A student’s look ahead at Family Weekend, Sept. 27-29

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(Photo by Michael Marsland)

Family Weekend is like Bulldog Days for the whole family — only instead of getting a taste of student life at Yale to make or reaffirm an admissions decision, family members get to vicariously indulge in the seven-course meal of actual Yale student-hood during three jam-packed days, Friday-Saturday, Sept. 27-29.

Just like students here, family members have many extracurricular presentations, building tours, and open-houses to catch. In fact, the full schedule for Family Weekend measures the length of nine computer screens — allowing parents and relatives to experience a common Yale phenomenon: having too many choices to choose from.

One plan of action is to tail your kids for a day. After all, the goal of Family Weekend is not only for families to check-in in person, and explore (or investigate) their kids’ fledgling or experienced groove at college. It’s also a great opportunity for Yalies to share with their loved ones the things they care about the most: the activities they devote their four years to, their favorite restaurants and libraries, the secret study spots that only they know about. Some of these things can only be done while families are physically in New Haven, so take advantage of this.

Other Family Weekend activities designed to showcase the student experience include the following:  

Faculty Lectures and Panel Discussions — To understand Yale’s academic experience and philosophy, attend one of the many sample lectures taught by distinguished faculty 1–3 p.m. These will be followed by faculty and administration panel discussions on “Why I Teach?” (3:15-4:15 p.m.) and “Yale College Life” (4:30-5:45 p.m.).

There will also be small group Professor Lunches hosted by the Yale Hunger and Homelessness Action Project. See http://www.yale.edu/yhhap/Professor_Lunches_2013.html for sign up and schedule.

Yale Campus Tours — These are a sure way to see all the major sites on campus from a student’s perspective. No pre-registration required, and multiple tour times available. Some tours are offered in other languages; check the schedule for more details.  

Library, Museum, and Gallery Tours — The weekend wouldn’t be complete without viewing some of the collections on display at in Yale’s 15 libraries and five major museums/galleries — from the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library to the Yale University Art Gallery, Yale Center for British Art, Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History, and many others. Multiple guided and student tours are available.

Special Interest Groups — Several cultural houses and special-interest groups will be hosting their own open houses, panel discussions, and performances.  

Athletics — Show some Yale family pride at a sports event.

Saturday, noon: Football v. Cornell at the Yale Bowl (see schedule for ticketing information)

Saturday, 5 p.m.: Volleyball v. Brown at Reese Stadium 

Saturday, 7 p.m.: Men’s Soccer v. Quinnipiac at John J. Lee Amphitheater

Dwight Hall Open House — Nearly 80% of all Yale students do community service at the local, national, or international level through the Dwight Hall Center for Service and Social Justice. Visit to learn about the work your students have been doing.

Gala Concert — There will be a triple-threat musical performance featuring the Yale Glee Club, Yale Concert Band, and Yale Symphony Orchestra on Saturday in Woolsey Hall. The many a cappella groups will also be hosting individual concerts. Check the schedule or the individual group’s website for more details.

Although events are slated for the whole weekend, families can come and go as they please, and there is no formal registration. More information and Frequently Asked Questions can be found on the Family Weekend homepage.

By the end of the weekend, families and guests will learn what Yalies soon realize on campus: No matter what you choose, you can’t go wrong.

Kerri Lu ’14 has been writing about life at Yale from a student’s perspective since her freshman year.

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