By Rachel Stevens
This past weekend marked the 2018 chapter of a Catholic University tradition of family weekend, with nearly 2,000 registrants.
Families were afforded many opportunities to be immersed in the student culture here at the University throughout the weekend. Activities were a collaboration of The Office of Campus Activities, Program Board, and The Kane Fitness Center. This included a president’s reception, student showcase, and family game night.
President John Garvey delivered remarks of welcome while families munched on different finger foods at the president’s reception in Heritage Hall. Garvey continued on his speech to give families an update on the campus.
“We’re making many strides to improve campus life through various ongoing construction projects,” Garvey said.
The biggest project mentioned was the new dining hall funded by an anonymous donor to be put into place by 2020.
He addressed the issues facing the Catholic Church currently and how the University has compiled panel discussions to unpack the recent scandals. Garvey said these discussions, as well as other campus resources with the counseling center and campus ministry, will help both students and faculty process everything.
Following the reception, crowds shuffled into the Pryzbyla great rooms for some evening entertainment. The Office of Campus activities hosted a student showcase, with performances by: Take Note, Redline, Celtic Cardinals, a collaboration of FOCUS and SOL, CenterStage, CUA Dance Company, and the CUA Dance Team. It was well attended and received many great reviews.
“I really enjoyed the student showcase, it was wonderful to see the talent and energy from so many different groups. As it’s hard to get to campus as often as I’d like to see performances by these and other groups, it was great to be able to see a few of them in this intimate setting. I particularly liked the Irish step dancers and the dance collaboration between FOCUS and SOL!” Said Mrs. Ferraro, a parent from Connecticut visiting her sophomore daughter, Sophia Ferraro.
Family game night Saturday night was a collaboration of The Office of Campus activities, Program Board, and The Kane Fitness Center. There were rounds of intensely competitive bingo and minute-to-win-it games for all ages. This event was so well attended, tables had to be added while lines of people stood around the back of the room.
Unofficial Parent’s Weekend activities included a Saturday football game against Coast Guard Academy and farewell mass on Sunday in the Pryzbyla great rooms. Both events were well attended, and following the Sunday mass many students said goodbye to their families until Thanksgiving. “Saying goodbye to my family was hard, but we had a great weekend. We participated in all of the activities and it was a great experience to share the campus and D.C. with my family,” said Abby Anderko, a sophomore history major.
This family weekend marked a return, as the University did not have one last year. The Office of Campus activities director Steve Kreider said, “The University is always looking at the effectiveness of events and the cost of those events and it was determined that Family Weekend was an event where many families reported not needing a specifically planned weekend of events but would rather visit on their own schedule. Due to this and the cost of Family Weekend it was decided to take a year off and regroup moving forward.”
Kreider said that it is still to be determined whether or not next year will see another Family Weekend. One thing is for sure, this Family Weekend was a success in terms of both attendance and activities.