MIT Family Weekend draws near
By Irene C. Kuo
Registration for MIT's first Family Weekend, scheduled for Oct. 20-22, has been lower than organizers had expected, but Undergraduate Association President Paul Antico '91 believes that a few thousand family members, friends, and students will participate.
"The MIT attitude is to sign up late," he reasoned, "but four thousand would be a nice number. Assuming that students who attend bring three other people, one quarter of the student body would be involved."
Events will include department open-houses, a tour of the Media Lab, athletic events, information sessions on financial aid, a mini 2.70 demonstration, and a welcome from President Paul E. Gray '54. With the possible exception of Sunday brunch, all events will be free of charge. Antico did not know how much the MIT Alumni/ae Association was spending; the director could not be reached.
The Alumni/ae Association initiated the program in January as a way to get parents of undergraduates involved in their children's education. Antico said that the program will continue, regardless of what happens this year.
"All other schools have a parents or family weekend," he explained. "People were wondering why MIT didn't. We see this event as a way for parents to find out more about a school they are paying $18,000 for."
He assumed that there would be some fundraising, but expected that it would be subtle. "Fundraising was not the alumni association's reason for creating the weekend," he said.
Antico further stressed that parents, other family members, friends, and students are all invited. "A lot of people thought that only parents could come, but we realized this might not be possible for parents of international students."
Response from academic departments, support offices, and Institute programs has been overwhelming, according to Antico. All departments, for example, will feature open houses. He added that approximately 20 students are involved with organizing the events.
The weekend coincides with the Head of the Charles and other schools' parents weekend and homecomings, according to Antico. Hotels in the area have reserved rooms for MIT's event.