still colorful and extremely tall.
“We’re trying out something new this year,” Litscher said. “We’re hoping with the ferris wheel that we’ll be able to get a lot of people through and not have to wait so long.”
Union Night, a favorite among many students at Union, was a time that Rachel Pratt, junior broadcast journalism major, was able to introduce her family to the friends she had made at Union while showing them all the different organizations she was involved in and all the many ways she had become involved on campus. What better way for her to prove she’s thriving at college than to hold fire at the chemistry booth?
“They stuck my hands in soapy water, then put stuff on my hands,” Pratt said. “I got to hold a flame! It [was] super exciting. My freshman year, I don’t think I really wanted to go [to Family Weekend], but now it’s something I look forward to every year.”
In the midst of studying for exams, participating in meetings and fundraisers, working part time jobs and eating occasionally and in large quantities, Union students are anticipating the bright spot in their fall semester that is Family Weekend.
Featured photo curtesy of David Parks