Today: Apr 21, 2024

Annual “Owls Family Day” brings piece of home to students

IvyLee Rosario – News Writer

A tradition that has been a part of homecoming for years has now broken off into its own day-long event: Owls Family Day.

Owls Family Day occurred on Sept. 29; parents and families from all over were invited to come and spend a day with their student(s) that attend Southern. This event takes place every year during the beginning of the fall season.

Photo Courtesy |
Southern’s Mascot, Otus the Owl, makes an appearance at Family Day.

“The university wants families to feel like they are not just paying tuition, but feel welcome to come to campus and see what the school has to offer. We want parents to see how their children have progressed so far even if it has only been a month,” said Aaron Washington, associate dean of student affairs and coordinator of this event. “They should witness university life on a normal day and get to go through and see some of the activities that are presented to their children here at Southern.”

Some of the activities that were offered on Owls Family Day included a sibling night that started the evening before on Sept. 28. Siblings of students living on campus were welcomed to spend the night in the residence halls and get a feel of real college life.

The event also included a meet and greet with Southern’s new President Mary Papazian; a club fair where parents can learn about the different clubs and organizations their children can join at Southern; a barbecue lunch for students to enjoy with their families; an Owls football game; and a tour of West Rock.

“We love when events like this come along because it gives us a chance to help out the university as well as get our name out as an organization,” said Christian Carrion, general manager of WSIN Radio, which played music during the club fair. “As long as they have been doing the event we have been there playing music. We want students to know who we are and events like this help them recognize us.”

Owls Family Day takes around six months to plan and has a specific committee dedicated to this campus-wide event.

“There are around 15 people that are a part of this committee and it’s made up of faculty, graduate students and staff from all different sections across campus,” said Washington.

The cost for Family Day is $10 per person attending and is free for children ages five and under. Purchasing the Owl Family Day tickets granted family members entrance to all events and meals for the day.

“I was excited to learn about Owls Family Day. I didn’t know they did events like that here so it was nice to see that they wanted our families to come and see how we live and spend a day with us around campus,” said Jennifer Freischlag, 20, journalism major. “I was looking for a fresh start at a new school and I found it. I love it here and events like these remind me of why I chose this school in the first place.”

Owls Family Day is an event made to bring together students and families with the campus life and events that Southern has to offer, said Washington, who has been in charge of this event for the last two years.

The event  used to be a part of homecoming, but in 2011, the committee decided to give Owls Family Day its own separate event. This is the second year it has been a separate celebration.

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