Family weekend fun with the folks

The lobby of Lafayette Hall will be draped with buff and blue ribbons and streamers this weekend. GW horticulturists will be out in droves planting new floral arrangements.

“I have to clean my room,” freshman Peter Bordonaro said.

The cause of the massive clean-up – parents are coming.

This weekend is Family Weekend at GW, a time when students’ families will make the trip to visit the nation’s capital and see their children.

The majority of parents coming have freshman at GW, although some upperclassmen interviewed said they invited their families for the weekend.

Senior Ayanna Jackson’s family has come to every Family Weekend during her GW career.

“It’s a good opportunity for parents to meet each other,” Jackson said.

She said she does not think the occasion is designed only for freshmen.

“As you progress in college, you start to have a better appreciation of your parents,” Jackson said. “I am always excited about by mom coming up.”

Senior Matt Iacovone’s parents won’t be coming this weekend, but he expects to see many others here to check up on their children.

“They want to know where their $35,000 are going,” Iacovone said.

Freshman Ashley Donovan serves on Lafayette Hall’s committee to decorate the hall for the weekend.

“I can’t wait to see my parents,” Donovan said.

As the temperature drops and the October air becomes reminiscent of winter, many GW students look forward to their parents bringing extra blankets and winter apparel.

Freshman Greg Smukler said his parents are bringing all his warm clothes.

To others, the prospect of having an imported home-cooked dinner or going to an elegant restaurant in Georgetown with family is a welcomed break from food at J Street.

Senior Amy Mueller said her parents took her for French cuisine at Citronelle in Georgetown when they came her freshman year.

Freshman Peter Bordonaro said he intends to take his parents to the Cheesecake Factory in Friendship Heights for an expensive but wholesome dinner.

Food is also on the minds of freshmen Marna Metcalf and Emily Malozzi.

Metcalf said she anticipates home-baked cookies and home-style shredded cheese.

Malozzi said she looks forward to eating the Italian dinner she will make with the pasta and sauce her parents bring.

Some students said they also plan to take advantage of their parents’ bigger wallets while they are in town.

“I’ll take them to the mall and have them buy me things,” freshman Alejandra Ramos said.

Other freshman Hannah March agreed a trip to Pentagon City Mall for new clothes is a must for the weekend.

Students said they want to show their parents the sites in the city. Many freshmen are eager to show their families the new discoveries they have made around the capital, such as the Einstein Memorial on Constitution Avenue.

Freshman Daphne Watkins said she wants to treat her mother to a show at the Kennedy Center.

Freshman John Bulava, whose brother likes jazz, plans to groove with him at a U Street jazz club.

Many blues lovers will get a special treat with the sold-out Ray Charles concert on campus. Students said their parents are excited about the event.

Freshman Beth Roderick received an e-mail from her dad voicing his excitement about a chance to see Charles perform.

The email read simply, “Ray Charles is the man!” Roderick said.

Besides entertainment for parents, Family Weekend is a time for siblings to have fun with each other.

Freshman Meghan Donovon said she is planning a slumber party in her Lafayette Hall room. Both her younger sister and her roommate’s sister will spend the weekend together.

Donovon said she will take her sister to bowl at the Hippodrome on Saturday. The Marvin Center game-room will offer free bowling, billiards and caricature sketches in an event called “Hippodrome Fun for Siblings.”

Freshman Erin Kruth said she wants to take her five- and seven-year-old nieces to the Treasury Building and National Zoo.

Kruth said her nieces are curious to learn how money is made.

Another event students may want to take their parents to is Friday’s Midnight Madness, which celebrates the opening of the basketball season. Doors open at 10:45 p.m.

Junior Raj Parekh said his parents came to Colonial Inauguration but will not attend Family Weekend because he has midterms the next week.

“If my parents were to come, I wouldn’t study,” Parekh said. “They would rather have me do well on exams.”

But for the students whose parents will be visiting, most are excited.

Freshman Michael Ziccardi said he sees Family Weekend as a time to see the monuments and memorials of D.C. while creating indelible memories of time spent with family.

“It’s about spending time with the family,” he said.

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