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Campus population increased over the weekend due to parents and family

Photos: Joey Gale

Mounds of clothing littered the laundry room, evidence of the last-second productivity all too prevalent in college.  Shouts of students cleaning their rooms echoed through the residence halls, a sense of initiative and determination permeating the September air.

No, this sudden surge of Martha Stewart-like interior improvement wasn’t for a “Tidiest Student Scholarship” or for a free $5 foot long.  Rather, Drake Parents and Family Weekend motivated many students to clean up their quarters, hide that shameful load of once-white-and- now-pink laundry, and gear up for a weekend bustling with family friendly activities.

Every year, the Student Activities Board plans a fun, busy weekend with events to suit everyone’s interest exercise gurus, musicians and sports fans alike.

The weekend kicked off Friday, marked by hugs, trunks bursting with luggage and introductions to friends. That night, families could choose to attend a number of events, including a performance by the Drake Jazz Ensemble and a battle of musical prowess in “Dueling Pianos” at Sheslow Auditorium.

Saturday was another day packed with activities and attractions. It began bright and early with the aptly titled Parents and Family Weekend Fun Run. Donning jackets and sweatpants to beat the chilly morning air, students and their families opted to either run or walk the five-kilometer course.  Tricia Atterberg, spent the weekend with her daughter, freshman Shae.

“The run was fun this morning,” Tricia said. Shae thought the fun run was a cool activity to do.

First-year Josh Schoenblatt enjoyed a leisurely Saturday morning at Olmsted Café with his father. He said he liked the “easy going, kind of do what you want” atmosphere of the weekend’s activities.  His father, Keith Schoenblatt, said his favorite part of the weekend was seeing his son. Smiles and embraces decorated the entire weekend as many new students boasted the campus they now call home.

On Saturday afternoon, students and their families could choose from an array of activities including a showing of “The Green Lantern” in Bulldog Theater, playing in an intramural poker tournament at the Bell Center and, perhaps the most popular option, attending the “Sweetheart Sing,” produced by Drake’s Panhellenic and Interfraternity Councils.

Earning this year’s coveted crowns were Delta Gamma and Phi Gamma Delta [FIJI].

“All of them were really good,” First-year Delta Gamma Tess Fischer said. “The theme they picked this year was really cool.”

This year’s theme was a “Rock and Roll Hall of Fame” mantra.  After applauding the hours of memorization, preparation and costume coordination organized by Drake Greek Life, the crowd was abuzz and many spectators gathered to discuss the performance on the lawns surrounding Sheslow.

Drake football stole the limelight on Saturday night, with many students and their families attending the tailgating event in the parking lot followed by the Bulldogs’ contest versus Missouri S&T. The night capped with a 27-23 Drake victory.

To conclude the busy but enjoyable weekend, Sodexo featured its ever-expansive weekend brunch, allowing students to show off Hubbell’s famed omelet bar to their families.

So whether students were running low on quarters for the laundry room, were desperate for a batch of mom’s chocolate chip cookies or simply needed to pet the family dog, Drake Parents and Family Weekend provided a flexible, relaxed environment to catch up with old friends, meet new ones and re-stock one’s change jar, with help from dad’s wallet, of course.

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