Panther families celebrate Family Weekend

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Panther families will visit their UNI cats and kittens this coming weekend during the official Family Weekend from Oct. 21-23. Assistant Vice President & Dean of Students Allyson Rafanello encourages families and students to take advantage of the many events and festivities occurring this weekend.

“This is a really exciting and unique opportunity for a student to say ‘let me show you my experience and how I’m making that big picture of university life uniquely mine,’” Rafanello said. “Particularly keeping in mind our first year students; they are here and have gotten situated and this is their home away from home. Now is their family’s opportunity to visit campus and to let them show UNI, their experience, their places and spaces where they are making memories.”

The festivities will kick off Friday evening with a Choirs Concert in Gallagher Bluedorn Performing Arts Center (GBPAC) at 7:30 p.m. The Campus Activities Board (CAB) will be hosting a Bingo night at Maucker Union Coffeehouse with prizes and fun for any age at 8 p.m. An observatory show will round out the night at 7 p.m. – 9 p.m. in McCollum Science Hall if weather permits.

Many of the activities will kick off Saturday, with a welcome introduction occurring at 9 a.m. in GBPAC. During that time the UNI Singpins will perform, President Nook will make some remarks, and a 2022 “Forever Family” will be announced. According to Rafanello, the Forever Family was nominated by students for their commitment to UNI. 

After the welcome address, families are encouraged to participate in a campus wide scavenger hunt by using the Goosechase app to take pictures of different places around campus. The challenge closes at 10 p.m. Sunday, and prizes include a UNI Bookstore gift card. 

Several colleges will be hosting open houses for students and families to check out, as well as demonstrations by various departments. A Robot Demonstration will occur in the Applied Engineering Building from 10 a.m. to noon, and the UNI Chapter of the American Chemical Society will be hosting their annual Chemistry Magic Show which will be held in Lantz Auditorium in McCollum Science Hall. Rafanello encourages families to visit this demonstration, as it is a hit every year with families and is fun for all ages. 

Various other unique opportunities throughout the day will be offered for Panthers and their families. Parents and family members of Panther Marching Band students are invited to march alongside their students at 1 p.m. in the UNI-Dome before the football game, families can experience a real excavation as archeology students dig at a site located off of Jennings Drive south of Business & Community Services. Students and families can also explore the greenhouses, Rod Library, and the Dementia House Simulation unique to UNI. Finally the football game versus Missouri State University will take place in the UNI-Dome at 4 p.m. 

A few events will be taking place Sunday, including a brunch at St. Stephen’s the Witness Church at 10:30 a.m., and a “Scarecrow Stroll” located at the Cedar Valley Arboretum and Botanic Gardens at Hawkeye Community College. Finally, the women’s soccer game versus Belmont State will be taking place at noon.