Hundreds of parents descended on UCSB this weekend to attend the university’s annual Parents’ & Family Weekend.
Over 700 families and 200 students participated in the three-day campus welcoming event, according to the Office of Public Events. This year’s event, which was designed for relatives to get to know their student’s new school, saw significantly more attendees than last year.
The program featured a seminar on the science of happiness, a walking tour of campus and Isla Vista and a Black Family Weekend event, which aimed to have families of Afri-can-American students network with one another. Parents also had the chance to attend classes with their children and participate in faculty presentations, lectures and other ac-tivities.
Julie Miller, special events coordinator for the Office of Public Events, said the main goal of the weekend was to give parents an opportunity to acclimate themselves to the campus and their students’ new lifestyles.
“We want parents to experience the life of their student through activities and lectures,” Miller said.
In that regard, the weekend was successful, according to one parent in attendance.
“I found the entire event to be fun and informative,” parent Mark Yaukey said. “I learned a great deal about the engineering school and my daughter’s sorority.”
Due to uneasy tensions between administrators, faculty, staff and students at the Univer-sity of California — which can be attributed to the current budget crisis — even this seemingly innocuous weekend was embroiled in controversy. A small group of protesters crashed a welcome breakfast hosted by Chancellor Henry T. Yang and his wife Dilling. Many of the protesters emphasized the importance of publicizing their concerns to the gathered UC parents.
Demonstrator Cara Yoshizumi said the group of protestors decided to involve parents in the matter because many parents will be forced to pay for a sizeable portion of the UC’s budget deficit.
“The parents are very sympathetic to our message because they’re the ones who will have to pay the 32 percent tuition increase,” Yoshizumi said.
Chancellor Yang, on the other hand, reassured parents that the university’s reputation is still marked by world-class prestige and diversity.
“UCSB’s stock has never fallen,” Yang said. “You have made the right investment.”