From October 19–21, hundreds of students and parents were able to bond at various events across campus during RPI’s annual Family Weekend. In our opinion, it was a complete success. Despite having to coordinate events held by organizations like Sheer Idiocy and the four a cappella groups in buildings across campus from each other, we at the Poly commend the organization of the weekend.
Registration was held inside the Rensselaer Union, as opposed to outside, like in years past. Regardless of whether it was a backup location because of the rain, it kept many a parent nice and dry on Friday and Saturday. Additionally, events were scheduled in such a way that families weren’t forced to traverse the entirety of campus to get from one event to the next and there was also plenty of time for families to explore and socialize. Union resources, such as the Rathskeller, seemed well-prepared to handle the massive increase in traffic without much trouble.
Although Family Weekend usually has a high turnout, campus was noticeably packed over the weekend. Throngs of families crowded the Union, the East Campus Athletic Village, the Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center, and the multitude of academic buildings. There were so many attendees, in fact, that some groups were forced to send families away. Even theaters in EMPAC were at full capacity, despite their size. Also, because of the change in registration location families passed through the McNeil Room during Saturday’s International Festival, organized by the Union Student Activities Office and the Office of International Services for Students and Scholars.
The event offered a variety of entertainment and showcased the efforts of many student groups. Sheer Idiocy’s performance in EMPAC, which they shared with the Mop & Bucket Company, had parents and students alike roaring with laughter. The a cappella groups serenaded families with songs in West Hall. WeR, an organization focused on increasing school spirit among students, held its event titled “WeR Frozen.” The International Festival featured tables from the many cultural groups on campus, ranging from the Chinese American Student Association to the Indian Student Association. These organizations also put on performances, such as pieces played on sitars and a Malaysian fashion show. It was also nice that the Institute e-mailed students from more distant locations—whose parents weren’t likely to make it for Family Weekend—about events, particularly WeR Frozen.
Family Weekend is an example of RPI at its best. The atmosphere among students and their families was great, even if the earth’s wasn’t quite as nice during most of the weekend. We at The Poly thoroughly enjoyed RPI’s effort.