This past weekend more than 900 families swarmed the Cal Poly campus for Parents’ Weekend activities.
Parents’ Weekend has been around for decades, but in 1995 the Parent Program in the Division of Student Affairs was created to head the event. In addition to planning Parents’ Weekend, the Parent Program provides programs and services to assist parents in supporting their students’ success during the college years said Nicky Nickelson, the Parent Program Coordinator.
With approximately 3,000 guests total, the popularity of Parents’ Weekend has been growing; every year tickets to the event sell out. This is one of the many reasons that Homecoming and Parents’ Weekend have been placed on different weekends.
The last time tProxy-Connection: keep-alive
t Cal Poly’s Homecoming and Parents’ Weekend fell on the same day was four years ago. The two events were separated in order to allow for more people to participate in the on-campus festivities. Now, parents that do not get tickets before they sell out to Parents’ Weekend can plan to come visit Cal Poly on Homecoming weekend, Nickelson said.
“The changes were made so that we could serve more parents,” Nickelson said.
But Parents’ Weekend is not all about the parents — it’s about the students too, Nickelson said. It is an opportunity for the students to reconnect with their families and enjoy the campus and community together.
Under the leadership of Nickelson, the Parent Program has been in charge of organizing Parents’ Weekend for the past 15 years. The Parent Program also partners with Cal Poly Athletics, Cal Poly Arts and the Cal Poly Music Department to create the successful occasion.
“When I started, it was just a one day event with a football game and barbecue,” Nickelson said.
Since then, Parents’ Weekend has developed into a two-day event. This year, on Friday Oct. 22, the Cal Poly Music Department put on an Ensemble Showcase concert. On Oct. 23 parents were able to choose from activities such as the Mustang Tailgate BBQ, Oktoberfest, the Mustang Football Game vs. University of North Dakota and “Jay Johnson: The Two and Only!” a play put on by Cal Poly Arts.
One of the biggest hits with the parents was the barbecue and football game.
“We enjoyed the music at the barbecue and the food was great,” said M’Lu Knaus, the mother of two mechanical engineering students, Stephen and Ben Knaus. “It was also great to see the football team play a great game.”
Even so, some parents said the true reason they came out for Parents’ Weekend was to see their children.
“Our main reason to come to Parents’ Weekend was to come down and visit our son,” Dan Hadley said.
Giving parents the opportunity to see their children is the main goal of Parents’ Weekend, Nickelson said.
“Parents’ Weekend is to bring parents back to visit students and enjoy a slice of college life,” Nickelson said. “It is especially important with freshman since they have been away now for around a month.”
Most of the freshman did not seem to have a problem with their parents coming to visit for the weekend.
“There’s nothing negative about it,” Stephen Knaus said. “I hadn’t seen them in a while, so it was nice to get to see them.”
His brother Ben agreed and said they got to enjoy their parents’ company and free food.
Dan and Anne Hadley also said their son enjoyed them visiting because of food.
“He seemed happy that we were here,” Anne Hadley said. “We brought up lots of food for him, so he better be.”
“Some, not all, like for their parents to come, but it’s a great opportunity to make some of (the students) feel like their parents still care and relieve some homesickness,” Nickelson said.