Parent and Family Weekend returns, welcomes loved ones to campus

The Lantern
Students and parents attend multiple events throughout Parents and Family Weekend at Ohio State. Credit: Courtesy of Dave Isaacs

Everyone better be on their best behavior this weekend, as parents will be roaming the campus.

After last year’s cancellation due to the pandemic, Ohio State’s annual Parent and Family Weekend will take place Friday and Saturday. Those attending university programs this weekend can register for free at the Ohio Union, Ryan Lovell, associate dean of students with the Office of Student Life, said.

“We often say to our families as they’re coming through orientation that now that they’ve got a student enrolled at Ohio State, whether they went here or whether they’re from Ohio, they’re now part of our Buckeye family,” Lovell said. “We view families as being an essential part of a student’s success.”

Parent and Family Weekend, held by Parent and Family Relations within the Office of Student Life, is for parents, families and any supporters of students, Lovell said. Students have a chance to highlight their time on campus for their loved ones.

University spokesperson Dave Isaacs said in an email the university enjoys hosting the event for students and their families.

“It’s great that they see Ohio State through their student’s eyes and get a better understanding of their life on campus,” Isaacs said. “Many of our families are alumni themselves, and are often comparing notes with their students about what has changed and what has stayed the same at the university since they graduated.”

Anyone attending an on-campus Parent and Family Weekend event will be expected to follow university COVID-19 guidelines, Lovell said. Unvaccinated individuals must wear a mask at all times, and vaccinated people must wear a mask indoors.

Lovell said programming and events are flexible, so students and their families can attend any at their convenience. He said families only have to check in once at the Ohio Union to ensure they have access to all university facilities and events held for the weekend .

The self-guided Ohio Stadium tours, one of the most popular events, will take place Friday from 3-7 p.m. Families can tour the stadium, go down onto the field and access private areas such as the press boxes, the Yassenoff Recruit Center and the Steinbrenner Band Center.

During the tour, Brutus Buckeye and some members of the spirit squad will be available for pictures, Lovell said. A Graeter’s ice cream truck will also be near the Ohio Stadium Friday beginning at 4 p.m.

“Families are kind of on their own so they can explore the different spaces in the stadium,” Lovell said. “It’s really just a great opportunity for families to get into the stadium and really experience what for a lot of folks is the enthusiasm for Ohio State.”

Students and their families can also attend a free men’s soccer game against Penn State Friday at 7 p.m. at the Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium, according to the event schedule .

Lovell said Saturday morning events will consist of educational programming at the Ohio Union, covering first-year experiences, fraternity and sorority life, the service-learning alternative break program Buck-I-SERV and more. These events will also be live-streamed via Zoom and recorded for families and students who are unable to attend in person. The recordings and streaming links can be found on the Parent and Family Weekend website .

The School of Music will hold a free concert in the Hughes Hall auditorium from 4-5:30 p.m. Families interested in attending the concert are encouraged to complete the School of Music’s online pre-registration form to secure a seat.

Outside of scheduled campus events, Lovell said students may take their loved ones around Columbus to locations such as the Easton Town Center, the Columbus Museum of Art, a nice restaurant or any other part of the city they may enjoy. The online event schedule lists many professional sports games, seasonal events and popular attractions.

“For a lot of students, Family Weekend is, ‘I want to go to a restaurant. I want you to take me shopping. I want to go to Easton. Come visit me, we’re going to spend some time on campus, but I also want to go to these other things in the city,’ ” Lovell said. “We try to structure Family Weekend in a similar way so that there are some events you can do, but also opportunities for free time to go do other things you may want to do.”

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