A record number of parents and guests attended Colonials Weekend this year, which officials from the Office of Parent Services said is a testament to the growing number of activities put on during the three-day event.
An estimated 5,000 people attended the event, which included performances by comedian Jimmy Fallon, lectures on politics and student life and tours of the campus.
“Every year a nice group of parents reunite with students at Colonials Weekend and this year we’re seeing another great turnout,” Rodney Johnson, the director of the OPS, said.
Johnson said improvements this year included adding more lectures by faculty members on subjects relating to their courses or professions.
“The number of faculty-led events has increased throughout the years,” Johnson said. “In the past, we had to ask professors to speak, now we have to turn them down because of limited time and space.”
While the weekend was filled with activities on and off both the Foggy Bottom and Mount Vernon campuses, some students felt the timing of the weekend made enjoying the events difficult. Midterm exams are scheduled in many departments to take place this week.
“Colonials Weekend would have been more appropriate during the start of November,” sophomore Nimisha Jain said.
Jain said that she didn’t ask her parents to come to campus because she knew she would have to spend the weekend studying for three midterms happening this week.
“This weekend needs to be more than parents taking their kids out to dinner and walking around campus for a couple of hours,” Jain said. “It should be a weekend full of family activities.”
Johnson said that professors were asked not to hold exams the Monday and Tuesday after Colonials Weekend, but he added that exam dates are ultimately up to the professors’ discretion.
Johnson said the University weighed its options about when to schedule the event, but decided this was the only weekend that worked.
“Two weeks ago would have been too early into the school year and two weeks later would have been too close to Thanksgiving, when students go home for the weekend,” Johnson said.
Despite conflicts with the scheduling of the event, Johnson noted an impressive number of families coming to visit junior and senior students.
“The fact that we still have them coming back means that we must be doing something right,” he said.
This article appeared in the October 18, 2010 issue of the Hatchet.