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Family Day offers activities for UWRF students, families

October 15, 2009

Every year, UW-River Falls invites families and friends of students to campus to participate in a variety of activities during Family Day weekend.

This year, Family Day is set for Oct. 17. The events begin on Friday evening when families can register early and get the chance to view the movie “Up!” and take part in open skate at Hunt Arena after.

There are many different events on Saturday for families to choose from. The day begins with a 5K Run for the Roses, which raises money for arthritis research, sponsored by the women of Alpha Omicron Pi.

Families also have the chance to dine with the chancellor at a continental breakfast in the Riverview Ballroom of the University Center. 

At two different times throughout the day, families will choose one hour-long session to attend. These include: campus tours, greenhouse interactive tours, “What Color is Your Personality?” sponsored by Career Services, a Dairy Learning Center tour, art demonstrations, physics rocks and a session about sustainability on campus. 

There are other events throughout the day that include a Greek Life open house, an egg roll sale sponsored by the Asian American Student Association, bingo, a magician, and kids fest, which consists of a bounce house, mini golf, and other fun activities for the younger family members. 

Families also have the opportunity to cheer on the Falcon football and soccer teams on Saturday. The football game begins at 1 p.m. and the soccer game at 2 p.m. 

New this year will be a performance by the musical group “The Dweebs.” This band features Michael Blue, his son Benjamin and daughter Claire-all on lead vocals-and son Mike Jr. on the drums. T-Bone Coen is on keyboards and Trevor Radtke on the bass guitar.

Kaitlin Webb, orientation manager for Family Day, said The Dweebs are a welcomed addition to this year’s event.

“We are super excited to have the Dweebs come this year,” Webb said. “We think it will be a great, family friendly event for all to enjoy.”

The First Year Experience staff-which consists of Sarah Egerstrom, Maggie Funk, Jeremy McNamara, Abby Pomeroy, Amanda Kane and Kaitlin Webb-are the individuals who get Family Day off the ground, Webb said, but they rely on other volunteers and campus offices to make the event successful.

“We work with other offices such as Career Services, the Athletic Department, the Admissions Office, Student Affairs and other academic departments on campus,” Webb said. “Without the volunteers, the work and planning of only the FYE staff is almost useless.”

Funk, new student and family program coordinator, said Family Day is important because it brings families and students together on campus.

“It is an event where families have an opportunity to see the whats, whos, hows and whys about their student’s home away from home,” Funk said.

Funk said in the past four years the event has increased in number of attendees from 200 to 1,400. More than 1,000 students and families are already signed up for this year, and with registration available until the day of the event, that number is expected to increase.

Freshman Emily Neville is attending Family Day with her mom and dad. Neville said Family Day is a great event because it brings families to campus and focuses the entire day around them.

“I think Family Day is important because it is dedicated to family, which is very important during one’s college experience,” Neville said.

Jessica Zielinski is a third-year student at UWRF and is attending Family Day with her mom and aunt. She said she is excited to have her family visit again this year.

“Family Day is important because it is a time I can have my family come and visit me and I am able to show them around campus and tell them how much I enjoy being here,” Zielinski said.

Webb added that the day is to be shared, so show up with everyone you love and consider family.

“I feel we have such an important job in the FYE office to provide [this] opportunity to not only our first-year students,” Webb said,  “but also our second, third, fourth, fifth, even sixth-year students.”