Family Day and Homecoming weekend have combined
October 3, 2014
Family Day and Homecoming have been combined to become what will be known this year as Homecoming Weekend.
This year’s Homecoming Weekend will be held Friday, Oct. 3 and Saturday, Oct. 4. It will be a chance for students, families and alumni to connect. Family Day invites UWRF students’ families to campus to take part in a variety of activities, and is a chance for families to see what a normal day in their student’s life might be like.
“The event provides a wonderful opportunity for families to connect with their student at their ‘home away from home.’ Families catch a glimpse of life on campus and develop an additional sense of spirit and pride in the institution,” said Director of New Student and Family Programs Sarah Egerstrom.
The decision to combine Family Day and Homecoming was made at the beginning of 2014 under the direction of UWRF Associate Vice Chancellor Kris Anderson.
In addition, Student Affairs is now responsible for putting on Family Day instead of New Student and Family Programs. The push for Student Affairs to take over Family Day came after a new division was created to focus on retention and enrollment. According to Anderson, it is normal when a new division is created for things to shift around. As New Student and Family Programs is now linked to admissions, academic success and marketing, it made sense for Student Affairs to take over the program.
“New Student and Family Programs needed to privet more towards their original intention of being formed, which was support for first year students,” Anderson said. There is optimism that Family Day will not get lost in the mix of Homecoming.
New Student and Family Programs was responsible for Family Day from 2006 until 2013. Prior to New Student and Family Programs, Student Senate was responsible for planning and putting on the event.
“When we first assumed responsibility for Family Day, the event only attracted about 200 attendees,” Egerstrom said. “Over the years, the attendance grew to nearly 1,800 students and their families. In addition, the programming array evolved to include more entertainment and recreation opportunities, academic open houses, meals, athletic events and community tours.”
According to Director of Student Life Paul Shepard, it made sense to combine Family Day with Homecoming. “When we analyzed what had typically been done for Family Day and Homecoming we noticed that there wasn’t much difference between the two events,” Shepherd said.
There is optimism that Family Day will not get lost in the mix of Homecoming. “I’m confident in Student Life’s decision to merge the two events and create a new campus tradition,” Egerstrom said.
There’s also concern among some students, though, about inviting their families to campus during Homecoming. Junior animal science major Tara Schrauth, who attended Family Day her freshman and sophomore years, said: “I think it will take away from the actual aspect of Homecoming. When I think of Homecoming I think of hanging out with my friends, not really my family.”
Family Day attendance is highest among first year students, but all students and their families are welcome and invited to attend.
In past years, the Saturday night entertainment has been a comedian. But this year, to keep it more family friendly, there will be a juggler and a concert from Tonic Sol-fa.