Colgate’s Family Weekend Returns for Fall 2021


Colgate University

FALL FAMILY FUN: The University welcomed families to campus for a weekend of activities for the first Family Weekend in two years.

After pandemic restrictions prevented guests from visiting campus last year, Colgate University welcomed families and friends for its first Family Weekend since 2019. The weekend of events, which ran from Oct.22-24, included a 3,000-person barbeque on Friday night and a food truck lunch on Whitnall Field. 

The Food Truck Lunch and a conversation with President Brian Casey in the Colgate Memorial Chapel took place on Saturday for students and their families. The weekend also featured sporting events like men’s and women’s hockey games. Many campus departments and student organizations hosted Family Weekend events of their own, among them academic department open houses and an a capella concert featuring Colgate’s five a capella groups. 

Given the ongoing pandemic, some aspects of the traditional weekend were shifted to align with the University’s COVID-19 policies. 

Upon arrival at Colgate, family members were required to check in at the Case-Geyer parking lot between noon and 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 22 and between 8:00 a.m. and noon on Saturday, Oct. 23. In exchange for providing COVID-19 documentation verification, family members were given a yellow-colored wristband that granted them access to University events. Documentation included proof of complete COVID-19 vaccination, a negative COVID-19 test, or a positive COVID-19 test dated between 14 and 90 days prior to check in, according to the University’s website.

The Event Safety Group worked to ensure the safety of the Colgate community against COVID-19, expecting a large volume of visitors to arrive for the weekend.

Cody Tipton, Director of Conference Services, Summer Programs and Auxiliary Support, further explained the role of the Event Safety Group in coordination with Colgate’s Emergency Operation Center (EOC) and Task Force in implementing guidelines for the duration of the weekend.

“[For] any indoor event, we are asking people to keep their masks on. We also have a list of ‘best practices’ on our webpage that we’re asking people to consider and implement as many as possible,” Tipton said. “For any given event organizer, we want to ask them to look through this list of best practices and implement as many as they can.”

These practices included indoor masking, encouraging social distancing and moving dining events outdoors whenever possible, according to Tipton.

“We always try to think about what steps we can take to modify something to make sure it can [still] happen safely,” Tipton said.

Edward Webb, parent to senior Nate Webb, shared his thoughts on Colgate’s COVID-19 guidelines for Family Weekend, and why the annual event is important for students and their families.

“The University has to follow what the state and CDC guidelines are and they have to also do what they think is right for the students, faculty and staff,” Webb said. “For university and educational institutions to be successful, you need to bring intergenerational links […] that’s really the key.”

Junior Luke Durivage also offered his thoughts on what he enjoys most about Family Weekend.

“It was a great chance to reconnect with family over a weekend full of fun events like an a capella concert and great food. Also [it was] a much-needed break to get my mind off of work,” Durivage said.