UCSB will be the site of a large family reunion today as the campus hosts its 21st annual Parents’ and Family Weekend.
Festivities will include a variety of presentations, lectures, activities and tours commencing today at 9 a.m. and concluding Sunday at 2 p.m. The weekend aims to give parents and family members of UCSB students a chance to explore the campus and familiarize themselves with the university.
Office of Public Events’ Special Event Coordinator Julie Miller, who planned the weekend for the fourth consecutive year, said that roughly 550 families — an estimated 2,000 visitors in total — are expected to attend the festivities.
“Every year, we’re always looking for ways to make [Parents’ and Family Weekend] bigger, better and more efficient,” Miller said.
According to Miller, the event is meant to establish a connection between the university and students’ families.
“The purpose [of this weekend] is for parents to spend a day in the life of their student,” Miller said.
According to Miller, one of the weekend’s highlights is a breakfast — hosted by UCSB Chancellor Henry T. Yang and his wife, Dilling — on Saturday at 8:30 a.m. in the Lagoon Plaza. Miller said the complimentary breakfast will offer a setting for parents to socialize with one another and learn more about the administration.
Campbell Hall will host a National Comedy Theatre improvisation show on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. The weekend will also feature faculty lectures, including sociology professors Janice and John Baldwin’s discussion on “Sex as a Matter of Course” and political science professor John Woolley’s presentation on “Obama at Midterm.”
Qyna Tang, a second-year biochemistry major, said last year’s Parents’ and Family Weekend was a good opportunity for her mother to catch a glimpse of the UCSB college experience.
“It was a nice way for my mom to see my life in Santa Barbara — to see my home away from home,” Tang said.
Even though the weekend primarily targets the families of freshmen and transfer students, Miller said the events are open to everyone.
Sahar Reka, a second-year biology major, said she has invited her mother and stepfather from Northern California to attend the event for the first time.
“It was my idea for them to come down this year because they have hardly been on campus,” Reka said. “Santa Barbara is over five hours away from where we live. I hope [my parents] get to see more of our campus and get the feel for it.
Registration for the three-day festivity costs $35 per person. The event is free of charge for all UCSB students and children under the age of 10. Additionally, registered visitors will be granted free access to the Recreational Center and free admission to certain sporting events throughout the weekend.