Story by Olivia O’Hea
Photo by Jeremy Leong
Elizabeth Bald, chair of the Residence Hall Association Programming Committee, began planning siblings weekend in the summer. Between picking dates, contacting families and reserving space for activities the biggest programming event of RHA required some big ideas.
Siblings weekend, Feb. 15-16, is an annual RHA project where siblings of Drake University students visit, attend a basketball game, eat at Hubbell and live the “college life” for a few days. The RHA programming board, composed of the programming chair and vice president of each residence hall, started looking at themes in November, and eventually landed on “The Hunger Games.” The weekend features a dodgeball tournament (with prizes), separate programs in each hall, tickets to the Drake/UNI game and a viewing of “Life of Pi” for Free Movie Fridays.
As of Tuesday morning, 72 siblings were registered, ranging from 6-29 years old. With such a variety of ages, RHA tried to incorporate programs for all interests into the weekend.
“Older siblings use it as a preview of Drake, and younger kids get to see their older brother or sister’s college life,” Bald said.
The weekend begins with check-in in Olmsted on Friday, Feb. 15, from 3-7 p.m. Each residence hall was assigned a district and will put on a program they planned independently from 7-9 p.m. that night. Stalnaker’s Executive Council will have the “Capitol Casino,” Ross will have the “Baker’s Dozen of District 13,” Carpenter will have a tie-dye event aptly titled “To Dye For,” Crawford will have “District 5: Game On,” featuring black-light twister, Jewett will have a massive scavenger hunt, Goodwin-Kirk will have a Fish Festival with food and games, Morehouse will have “Peeta’s Bakery” and Herriott will host “Lumber, Paper, Scissors: Go!”
Monday, Feb. 11 marked the homestretch for members of the programming board as they finalized papers, planned volunteer schedules and stuffed folders with information, tickets and itineraries for every sibling. Excitement among the group is growing, particularly over the prize for the dodgeball tournament on Saturday. RHA volunteers will hold their own version of the reaping and give away two Razor scooters.
“Siblings Weekend is a really cool event because it gives siblings a chance to see the life of a college student,” Bald said. “A lot of planning went into it.”
Siblings will have access to almost all campus facilities with sibling supervision — and they can stay in the dorms overnight with their own version of a student ID. Besides entrance to campus events, siblings also receive a T-shirt featuring a bulldog grabbing an arrow and this year’s motto: “May the Dogs Be Ever in Your Favor.”
RHA encourages all Drake students to attend the event regardless of whether they have a sibling visiting or not.
“It’s such a different event,” said Bald. “No one else does anything like this and it’s very unique to Drake.”
A full schedule of events is available online at the Drake RHA Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/drake.rha.