Family Weekend returns

Allison Cohen, Editor-in-Chief


Students and their families had the opportunity to participate in spikeball and cornhole tournaments. Photo by Eyleen Menchu Tuy.

This past weekend, Family Weekend featured the usual array of events including a welcome by President Kathy Murray, the Whitman Music Sampler Concert, spikeball and cornhole tournaments, a Varsity Nordic Improv performance and something new: a vaccination requirement. 

All campus visitors were required to show proof of vaccination in order to attend on-campus events, with no exceptions or exemptions. 

Director of Conferences, Events and Scheduling Jennifer Casper described the logistics of ensuring all campus visitors were fully vaccinated.

“Check-in stations were set up for guests to show proof of vaccination. They then received a visitor pass/lanyard to wear throughout the weekend for entry to any of the indoor events,” Casper said. 

The school highly encouraged campus visitors to take a COVID-19 test within 72 hours of arriving on campus. 

Even during Family Weekend, the website stated, “For our community’s health and safety reasons, Whitman College may cancel or postpone events. We will let families know as soon as possible if there are any changes.” The website also listed alternate locations for outdoor events in case of rain. 

Fortunately, the majority of the weekend was dry. 

“I was so so thankful that the weather cooperated for us, as many of the things that were on the schedule were hosted outside,” Dunn said.  

Families were required to check in and validate their vaccination status. Photo by Eyleen Menchu Tuy.

Dunn also described the process of putting together the events schedule. 

“We (Jennifer and I) inherited this program, and… we actually started from scratch and asked the question: does this support the program outcome, which was to build a weekend in which families were encouraged to spend time with their student doing what their student was interested and engaged in,” Dunn said. “So some things that we had previously done in the past did not make the schedule in the return of family weekend and new things arrived.”

Despite the uncertainty of COVID-19 risks and potential rain, Casper believes the event was a success. 

“Several parents expressed gratitude for the programming and social opportunities arranged for families to participate in ‘the Whitman experience,'” Casper said.