Family and Friends Weekend is certainly one of the highlights of the fall semester on the Springfield College campus. Although mostly popular and attended by family of the underclassmen, this year’s weekend was well attended overall. What makes the couple of days special is the variety and uniqueness of the events held on campus.
Dean of Students, David Braverman is one of the most well-known people at the college, and Family and Friends Weekend is definitely one of his favorite times of the school year.
Braverman enjoys talking to the parents and students, particularly at the “Lunch with the Dean” on Friday.
“What was a surprise this year was the ‘Lunch with the Dean.’ It was on Friday afternoon, sort of one of those things where people come in early, and I can sit down and have lunch with them,” Braverman said. “This year it was 40 people signed up for it. I wasn’t expecting that, so that was fun.”
The barbecue during the football game is always popular, as is the student/leader recognition following the game. This is where Braverman thanks the parents of the students who are in leadership roles on campus on behalf of the students for their support.
One of the truly unique parts of the weekend is where parents have the opportunity to attend classes with their sons and daughters. Though this is not always attended by all, it is a very interesting and creative opportunity.
“There was someone who I was having lunch with on Friday. One of the students was there with his family, who said, ‘We went to class with him, it was fantastic,’” Braverman said. “Then he slid under the chair and said, ‘Yeah, you were the only parents there, I told you no one’s parents were going to go.’”
Braverman also notes that at a large university, the school may have a big-time performer or comedian like Jerry Seinfeld for 50,000 people. While this is surely entertaining and impressive, at such a big school, none of the families actually get to talk to the deans, directors and faculty.
There are many great events during the weekend, but if Braverman had to pick his favorite, it might be the leadership reception.
“The leadership reception is a lot of fun because it gives me a chance to brag about the students in front of their parents, because a lot of the time students don’t brag to their parents, they just do it,” Braverman said. “At Springfield College, students just do things. They don’t expect recognition for them a lot of times.”
While Family and Friends Weekend is a nice time for students to show their parents around the campus, many upperclassmen’s parents have already seen the campus numerous times. So, some families like senior Mike Freytag and his parents take this time to go off campus.
“One year we went to the ‘Seuss Museum and we went to Yankee Candle Factory,” Linda Freytag said. “We go to the Holyoke and Enfield Malls [as well].”
“It’s great to get off-campus. I don’t have a car, so I can’t go anywhere,” Mike Freytag said. “I get to see my parents; they come up a couple of times a year. We go to Wal-Mart, buy things I need. It’s just nice to get away from school a little bit.”
Whether Family and Friends Weekend is a time for showing family around campus, attending the events or spending time off-campus, it is definitely one of the key parts of the fall semester. It is safe to say that this year’s Family and Friends Weekend was yet another success.