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Friday, Oct 31, 2014

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Five tips to make the most of Parent's Weekend


The Ohio University Parent's Weekend kicks off Friday, Sept 30, with three days of campus activities for students and parents alike. 

What's the best way for students and parents to make the most of their time together this weekend?  

Three members of Ohio University's Parent's Advisory Council (PAC) who are parents of current OHIO students, along with several current Ohio University students, offered their advice.

1. Shop till you drop

Tom Driehorst, father of junior Callie Driehorst, is just one of the many parents brimming with excitement for this weekend – even if it includes shopping.

"Knowing my daughter, she'll probably want to go shopping," Driehorst said. "I come to Parent's Weekend to spend time with her, so I have no problem taking her shopping."

From clothing boutiques to T-shirt shops, Court Street offers a wide variety of shopping options for both students and parents.

"I'm looking very forward to an Athens shopping trip with my parents," said freshman Emily Williams. "They want to buy new OHIO apparel just as much as I do."

2. Stand up and cheer

OHIO hockey, football, and field hockey teams will welcome parents and students to their games this weekend.

The OHIO hockey team will kick off the first night of Parent's Weekend with a home game against the West Virginia Mountaineers. The puck will drop at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Bird Arena.

On Saturday, the football team will face Kent State at 2 p.m. at Peden Stadium. Both parents and students are welcome to sit in the rowdy student section, the O-Zone.

"Parents have to sit in the student section," said OHIO football player Nieco Teipel. "They have to learn all the cheers and chants and paint their faces green, of course. They'll feel like college students all over again."

To wrap up the weekend games, the women's field hockey team will play on Saturday, and Sunday at 1 p.m. at Chessa Field.

3. Hang at home

Whether you're spending time with your freshman student in a residence hall, or hanging out with your upperclassman in an apartment, all parents should experience a night in their son or daughter's "second home."

"You get to see how your son or daughter gets along with people from all walks of life," said John Ikirt, father of junior Makakey Ikirt. "You get to meet their friends from New York, Pennsylvania and Texas, and you get to see how they build their new relationships."

While students prepare for incoming parents by dusting their desks and washing their clothes, parents prepare in a different way.

"I tell myself that my son's room is not going to be spacious or comfortable," said Lisa Dunn, parent of senior Patrick Dunn. "I know I'm going to see things I'm not going to like – like how my son uses the dishwasher as a storage area instead of a cleaning appliance. But I can give up my own, comfy bed for a night or two to hang out with my son."

4. Get involved

From dinner shows to early breakfasts, Ohio University is offering a variety of activities for parents and students to participate in this weekend.

"The involvement opportunities during Parent's Weekend are just smidgens of the programs OHIO offers students throughout the school year," said junior Jessie Shank.

Participating in the family orientated events this weekend allows parents to see the many different opportunities available for their son or daughter to take part in during their college career.

"While you're here, have a conversation with your student about getting involved on campus," parent John Ikirt said, "Ask them if they're joining clubs and organizations. Find out if they've started networking with professors and advisers."

For a complete list of the weekend's programs and activities, click here


5. Enjoy the moment

"The best part about Parent's Weekend is being able to capture the spirit of a college campus," John Ikirt said.  "And in doing so, you capture the spirit of your own son or daughter in an environment that they're flourishing in."

With only two Parent's Weekends a year, both parents and students are encouraged to soak up every minute together.

"See the world through your son or daughters eyes," said parent Lisa Dunn. "Let your student show off what they're learning, who they're meeting, where they're living. They will feel proud about what they're accomplishing at Ohio University, and you will be proud of them in return."

Parents Tom Driehorst, John Ikirt, and Lisa Dunn all work on the Ohio Parents Advisory Council (OPAC), where they help advise Ohio University administrators on important decisions about future changes, additions, and developments to the campus. 

For more information on the Parents Advisory Council, click here.