Parent and Family Weekend should end weak scheduling
If you were annoyed by the timing of Parent and Family Weekend, you weren’t alone. Traditionally, the First Year Center has held this weekend either the week before or after fall break, which we believe is an inopportune time for students, who are held down by school and club obligations, to host their parents for a weekend.
Therefore, we urge the First Year Center to move Parent and Family Weekend up to a weekend in middle or late September.
First and foremost, the wait for freshmen to see their parents until October can be an excruciatingly long one. Most schools, including Saint Louis University, have Parents Weekend in September, as they recognize that the first weeks of college are the toughest for freshmen, and a parental visit might be just what a stressed-out student living away from home for the first time needs.
For those who go home for fall break, it seems rather redundant to have their parents come the weekend before or after fall break. Moving the weekend up to September could serve as a good, midway break between arriving to school in August and enjoying fall break in October.
In addition, holding Parent and Family Weekend during this time in October is poor timing for academic reasons. October is arguably the busiest month of the semester as midterms and essays pile up while extracurriculars are in full swing.
Frankly, students who miss their families aren’t going to tell their parents not to visit because they have too many midterms or papers, so this ultimately leaves students struggling to keep up with their studies while they try to entertain their parents for a full weekend. This wouldn’t nearly be the case if Parents Weekend were during September, when there are fewer midterms and essays to interfere.
Moreover, families that wanted to explore St. Louis and Forest Park were out of luck with the rain and chilly temperatures all last weekend. In September, the weather is typically much nicer and warmer, so the chance of having a Parents Weekend unfortunately plagued by rain is much smaller.
It’s also important to align Parents Weekend with home sporting events. For many parents of student-athletes, this weekend is the only opportunity of the year to see their kids play. This past weekend, there was only one home sporting event, the football game, and it had its biggest crowd of the season due in large part to the number of parents watching their kids compete on Francis Field. Moving Parent and Family Weekend to a weekend in September when parents could see other fall sports, such as volleyball and soccer, would pay big dividends for student-athletes and their parents alike.