Between football games, in-person classes and all the other excitement of this semester, students may be too busy to be missing home. This weekend, however, Huskers will have the opportunity to reconnect with their families and share their student experiences with them.
From Sept. 17 to Sept. 19, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln will be hosting its annual Family Weekend. Families of UNL students are invited to come to town, visit campus and partake in activities the university has planned for them.
The long list of events for Family Weekend begins with the Welcome Reception at The Graduate. This is followed by the big event, the Husker Watch Party, where families get the opportunity to watch this week’s away football game live in Memorial Stadium.
According to Reshell Ray, advisor of weekend programming and campus nightlife, families attending the event are only able to bring a blanket to sit on and a bottle of water. However, there will be food vendors available outside the stadium during the game. She said families should take the opportunity to visit the stadium and see what Nebraska football has to offer.
“Memorial Stadium is an iconic stadium nationally,” Ray said. “It’s an opportunity to be able to be in Memorial Stadium, experience the stadium, sit out on the field and just enjoy Nebraska football at its finest on the big screen.”
The watch party is not open to the public — only families who registered for family weekend will be able to participate in the event. It will also be canceled in the event of bad weather.
In addition to events the university has planned, Hollie Swanson, director for administrative operations and strategic events within the student affairs office, said they have provided families with information about other activities happening in Lincoln. She encourages families to explore the city and catch up with their students.
“The whole purpose is to connect the families with their students,” Swanson said. “Since they’ve been on campus and away for a little while, it’s an excuse to get together and talk about how the semester is going.”
Swanson said it is very important for families and their students to talk at the beginning of the semester to ensure students are getting properly adjusted to the school year.
“The reason for this event is really so that families can see how the semester is going,” she said. “Oftentimes, within the first few weeks of the semester is the best time for families to reconnect and be able to talk. That way, if something is happening that the families need to know about, it’s easy to connect the students to the resources they need.”
According to Swanson, last year, Family Weekend was held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic. She said the university is excited to allow families the opportunity to get together in person this year.
“I’m just super excited about it this year,” Swanson said. “[Last year] we thought the weekend was successful in its own way, but it doesn’t give you that connection piece when families can’t be together in person.”
Families who did not register for Family Weekend are welcome to attend any of the planned events aside from the watch party. Additionally, students whose families cannot attend Family Weekend are encouraged to visit the Family Weekend webpage, where the UNL Parents Association has provided ideas on ways to reconnect from a distance.
Swanson said that Family Weekend is especially important this year. She is happy to be able to help students and their families make time to reunite and cure some potential homesickness.
“I think after the last year and a half, people are really looking for ways to connect with others,” Swanson said. “I think this is perfect timing to allow families back on campus.”