Sibs and Kids comes back to campus after a hiatus from COVID-19


Morgan McGrath

Students and their younger siblings participated in the Sibs and Kids event this weekend.

Morgan McGrath, Reporter

“Everyone loves an inflatable,” said Kent State sophomore Briley Rhinock.

Briley Rhinock worked as a volunteer with the inflatables in the rec center at Sibs and Kids.


Rhinock wore colorful lemon earrings and clear-rimmed glasses as he welcomed happy visitors to the Kent State rec center.


After a year-long hiatus due to COVID-19, Sibs and Kids Weekend returned as usual to the university. The weekend is the chance for Kent State students to bring their siblings and other relatives to the campus to attend various activities and events.


This year, events included the Evening Amphibian Walk at Brimfield Lions Community Park, a Candy Land Circus at Cartwright Hall, Cookies and Caricatures at the Kent State Student Center, Inflatables in the Rec Center and the Black Squirrel 5K, to name just a few.


Hosted by the Kent Interhall Council (KIC) -Kent State’s residence hall student government- the fun-filled event took place from Friday, April 8 through Sunday, April 10.


“It’s been a good turnout,” said Rhinock. “We’ve had just about 400 people register [for inflatables] and about half of the people [have shown] up so far.”

Students wait at the inflatables activity during the Sibs and Kids event. (Morgan McGrath)


Rhinock volunteered for the inflatables event from noon until 4:00 p.m. on Saturday afternoon, where students and their siblings enjoyed a wide array of bounce houses covering half of the basketball court.


He said with recent winter weather, it’s enjoyable for the kids to have something fun to do indoors.


“Inflatables are, I like to think, at least normally an outdoor thing, so it’s been kind of awhile since we’ve gotten to enjoy them.”


While Rhinock was volunteering, other students, such as freshman music education major Alexis Nemith-Rossi, were spending the day with their younger siblings.


Nemith-Rossi wore a bright green “Sour Patch Sibs” shirt, which was available ahead of time for $12, while weaving in between rooms at the rec center.


“We went to the inflatables, we went to the cookie caricatures, and then we’re going to stuff-a-plush after this,” she said.


Nemith-Rossi also participated in Friday night activities with her siblings. “We watched a movie last night, Encanto, and tomorrow, I think there’s something downtown that we’re doing.”


She wasn’t the only one to enjoy the weekend-long festivities.


About a half-mile across campus, on the third floor of the Student Center, was the Stuff-a-Plush event, hosted by Kent State’s Flash Activities Board or FAB organization.


After waiting in a long line, which wrapped around the hallway, Stacy Henderson and her daughter, Olivia, a freshman digital media production major, enjoyed making stuffed animals in a Build-a-Bear-esque fashion.


“They had cookies and caricatures, and it was a little busy, but they had snacks and stuff,” said Olivia, who chose a leopard stuffed animal.

A group of students and stand with their family members at the Sibs and Kids event.


Cookies and caricatures, which was held in the student center from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m., was how the Hendersons started their day.


After that, they ate some lunch in the HUB, then went to stuff-a-plush.


“This is really nice, though,” said Stacy, who made a white bear stuffed animal.


Later in the day, the Hendersons planned to go to the inflatables event in the rec center and then to the Candy Land Circus at night.


Helping out with Stuff-a-Plush was sophomore visual communications design major Hannah Piatt, a FAB employee.


“This is my first year [working at Sibs and Kids],” she said. “We’re FAB, we actually get hired to be here, so I believe we’re partnering with KIC.”


Piatt noted the many events occurring over the course of the weekend, and she accredits FAB for helping her make friends at Kent State.


Back in 2020, she said, “It was hard to make friends, and so what made friends for me was coming to FAB events.”


Piatt added, “and so now I get to do it for other people and make them have a happy experience.”


Smiling, she watched as students, parents and siblings chose their own stuffed toy to take.

Stuffed animals sit at the table at the Sibs and Kids event. (Morgan McGrath)


Yet another employee at Sibs and Kids was Darrell DeLoch, a housekeeping manager for residence services.


DeLoch works as part of the central staff for housing and culinary at Kent State, and he’s been involved with Sibs and Kids for a number of years now.


“We, as central staff, participate with student events, student run events and stuff like that…Little Sibs, I’ve been doing it for years, honestly…”, he said.


DeLoch said there had been a decent amount of students and siblings who attended the event this year, especially considering the ambiguity of the COVID pandemic.


“I think that’s the biggest chance is that they didn’t know what to expect post-COVID,” he said.


Additionally, the unpredictable weather in recent years has inspired the university to hold the majority of the weekend events indoors.


DeLoch is proud to be part of the university, and he has been consistently pleased with the Sibs and Kids event.


“These guys do so well, and it’s so fun, and I know the kids are always smiling and stuff, and students like it a lot…”, said DeLoch.


The festivities ended on Sunday with trolley rides to downtown Kent and a performance by the Kent Dance Ensemble, according to KIC.


The weekend, in all, boasted sizable success.


After all, everyone loves inflatables.

Morgan McGrath is a reporter. Contact her at [email protected]