Activities abound for Family Weekend fun

By Cassie Blombaum
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Friday, October 14, 2005

UA students looking forward to spending time with their parents will have plenty of opportunities to do so during Family Weekend.

Family Weekend, which begins today and ends on Sunday, is a great way for families to come to campus and discover the unique features and programs offered at the UA as well as explore the Tucson area, said Christina Lieberman, senior coordinator for campus activities at the center for student involvement and leadership.

Christie Adema, a studio art senior and student coordinator of Family Weekend, agreed.

"It's a really great opportunity for parents to catch up with the students," Adema said. "We're trying to instill family pride here."

Some activities scheduled to take place this weekend are tours to Sabino Canyon, Pima Air and Space Museum, Nightfall at Old Tucson and watching the UA football game against Stanford, Lieberman said.

"I am always excited about the new (events) such as Nightfall at Old Tucson this year," Lieberman said. "But Sabino Canyon seems to be a favorite among families from year to year."

Touring caves is another popular activity that will take place during Family Weekend, Adema said.

"That's a tour that we usually have to book several months in advance because it's really hard to get into," Adema said.

Kathryn Adams Riester, acting director for the Center for Student Involvement and Leadership, said she believes touring the Kartchner Caverns and seeing the football game are probably the most well-liked activities that parents and students can enjoy together.

"I think when we look at what people register for the most, probably one of the most popular is visiting Kartchner Caverns for parents and families," Riester said. "And the football game is really popular."

Molly Fehr, a pre-business freshman, said she is really excited about Family Weekend.

"My dad and my brother and I are all going to class together," Fehr said.

Fehr said she and her family are also going to go to the football game.

This year's Family Weekend is expected to draw a crowd of more than 5,000 people, Lieberman said.

"Approximately 1,000 families are registered through our office, but this does not account for all of the families planning to attend through the greek houses," Lieberman said. "I would imagine, in total, at least 5,000 participants will be on campus."

Lieberman said attendance for this year is slightly less than last year's.

"In terms of attendance this year, it is slightly less than last year, a possible byproduct of the economy," Lieberman said. "But the enthusiasm of those planning to attend seems equal."

Adema said while a lot of the activities are not free, the Student Union Memorial Center does not expect to make money off the events.

Lieberman said Family Weekend has a zero-based budget, which means that the income of the event should cancel out the total expenses.

"The (University Activities) Board, with assistance from the Arizona Student Unions, supports and houses the program," Lieberman said. "Any funds not recovered are paid for by the board and student union."

Overall, Adema said she believes Family Weekend will be a great success.

"It's a lot of fun during the weekend," Adema said. "My parents are even coming."

Lieberman agreed.

"The spirit of the weekend is contagious and families are really thrilled to be together and we are excited about all we have to offer them," Lieberman said.