Hurst prepares for Family Weekend

Victoria Mcginty, Staff writer

With the end of the semester coming up soon, we can’t help but feel a little homesick. However, it’s that time of year again where Campus Involvement and MAC/ SAC host the annual Family Weekend here on campus.

From March 20 to 22, family and friends of Mercyhurst students are welcome on campus where a series of activities await them. This year, the theme of Family Weekend is games, the central theme surrounding what family game nights look like but on a university level. In the past, themes were not always a part of Family Weekend as it used to be part of Homecoming Weekend.

In 2015 however, these festivities became two separate events at opposite ends of the semesters. “Family Weekend is a tradition where we dedicate a weekend to allow families to visit their students and enjoy a variety of free entertainment and really get a feel of the Mercyhurst experience. We have already exceeded the number of registered families from years past.” Braeden Barnett, SAC Chair, said.

According to Activities and Spirit coordinator Samantha Beckas, the goal is to expand family weekend. “Family weekend could grow into a larger event that is hyper-focused on the experience of families while on campus.” Beckas said.

“I believe the point of Family Weekend is to show our families why Hurst is Home, and the Student and Multicultural Activities Council works tirelessly throughout the weekend to make the families feel like part of our Mercyhurst family,” Beckas said.

This year, Family Weekend is jam-packed with numerous family game night-themed activities that all ages can enjoy. To begin the events on Friday, there is a check-in and welcoming session in the early evening followed by a game of Family Feud and food hosted in the Roost.

This is followed by a father-son magician duo in the evening in the Walker Recital Hall. For Saturday, there is a brunch bingo game in the late morning in Ryan’s Waterford Room, an early afternoon Men’s Lacrosse game at Saxon Stadium and for the rest of the day, a game night in the Student Union and Blacklight mini-golf in the REC.

Finally, for Sunday, the family weekend concludes with Brunch in the Grotto Commons. While these are the main events for this family weekend, families and friends on campus are welcome to explore, as the bookstore and all dining locations have extended hours for families to come and enjoy. Additionally, even if students do not have family and friends visiting, they are welcome and encouraged to attend the evening MAC/SAC events.

The theme of the events is meant to be even more family-friendly and family-accessible than the usual weekend events, but they are that weekend’s MAC/SAC events and are open to all students on campus.

According to Beckas, it takes both the Campus Involvement Center and the MAC/SAC team at least five months to plan and coordinate this event as there are a variety of vendors and performers, as well as ordering any excess equipment and materials needed in order to keep the event running smoothly.

Families, friends and students can anticipate that for this year’s weekend there is going to be a giveaway: a pack of custom playing cards that are Mercyhurst themed. This is a uniquely themed prize unusual to everyday merchandise already sold here on campus.

“I am most excited for Family Weekend for two reasons. The first is that Braeden Barnett, the SAC Chair has worked diligently and with such great enthusiasm to plan this event and I am proud of what he has come up with. The second reason is that I was the SAC Chair 2015-2016, the first year that Family Weekend was separated from Homecoming,” Beckas said.

Barnett is also excited for Family Weekend.

“I am excited to deliver an extremely fun and enjoyable weekend for all of our Lakers and their families.” Barnett said.

This is a new responsibility for the SAC Chair.

“This was also the year that MSG amended the constitution to state that the SAC Chair is the sole person responsible for planning Family Weekend.” Beckas said. Families can register at alumni/family-weekend for the fun filled weekend. “I hope everyone will take advantage of what is sure to be a great weekend” Barnett said.