Successful Alumni Weekend Leaves Out Students

The Marist campus was packed this weekend with a plethora of current and past students, with a wide range of age, status, and background. But, there seemed to be a lack of current student interaction with the alumni. Many students on campus have not heard much information on the events to take place during alumni weekend. The only big event that people were aware of was the big rivalry football game at Tenney Stadium between Marist and Dayton. Some research was done, and to get informed about these events that were taking place, Donna from the Alumni Office directed people to the MaristConnect website to view the information. There seemed to be the same reaction among students about not knowing what planned events are taking place for homecoming weekend. “I would never think to go to the MaristConnect website to see what types of events were going on,” said sophomore Leon Cummings when walking through campus. “I think there should have been more information accessible to the current students. I would have liked to have some previous knowledge about where to go to meet alumni.” There were no emails sent, no flyers put up, and no big announcements made about the events happening during the homecoming weekend. Senior Julian Dezao commented on his knowledge of alumni weekend, “I knew what was going on only because my sister is a graduate of Marist, back in 2003.” It seemed as though if you did not know a graduate who was coming back to visit, you were left out of the plans for the weekend. Most students gave impressions of discontent during the week previous to homecoming. “I have no idea what even happens during alumni weekend. No idea what they’re going to do, and no idea of how to find out,” commented John Higgins, Junior at Marist. Despite the lack of knowledge, there were a lot more events that were tailored much towards the alumni this weekend. Saturday held multiple sporting events. There was a basketball and swimming/diving intrasquad scrimmage, a band rehearsal that alumni were invited to attend, and a volleyball game at night against Siena. An alumni association award banquet started around 10:30 before the football game. During the day, tents were pitched across campus that ranged from the abroad program to an alumni reunion. In the Marist Student Center Saturday evening, there was a class reunion held for the classes of ’46-’66, ’64, and ’69. One event that is new to homecoming weekend was an alumni softball game. They held a homerun derby followed by a three inning game for which all alumni players could partake in. Some of the big name players who participated were Paige Lewis, Alyssa Zahka, Danielle Koltz, Joelle Zahka, Melissa Giordanno, and Haley Birnbaum. Despite the lack of interaction the alumni had with the current students, Carl Glicini said that “the change of scenery is what really stands out. When I walk around campus it is nothing like when I went here. I barely recognize it.” When asked about the biggest changes from today to the class of 1974, he said “They keep building up the campus every year, and every year it gets more beautiful.” Despite the current students’ feelings about how homecoming was planned out for them, Jason Sokolowski, graduate of 2013, did a great job on summing up the way alumni feel about this school, “There are only 3 things in the world that make me weak in the knees, and Marist is one of them.”

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