OPINION: Family weekend is great for out-of-state students
Mikayla Balmaceda, right, and her mom from family weekend at Theta Chi in her freshman year, 2016.
I’m wondering if Family Weekend is worth our families making the trip?
Family weekend is an opportunity for students to show their families around the campus, get their much-needed grocery shopping done and just have some good, ol’ fashioned family time. But family can visit whenever, not just Family Weekend. So what’s the big deal?
This year, Family Weekend is Oct. 5 through 7. The UA offers many events and activities for students and their families over this special weekend, including football tickets for Saturday, Oct. 6 where we’ll be hosting the California Golden Bears. The Family Weekend football game is normally a popular game, and tickets sell pretty quickly according UA’s family weekend website.
RELATED: Family Weekend 2017 Photo Gallery
The UA offers a lot of events and such for Family Weekend. Starting at 6 a.m. on Friday, the UA has a whole schedule planned for the entire weekend. The UA offers a Wildcat Experience Package that includes a Family Weekend t-shirt, Family Fun Zone Pass, access to a Family Weekend photo booth and a lanyard. They are offering this package for $22 per family member, $18 for UA students. The Family Fun Zone takes place on Oct. 6 from 4-6 p.m. on the UA Mall. Without the Experience Package, the Zone costs $5. The Zone is said to be a great event for family members of all ages. It’s basically a huge tailgate before the 7 p.m. football game. They have fun inflatables, games, prizes, photo-ops and family fun challenges.
Without the Family Fun Zone, a lot of the UA fraternities and sororities also offer their students and families activities and events for family weekend. The fraternities also normally do tailgates as well before the big Family Weekend football game (but Theta Chi and Theta Xi are the only fraternities with family weekend tailgates on the UA family weekend schedule).
Family Weekend at the UA seems to be all about the tailgating and football game. The UA does offer other activities, including the Parents & Family Association golf challenge at Topgolf, meeting UA President Dr. Robert Robbins and Campus Recreation’s free facility use for families with a number of outdoor events.
Family Weekend is a great time at the UA. There is an obvious, happier vibe. In all honesty, any family time is worth it, no matter what you decide to do, with or without all the special events and activities. The students are happy to just be with their families, parents are excited see their kids and to experience the college lifestyle and siblings are just psyched to be included. We’ve been in school for about a month and a half, and we have another month and a half until our next break, Thanksgiving. The UA has students from all over the country, even out of the country, so Family Weekend is a great time to get together.
Mikayla is a junior from California and her family has come to family weekend the past two years. Follow Mikayla on Twitter