Family Weekend is a UB tradition where families reunite with their students to enjoy the fall weather and experience some of the UB lifestyle. Some of the events that families could attend were Homecoming Carnival, Tailgating, UB vs Norfolk football game, Niagara Falls or Great Pumpkin Farm bus trips, and Sunday Brunch. My first year, my family actually came up and we attended some of the family weekend events. It was a lot of fun! Now that I am a part of Student Life, I actually got to work some of the family weekend events which I will talk about in the following paragraphs.
Homecoming Carnival! Although Student Life organizes family weekend, our Student Assoiciation (SA) takes charge of the Homecoming Carnival tagging it a part of their them to #OWNthefall. Having fun games, food, and prizes all in one area is a great way to kick off family weekend. One of my favorite parts is winning a fish to take home. Another favorite part of mine is the huge bonfire and fireworks that concludes the first day of Family Weekend. Leading up to the carnival that week, all the engineering clubs get together to help build the bonfire. This year’s bonfire was bigger than I have ever seen and it was nice seeing everyone enjoy all the hard work that we put into building it. Homecoming Carnival is tradition, and so many families and students end up attending.
Onto the next day, I actually worked and helped out with the Tailgate. The tailgate didn’t officially start until 1:30 pm, but my staff and I were there at 10:30 AM making sure that everything was in order for when the families arrived. It was my first time working the tailgate since I had an Organic Chem test during that time last year, so I was very excited! Once the families arrived, I was in charge of collecting their tickets that they bought and putting wristbands on them to allow them inside. It was a lot of fun chatting with the families as I did that. I am proud to have made their experience here at UB better. Aside from the Student Life run family weekend tailgate, there are other activities that go on in the parking lot by the stadium as well. First, the Spin Doctors were playing as part of the Tailgate Series that athletics hosts before each home game. Additionally, there were tons of other food vendors and fun activities such as rock climbing for people to enjoy.
After the tailgate, I was in charge of the Great Pumpkin Farm Bus Tour. Last year, I got to go on the Niagara Falls Bus tour, so I wanted to try the other location this year. After about a half hour drive to the town of Clarence, we finally arrived there. It was amazing. Not only did you get to pick our own pumpkin (for a very low price), but there were tons of rides, a corn maze, lots of food, and more. There was even special bbq vendors there as part of their Oinktober Festival that weekend. There was even a quaint shop full of tons of Halloween decorations! Everyone who went, I could tell really enjoyed going. I actually now am planning on going back with a group of friends later on!
Finally, on Sunday Family weekend concludes with a Brunch for all the families. There is so much delicious food; basically anything that you can think of. My job as part of student life was clearing the plates from the tables and interacting with the families. It is a lot of hard work, but I could tell from my conversations how much fun families had throughout the weekend.
Every UB family should experience Family Weekend at least once. Not only can you enjoy some on campus activities, but you can enjoy exploring the Buffalo/Niagara area as well.