Friends and Family Weekend Returns Post-COVID

By Angelina Rosado 

Staff Writer

This past weekend, FDU brought back their annual Family and Friends Weekend after the yearlong pause for most campus events and activities. The weekend-long event took place on Metro’s Commencement Green, where students and their families were able to feel a sense of normalcy once more with some fall festivities.

There were live performances from Epic Sound and vendors like Mission Complete Gaming Theater, Stuff-a-Plush and Empanada Guy. Activities included pumpkin picking and painting. There were sweet treats like sweet apple cider and caramelized apples.

“[Family and Friends Weekend] has a lot of activities for the parents and friends to be a part of, and they get to experience the Knight experience for a little while,” said Rashard Mills, assistant director of the Office of Student Life. 

In Fall 2020, some students started their college career online as freshmen and were unable to experience campus events such as Family and Friends weekend. 

“It’s refreshing to be outside with welcoming people, and a welcoming environment. I feel like my first year didn’t feel like I was in college yet. Being here on campus is allowing me to get the college experience I’ve always wanted,” said sophomore Zoe Williams. 

Some parents also rejoiced in being able to continue the FDU tradition with their children. April Latimore, mother of Jordan Sugick, travelled from Washington D.C. to spend the weekend with her daughter.

“Being able to be with [Sugick] on campus, meeting her friends, and just seeing other families being excited to be on campus with their students gives a good experience,” said Latimore.

The event brought back joy and nostalgia from the years past. However, while many were content with the activities, some students expressed their indifference towards them because of their similarity to many of the activities in prior Family weekends. .

 “It’s still the same activities we’ve traditionally had every year, but I’ve noticed more people are coming out to these events. We are able to socialize with new people we haven’t seen before,” said Dani Griffith, a senior criminal justice major. 

This year’s Family and Friends Weekend had a successful turnout despite the odds and added a great sense of community to FDU’s revival of campus life. 

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Photos by Kenneth Ramirez Castro