Students, staff discuss Family Weekend goals, importance

Kate Russell/The News Family Weekend offers a variety of small events and entertainment for students and their families.
Kate Russell/The News Family Weekend offers a variety of small events and entertainment for students and their families.

Kate Russell/The News
Family Weekend offers a variety of small events and entertainment for students and their families.

During the annual Family Weekend, hosted by Student Affairs, families will be invited to attend a variety of events today, Saturday and Sunday.

Each year, Family Weekend features a home football game to allow families to tailgate and meet other families. This year is no exception. Saturday, the Racers will play Jacksonville State at Stewart Stadium at 6 p.m.

James Mantooth, director of Retention Services, said that there will be a fireworks show after the game that is co-sponsored by Independence Bank.

Josh Bliven, sophomore from Quincy, Ill., said he will attend the game with his dad.

For Bliven, Family Weekend provides a time to tailgate, watch a football game and go out to eat with his father. Bliven said he believes this weekend is important for everyone.

“It is important for (parents) to know what and how you are doing,” Bliven said. “They can see what the school atmosphere is about.”

Mantooth said he expects more families to attend this year than in the past.

After pre-registration, there were 666 individual registrations accounting for 3,066 people. Families may also register this weekend as at the walk-up registration. Last year approximately 300 families signed up during the weekend that were not previously registered.

Mantooth said that Family Weekend is a way to reassure parents and family members that they can be comfortable with their students’ choice at Murray State.

“The primary goal is to give families and students a chance to connect on campus,” Mantooth said. “Students can give their families a tour of their residential colleges and around campus.”

Traditional events are once again featured this year including the International Film Festival, the musics department’s “Fall Fanfare” concert, picnic lunch provided by Murray State Dining Services and Racer Hospitality and residential college receptions featuring a continental breakfast.

Mantooth said that the weekend is a campus-wide effort and that a lot of offices help them out.

Although Family Weekend is designed for families to connect, some students have prior commitments to attend.

Christine Acquisto, senior from St. Louis, will be out of town but she said her parents usually come in for Family Weekend.

Acquisto said that her parents tailgate every year and she and her father attend the father/daughter lunch for Alpha Sigma Alpha sorority.

“My family loves seeing my friends,” Acquisto said. “(They) get to meet everyone I talk about.”

Like Acquisto, other students attend the same traditional events with their families.

Jaime Adams, sophomore from St. Louis, will not have her family attend this year because of the commute.

However, Adams will still attend events throughout the weekend. Adams said she believes that Family Weekend is a good idea, especially for freshmen. Adams will attend another long-lasting tradition, Mr. MSU, Friday night with friends.

As part of the Family Weekend agenda, the Mr. MSU pageant is a tradition of 34 years.

Paige Buckner, junior from Paducah, Ky., is the philanthropy chair of Alpha Omicron Pi, the sorority that coordinates the Mr. MSU pageant. There are 19 contestants in this year’s competition

“Eligible men on campus fill out an application and compete for the title of Mr. MSU,” Buckner said. “They compete in talent, interview, formal wear and the application counts for part of the score as well.”

The event is a fundraiser for the Arthritis Foundation.

Last year, Mr. MSU raised $10,600 for the foundation.

This year, like those past, AOPi will raise funds from ticket and T-shirt sales as well as a “best legs” table. The table allows students to place money into the jar of the contestant who has the best legs, as shown in the pictures on the jars.

The “Southern American” themed pageant is today at 7 p.m. in Lovett Auditorium. Tickets cost $10.

There will be other events not directly sponsored by Family Weekend.

A new event this year is the 5K race sponsored by Murray State track and field. This will be a fundraiser for the team and runners can donate canned goods to Murray-Calloway Need Line.

If students have not registered with their families they may do so today from 1-6:30 p.m.


Story by Tiffany Whitfill, Staff writer