2021’s First Fall Weekend

Fall Weekend spans three days and consists of various events intended to showcase students’ work and athletic abilities. It also gives families a chance to reunite after students have been at school for nearly two months. For first-year students, this is a particularly exciting weekend, as Harvest Festival and the Fall Ball both take place on Saturday.

First-years shared common opinions about what they looked forward to during Fall Weekend, and what they hoped to see in the future. Lucas Siegel ’21 exclaimed that he would have liked to have seen food at the dance on Saturday. Hannah Maki ’21, too, expressed that she had wished there had been more opportunities to eat throughout the day.

“My parents had a great time; they were able to go to the Prism and a cappella concerts, Harvest Fest, watch the soccer game, and explore campus. Next year, we hope that more food will be offered throughout the day because we somehow missed lunch,” Maki said.

Most students looked forward to seeing their parents. Samantha Barth ’21 stated that her parents enjoyed meeting her first-year seminar professor, while class president Carvens Charles ’21 said that he was excited to meet his friends’ parents, as his did not attend.

For Grace Amato, whose parents did attend, she felt that there were not enough events to keep her parents entertained. “I think they would have liked if we were given a few more events to attend because they came Friday and left Sunday, so besides Saturday, we were kind of scrambling for things to do.”

The weekend looked different for athletes, musicians and artists. Zak Danz ’21, a member of the varsity tennis team, stated that having a tournament was exciting yet limiting.

“I was very excited about playing in front of a larger crowd than normal and having my family there to watch me for the first time since I left for school. Luckily for me, my family was able to attend but because of my athletic requirements, we weren’t able to do many of the setup events for parents weekend.”

Perhaps more disappointing,  Danz and his parents had hoped to speak with the bursar office and financial aid office, both of which were closed during the weekend. Danz felt that if these offices had been open, there may have been effective meetings.

KK Patterson ’21, a member of the club frisbee team, said that it was also fun for her parents to watch her play against Wesleyan. However, while Patterson asserted that the family events were successful, she had suggestions for Fall Ball.

“Something I would like to see next year would be a larger Tent Dance. The Neon Dance went until 2am which made it especially fun and for people who showed up later. Tent Dance felt too short, as the DJ left early,” Patterson added. Patterson’s comments seem to align with popular opinion, as several students expressed a desire to have the dance go later, but New London municipal codes cap outdoor events’ hours at midnight, keeping in mind the impact of sound on New London residents.

Helen Fulmer ‘21, an Honor Council representative, stated that she was excited to table Harvest Festival for her club; however, she did note that she wished there had been activities or interactive programs for siblings and  for younger family members. That being said, there was face painting and crafts during the three hours of Harvest Festival.

Chris Mackay ‘21 offered a different take on the weekend. “My parents didn’t really attend any of the events, but that wasn’t for any particular reason; my parents enjoyed seeing the ambiance of the campus with the students and their families,” Mackay said.

The College did offer information about places to eat in New London, as well as museums or other places to visit upon parents’ registration. For many first-years, Fall Weekend was about showcasing their involvements; however, they shared common hopes for the 2018 Fall Weekend.