Welcoming families

Weatherford Hall, surrounded by green trees and colorful flowers, awaiting visitation during the upcoming Family Weekend at Oregon State. 

Katie Darke, News Contributor

Spring Family Weekend features over sixty events, activities

Whether you’re across the country or just 20 minutes from home, the hustle and bustle of college life can make you miss your family and friends. The Oregon State University Program Council has a remedy for this homesickness: The 2017 Spring Family Weekend. This biannual event is running from May 5-7 and will feature upward of 60 events and activities OSU students, families and friends can take part in together.

According to Kelsey McCall, a member of the OSUPC and one of the two head coordinators for this event, Spring Family Weekend is an opportunity to share what students love about OSU with their family and friends.

“This weekend is very special because it allows family and friends to become a part of the OSU community,” McCall said. “Memories are made and enhanced when (students) can share them with the people they love.”

Spring Family Weekend is put on by the OSU Program Council, creators of DAM JAM, the Beaver Community Fair and Fall Family Weekend. Head coordinators McCall and Caroline Loe have been planning and coordinating all activities offered since the fall and were in charge of making this event come to life. Both agree, however, that others play a large role in helping make family weekends possible.

“The support we get from our team at OSUPC is imperative,” McCall said. “(Putting on Spring Family Weekend) wouldn’t be possible without the effort of the community as a whole.”

According to Kat Tomsic, an OSUPC community collaboration event coordinator, Spring Family Weekend is also a great opportunity for the community of Corvallis to participate in OSU events. Tomsic works to put on the Art Festival during the event, featuring approximately 90 local art vendors in the Student Experience Center plaza.

“It’s a great opportunity where local artists get to interact with the students and their families,” Tomsic said.

Formerly known as Moms and Family Weekend, this event has grown to be a big part of OSU campus life. OSUPC wants to encourage the growth and inclusivity of the event to encompass the diverse community of OSU student families and friends, according to McCall.

This is the first year of transitioning to the new name, Spring Family Weekend, according to Loe. Its twin event, formerly known as Dads and Family Weekend, now goes by Fall Family Weekend and shares the same goal of inclusivity.

“When we made the name change, that was our intention, to bring to light that this is for everyone and this is a community event,” McCall said. “Inclusivity goes beyond the gender that’s in the name.”

According to Loe, the need for inclusivity comes from OSU students’ diverse family backgrounds.

“Each of us has our own definition of family,” Loe said. “We’re trying to be inclusive of everyone and trying to be more aware of the different definitions of family at OSU.”

Spring Family Weekend activities span across the weekend of May 5-7. The events start at 9 a.m. on May 5 with “The Colorful World of Pigments” art exhibit and discussion panel and end with OSU Craft Center Workshops during the afternoon of May 7. The various events range from engaging seminars on human health to family Zumba in Dixon Recreation Center and a full list of weekend events are available on the OSUPC Spring Family Weekend website.

McCall and Loe have their own favorite events but want to urge students and families to check out as much as they can.

While many events are free, some require tickets for admission, such as “Paint Nite,” a popular event back for its second year at 3:30 and 7:30 p.m. on May 5 in the MU Multipurpose Room or the Comedy Show on the evening of May 6. Tickets for both events are available on the OSUPC Spring Family Weekend website. Each college will also be hosting an open house for the opportunity to learn more about the academic side of student life.

Though registration is not required, OSU families and friends are highly encouraged to participate, according to McCall.

“It helps us know our audience to better serve them,” McCall said.

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