October 9, 2014
In a rare occurrence, this year’s Fallcoming is the same weekend as Family Weekend. While it is nice that both families and graduates of the College can converge upon the Hill at the same time in order to be present for the dedication of the Kevin and Karen Kennedy Center for Theatre and the Studio Arts, the merging of the two weekends into one presents several challenges for current students. The first regards the timing of the weekend.
Fall break begins less than a week after Family Weekend. Typically, fall break is a time when many students go home to visit their family and in order to gain reprieve from the hectic Hamilton life. Since the vacation is so close, this fact may discourage certain families from visiting campus and catching a glimpse of their family member’s life at college, from friends to local hotspots.
This mega weekend is frustrating because it is in the middle of midterms. While Hamilton students are always busy, this is a time when they are particularly stressed and overwhelmed with work. Preparing for tests, papers and presentations while also entertaining parents and reuniting with friends of graduated classes presents a major predicament for students. It is a difficult choice to make, when you need to decide between hanging out with your parents and visiting friends, who have made the trek to Central New York to see you and studying for an upcoming midterm exam worth a large percentage of your grade.
Finally, the union of Fallcoming with Family Weekend is a bad idea because it breaks the tradition of having two separate weekends to enjoy with old friends and with your parents. For many, this weekend may be one of the only opportunities many current Hamilton students have to visit with their former schoolmates who may live far away from either Hamilton, their hometown or both. While Fallcoming and Family Weekend were combined two years ago, it was for a more appropriate occasion: the celebration of Hamilton’s bicentennial.
The Spectator believes that the College should consider students’ schedules and priorities in mind when planning these events. Even if Hamilton could not have avoided the junction of these two weekends, the weekend could have been scheduled more carefully.