The Marist green in the center of campus has been used to study, relax or even just use as Marist beach; however, on one weekend a year it is used for much more than that.
Parents’ weekend took place this weekend September 30 and October 1. Families of students from all over the country, and even other countries, come to the campus in Poughkeepsie, NY to visit. Marist College was full of people throughout the two days most likely because of all the events that Marist has to offer for students and their families.
For this particular parents’ weekend, Marist brought in rock climbing, a trampoline and a petting zoo to put on the green this year along with a minor barbecue. It does sounds great, but many parents, and even some freshman, may get the idea that this type of weekend is the norm for Marist College. For the people who do think that, they would be mistaken. Marist’s campus does not have all these attractions, events or amount of people on its campus on a typical weekend.
Jessica Migge, a freshman at Marist College, had her parents come visit for the weekend and had the chance to experience parents’ weekend for the first time herself. “Everyone seemed to be having fun and it really felt like one big family party all over the campus,” Jessica said. Her parents even would agree with her, “The football game was full and great along with the food during the barbecue with all of the different activities going on; it was just great,” said Mr. Migge.
One person that would disagree with them would be Jessica’s brother William Migge, a senior at Marist College. “During the weekend you really never see many people walking around on campus and the food most people go get in the cafeteria is just not even close to what you get at the barbecue here today,” said William Migge. Being a senior, he has been around to see what a normal weekend is like for the Marist students compared to what takes place and what is done for the parents that are visiting on parents’ weekend. “I’ve seen parents’ weekend take place over the last four years and I have seen the same thing. Better food than normal, more people all over the campus and somehow the grass looks greener than usual,” William said.
Another attraction that Marist added to the agenda of parents’ weekend was the shuttles taking people to the Walkway Over the Hudson. The walkway is a walking bridge that takes you from one end of the Hudson River to the next giving you a great view as well. “I’ve been at this school for four years and haven’t been on the walkway yet because you never really hear about students going on it or anything like that,” William said. To some students, the walkway is just something to look at as you drive home for break. However, to parents when they visit, it is a must do and that the shuttles to the walkway should be taken advantage of. “If they offer it, I mean, why not,” Mr. Migge said.
Jessica Migge wasn’t the only freshman to be mislead about the high-quality weekend that Marist throws during parents’ weekend. Lydia DeLuca, another freshman at Marist, attended the Marist football game against Campbell University on Saturday of parents’ weekend. “The stands were full and even the other side of the field was full too. Hearing the crowd get behind the team for their first win was exciting for everyone,” Lydia said. After she had said this, her father contradicted her statement. “I’ve been to a football game here that wasn’t on family weekend and you would be lucky to see those seats half filled,” Mr. DeLuca said. Marist has a tailgate right outside of Tenney Stadium before kickoff in order to draw those families into the game as well.
Amanda Rogerson, Director of Business Operations for Athletics, was at the football Saturday and saw the normal oversized crowd for a parents’ weekend football game. “We made sure we over staffed for this game to be able to keep everyone filing in through the entrance, but we know that for a typical regular season game that there won’t be nearly as many people and we take that into consideration,” said Amanda. Even with a day that was on the colder temperature side for this month and no sun, families still were able to fill Tenney Stadium completely. Darren McCormack, Director of Facilities and Operations for Athletics, loves parents’ weekend for the benefit of the teams and support of fans. “When I walked by the stands I couldn’t see an empty seat, not even one. If only this was every home game, but sadly we deal with maybe 50 percent of this crowd if we are lucky,” said Darren.
Many students do like when parents’ weekend comes around because they can get money and groceries from their parents along with all the benefits that this weekend has to offer. However, some students may not be as fond of it as others. “It’s somewhat annoying because you have all these great things around campus for two days to convince parents how great it is, and then you go back to the normal, repetitive weekend that the students go through every week,” William said.
Within the last few years, Marist College has added the small petting zoo on the center of campus to their repertoire of activities to have on parents’ weekend. It will be interesting to see if Marist brings another new activity next year to add on to this “annoying” weekend as William Migge put it. Parents seem to have a great reputation in their minds when it comes to Marist College. It is a great school, but the image of a typical weekend that parents have is the polar opposite to what the students who have experienced true typical weekend life at Marist have.