Students and their families got to know the campus and the Ypsilanti area during Eastern Michigan University's Family Weekend from Sept 28. through Sept. 30.
The events kicked off on Friday, with check-in for ticket holders and a dinner spread at 6 p.m. The food was povided by Beezy’s Café and Tower Inn to feed the attendees. After dinner, students and families had the opportunity to catch the Friday Night Movie at the Student Center auditorium, a weekly event open to the public. The movie, “The Incredibles 2,” screened at 8 p.m. and at 10:30 p.m.
“This is our fourth Family Weekend,” said Caroline Horste, event coordinator with the Campus Life Activities and Engagement team. “We’ve sold about 510 tickets, and we have a family coming who has attended the weekend all four years.”
Horste said the goal of family weekend is not necessarily to go to events, “we want students and their families to be able to spend time together,” she said. “Some students live miles and miles away from their families when they live on campus, so Family Weekend is a perfect opportunity for families to get together and enjoy each other’s company, with all the events being put on by Campus Life as a bonus.”
On Saturday, check-in for families who were unable to check in on Friday was available at 10 a.m. Students and their families were then invited to participate in the #emuwalksypsi Ypsilanti walking tour, co-sponsored by Ypsi Real. VISION Volunteer Center and the EMU’s Office of International Students and Scholars also helped coordinate the event.
Becca Timmermans, the VISION Center program coordinator, said doing the tour is somewhat different than in previous years, as the tour is self-guided.
“Guests can choose to engage in as much or as little as they want. It’s less that people go to everything, more that people explore businesses in Ypsilanti they wouldn’t normally go to,” she said. “It’s hard to say how many people will do everything on the tour - guests could pick up a map today and do nothing else, or they could visit just one spot.”
Timmermans also said that the walking tour provides opportunities for VISION.
“For VISION, it’s a good opportunity to reach multiple audiences and encourage students and families to learn about what the awesome community has to offer,” she said.
An afterparty for the walking tour took place at Cultivate Coffee and Taphouse in Depot Town at 6 p.m.
Other events on Saturday included a family luncheon at the Student Center ballroom at 12:30 p.m., the Fall Festival in University Park at 2 p.m., the Eastern vs. Northern Illinois University football game at 6 p.m. at Rynearson Stadium, and stargazing at Sherzer hosted by the Astronomy Club.
The addition of the football game was new this year, according to Horste.
“We use feedback from guests extensively,” she said. “Something we’ve gotten consistent feedback about is families wanting to see a football game. I’m excited to see how that goes.”
The weekend concluded on Sunday with a coffee hour at Cultivate at 10am for all guests.