Campus, Coronavirus, News

Family and Friends Weekend goes virtual

This year, Boston University’s Family and Friends Weekend has gone virtual. ILLUSTRATION BY LAURYN ALLEN/ DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF

Unlike previous years, attendees of this Fall’s Family and Friends Weekend can enjoy program events from the comfort of their homes.

Family and Friends Weekend 2020 — which began Wednesday and will continue through this weekend — offers a selection of panels, meetings with deans of each college and a sold-out Boston-themed Trivia Night, among other activities.

Christy Loring, director of Parent and Family Programs, helped organize this year’s Family and Friends Weekend. She said this is the first year the program is overseen by Parents and Family Programs.

Loring said Boston University deemed it important to move forward with the Weekend because it is a long-standing tradition.

“It provides a great way for our parents and family members to have a better sense of the inner workings of the University, the quality of education,” Loring said, “and to see the breadth of things that go on here on campus.”

Loring said she feels hopeful the online platform will make attending the program’s events easier for those who normally wouldn’t make it to an in-person version.

“Sometimes I have found that Family Weekend is a challenge for families when it’s in person because it’s a very expensive time to come to Boston normally,” Loring said. “It’s nice that we can open these events up to anyone, no matter where they are, around the world and across the country.” 

Of the selection of events offered this year, Loring said she is excited to attend the University’s live interview Saturday with Andrea Kremer, Emmy Award-winning sports journalist.

Kremer, who is also a College of Communication lecturer, said that as a parent of a college student herself, she can relate to the audience.

“I will approach speaking to other parents, and I will mention this to them, as though I was in the audience,” Kremer said. “What do I want to know about one of my students’ prospective professors? Why am I teaching? Why do I care about it? What do I want to try to impart to the students?”

Michael Gomez, a senior in Sargent College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences and office program manager for Student Food Rescue at the Community Service Center, is set to help run CSC’s open house Friday. He said the event may feature breakout rooms, which are becoming a CSC Zoom staple.

“We tend to use breakout rooms a lot, and have people do that and introduce themselves, or sometimes we’ll throw general questions in a big Zoom room,” Gomez said. “People can either unmute themselves or type in the chat, and we always have decided on people doing whatever is most comfortable for them.”

Gomez also said the open house can highlight the work the CSC does, offering an opportunity for the BU community to learn more about its initiatives.

“More people in the community [can learn] more about how our office has adapted to COVID-19,” Gomez said, “and how we’re still running our programs despite the pandemic.”

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