Parents’ Weekend will feature open skate, planetarium show

Channing Hindel

Check-in for Parents’ Weekend begins today at 3 p.m. on the first floor in the Student Center.

This weekend will be the first Parents’ Day that Kent State has had in a number of years, said Terri Christensen, director of First Year Colloquium. The event was cut in the past because of budget concerns for the university and the lack of attendance in years past.

“(In the past) Homecoming has traditionally been the time when families would come to campus,” Christensen said. “This is our first attempt to put it all together in a separate weekend.”

Christensen, along with Brenda McKenzie, interim director of the Center for Student Involvement, is coordinating the event, which is sponsored by the provost’s office and put together with the help of several groups across campus.

Christensen anticipates that a large majority of the families will be those of first-year students.

According to the First Year Experience Web site, students and their families can enjoy an open skate at the Ice Arena today from 8:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Families looking for other ways to exercise can get in shape on Saturday from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. during the Student Recreation and Wellness Center’s open rec center time.

Families interested in science can check out the Liquid Crystal Institute’s open house tomorrow from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., or attend the planetarium show tonight at 8 p.m. in Smith Hall. Seats can be reserved ahead of the show time.

These all lead up to the football game on Saturday when Kent State plays host to Bowling Green.

“The culminating event will be the tailgate and the football game,” Christensen said. The tailgate starts two hours prior to the game in the Dix Stadium parking lot.

Christensen said the name “Parents’ Weekend” was never intended to exclude students from non-traditional families.

“We welcome all families,” Christensen said. “There are 749 people who’ve registered, and we haven’t had any negative feedback because of the name.”

With so many families of first-year students on campus, Residence Services will have its role to play in the weekend as well.

Frank Robinson, who oversees the Centennial Court block of residence halls, which also includes Dunbar, Verder and Prentice halls, said he doesn’t anticipate many problems with the weekend or the fact that parents might crash in the residence halls with their child.

“Obviously, if we see someone rolling out a sleeping bag in the lounge, then we’ll say something,” Robinson said, “but as long as it’s OK with the student, we don’t have a problem with the parents staying in the residence halls.”

In fact, some of the residence halls are even serving breakfast on Saturday morning for the families. Tri-Towers is having a continental breakfast, and Centennial courts A-B and E-F are having bagels and orange juice, Robinson said.

For students who would like to have their parents, guardians or relatives come to campus, it isn’t too late. Registration will be in the Student Center today from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. and tomorrow from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Parents can RSVP on the FYE Web site, or just come to the Student Center to register in person.

A full list of events going on this weekend can be found on the at

Contact graduate and undergraduate offices reporter Channing Hindel at [email protected].