Family Weekend Organizers Give Back to Family, Fordham
by Jennifer Spencer
During November’s Family Weekend,Fordham Rose Hill students will invite their parents and other family members to experience life on campus through their student’s eyes.
For the student leaders planning the event, though, Family Weekend is also providing real-world work experience that will apply outside Fordham’s gates.
In fact for student Rocco Totino, Campus Activities Board (CAB) special events co-chair, and co-leader of Family Weekend, his responsibilities have him so busy that he’s not sure how much he will see his family that weekend.
“My family live near, so I get to see them all the time,” said Totino, a senior in the Gabelli School of Business. “It’s different for my parents to come to Family Weekend, since the whole point is to spend time with your student. I’m so busy running things, that we barely see each other.”
Family Weekend is one of Fordham’s largest student-run events, said Jennifer Lackie, assistant director for student organizations and programming, and the Family Weekend adviser.
Students are responsible for every aspect of the event, from planning the schedule and communicating with parents to working with vendors and event execution during the weekend.
Senior Kiki Jimenez, CAB special events co-chair, and co-leader of Family Weekend, said she feels she has learned skills through planning Family Weekend that will help her when she transitions to the working world.
“I’m definitely learning to take action with things, and speak up if you need to. There’s also a lot of planning,” said Jimenez, a student in Fordham College at Rose Hill.
Planning has been the name of the game for Totino and Jimenez, who have been working since the end of spring semester to organize a fun-filled Family Weekend schedule.
Though the football game, this year against Lafayette College, is always a big draw, Totino and Jimenez said they were excited to add a few new events this year.
This year’s Family Weekend will include a showcase of many of Fordham’s performing arts groups as well as ice-skating on Friday night. The popular “sibling sleepover” has also been enhanced this year with new programs for teenage siblings.
As excited as students are to show off their campus, Fordham parents said they eagerly anticipate the opportunity to see their sons and daughters thriving in their new home.
“You want to see your children, make sure they’re comfortable where they are, and that they have good friends and are part of the community,” said Kathleen Sauer, PAR ’14.
Kathleen and her husband Michael, members of Fordham’s Parents Leadership Council, said Family Weekend provided an opportunity to not only meet their daughter April’s friends, but also their parents.
For sports fan Michael, who keeps up with Fordham athletics via Twitter, the football game was a definite highlight. But he also said he really just enjoyed being on Fordham’s beautiful Rose Hill campus.
“It’s a phenomenal school and a phenomenal campus,” Sauer said. “I wish I could go to school there.”
Lackie said that’s a sentiment she hears from many parents.
“People feel comfortable when they come on campus, that this is a home for them,” Lackie said.
For some families, she said, Family Weekend also serves as confirmation of a good decision.
“Many families find it a very reassuring weekend. They're happy they sent their son or daughter to Fordham.”