Family Fest plus Diversity Weekend equals happy parents

By Tressa Versteeg

A week ago today, campus was filled with the bustle of the Family Fest and Diversity Weekend events. This was the first collaboration of the festivals, and according to Assistant Dean of Students and organizer of Family Fest Irene Kao, it was a positive move.”It was really great. The parents were excited to see some of the events that the students had planned. The parents really enjoyed it,” Kao said.

She also said that about 100 more people came than last year and that many events were full. However, she thought the most popular were President Rosenberg’s State of the MACUnion and the Lake Street and Global Market bus tours.

The musical performances were popular as well.

“I loved both Musical Extravaganzas. I went to both. African Music Ensemble-I never knew gourds could make such beautiful music. I thought Scotch Tape’s transformation of Shakira’s ‘Hips Don’t Lie’ was brilliant and innovative. I was impressed overall. The whole night made me wish I could sing,” Eli Kramer ’11 said.

The fifth annual 5k walk/run on the morning of Oct. 6, was particularly popular despite the rainy weather, according to Associate Director of Health Services and organizer for the event Lisa Broek. 327 people participated in this year’s race, 42 more people than 2005 and 132 more than in 2006.

“I think the event was great. Of course, I wish that the skies had been sunny but the rain came with warm temperatures. We [Broek and Martin Peper, co-planner] always have a lot of fun planning this event. This year my team of student health promotions staff were able to get a lot of great gift certificates from local merchants for our prize drawing,” Broek said.

Division winners received $50 dollar gift cards: male and female students, and male and female non-students. The student winners were Jon Besson and Clair Schuch ’11, and the non-student winners were math and computer science professor Tom Halverson and parent Vera Heg.

According to student organizer of Diversity Weekend Tinbete Ermyas ’08, the weekend overall was a success despite last minute problems.

“As a whole the weekend went pretty well. I was glad to see that people showed up to some of the events and that people actually brought their families to some of the events,” Ermyas said.

Some speakers and panelists canceled last minute, which resulted in the elimination of those events. However the panels that were held went well, according to Ermyas. He said the biggest success was the student panel on “student organizing and belonging to Macalester, especially in relation to being institutional citizens. I thought the conversation was very thought-provoking and engaging.”

Planning for next year’s weekend will begin in the spring and will include another event on top of Family Fest and Diversity Weekend, the International Roundtable.