By: Christian Sarna
Are you a new student looking for an opportunity to show campus to your family, a current student wanting to meet up with alumni friends or a community member interested in campus life?
All members of the extended Griffon family are invited to participate in Family Weekend on Sep. 20 and 21 at Missouri Western.
Family Weekend is a series of family-friendly activities that are free and completely open to the public. This annual event includes live entertainment, food, games and more.
Isaiah Collier is the assistant dean of student development in the Center for Student Involvement (CSI). He said that while the CSI traditionally oversees Family Weekend, his student programing assistants and staff put together this year’s whole weekend.
“We want to make sure that when students invite their family and friends back to campus, they have a wide variety of things to actively engage in,” Collier said.
The first event of Family Weekend kicks off at 7 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 20, with a concert from pop/country trio Oferle. The performance will be in the Kemper Recital Hall, Spratt 101. Events resume Saturday morning with the President’s Pasta Extravaganza, a free, all-you-can-eat buffet lunch with President Matthew Wilson. The sign up period has closed for this event.
While this event has taken place in previous years with Missouri Western’s former president, Robert Vartabedian, Collier said that this year is shaping up to be the biggest yet.
“We are leaning towards 200 people already,” Collier said. “We’ve never capped at 200, that will be huge. I think a lot of people are interested in meeting and seeing their new president, hearing some positive words from him.”
The bulk of Saturday’s events will take place in the Remington Atrium from noon to 3 p.m. and include Clearly You Crystal Laser 3-D Images, Stuff-A-Plush toys, a photo booth and planetarium shows. Outdoor carnival games will also be available on the Remington Hall lawn.
All items are on a first come, first serve basis. Students can claim up to five planetarium tickets by showing their Missouri Western Student ID at the CSI in Blum 207.
The Western Activities Council (WAC) will also be assisting with this year’s events. Senior Maya Kelly is a member of WAC but has attended it as a student in previous years.
“My family comes up here every year, they’ll be here this year,” Kelly said.
According to Kelly, the events at Family Weekend draw a large crowd.
“One thing I really liked was the crystals and planetarium shows; that’s been a real hit,” Kelly said. “To get the crystals last year, I think we waited in line for about 35 to 40 minutes.”
Senior Yasmine Jackson is also a member of WAC and said that the crystals weren’t the only hot commodity last year.
“They need more stuffed animals,” Jackson said. “I got up to the line and they were gone.” Collier said that more stuff-a-plush animals would be available this year, hopefully avoiding another shortage.
Later that afternoon, the mentalist known as Spidey will perform from 3-4 p.m. in the Kemper Recital Hall, Spratt 101. Students and guests can also begin tailgating after 3 p.m. before the Missouri Western vs. University of Central Missouri football game. Kickoff is at 7 p.m. at Craig Field in Spratt Memorial Stadium. Missouri Western students attend for free and additional tickets can be purchased in advance at gogriffons.com.