Parents perceive Family Weekend in myriad ways

There are few moments in the school year when we can count, with absolute certainty, on the status of the pedestrian crossing signs in the crosswalk, on the shelves at McKinley’s being fully stocked and on the campus brimming with activity at 10 a.m. on a Saturday morning.  This past weekend was one of those rare times.

Family Weekend offers a variety of events and activities for students and their relatives.  On the agenda this past weekend were a home football game, family game night, and a performance by Grammy winner Angelique Kidjo.  However, a number of families choose not to take advantage of these opportunities.

“We really haven’t had a chance to take part in anything,” said Patty Balster, the mother of Leanne Balster, ’14.  “We did go to the football game.  I think it’s nice that they have a lot of things lined up to do, but mostly I just wanted to come see my daughter.”

Other parents share this sentiment.  Kathy Sayers, mother of Caitlin Sayers, ’14, compared Allegheny’s Family Weekend to that of Villanova University, where her son recently graduated.

“At Villanova they had someone really good come in—a comedian.  It doesn’t really seem like there’s too much going on here.  Like, if we were at Villanova, everyone would be going to the football game.  Instead we’re just going to Lake Erie.

This noncommittal attitude that seems to be shared by a number of Allegheny families contributes in no way to a diminished view of the school.  Parents were quick to compliment the campus, its academics, and its faculty.

“I was impressed when we moved [Caitlin] in that the president of the college was helping people move in and he came up and introduced himself,” Sayers said.  “He seemed very nice.”

Becky Holcomb, mother of Michelle Holcomb, ’14, said, “I wish I was 18 or 19 again and just where you guys are.  It’s like a resort here.”

Holcomb’s father, however, didn’t exactly consider the Allegheny campus an oasis. “There’s too much construction,” he said.  We thought the construction would be done by the time the school year started, but if you look out there, it’s everywhere!”

And then there are those nasty critters who have been infecting the country.

“There are bedbugs in my daughter’s dorm,” said Sayers, “They aren’t in her room yet, but they found them on floor.  That’s a concern.”

Despite bedbugs and bulldozers, parents seem thankful for the opportunity to drop by and check up on study (and drinking) habits, perhaps have dinner at Chovy’s and spend some quality time with their kids.