Behind the Scenes at Sibs and Kids Weekend: SHU-Fari Edition


This past weekend, Siena Heights welcomed about 50 or so kids and siblings onto campus. These children participated in the annual Sibs and Kids Weekend, put on as a collaboration between Residence Life and Student Engagement. This year’s theme was SHU-Fari and kids embarked on their very own journey into the “jungle” of college.

The question is, how much time goes into planning these two days out of the year?

Emily Peters, the graduate assistant for Student Engagement, headed this project and had preliminary meetings before Christmas break. She said she gathered a committee of interested volunteers, including roughly six to seven students, and really hit the ground in January, holding weekly planning meetings.

Peters said she is not entirely sure on exactly how many hours she put into this weekend, but it took up a main portion of her working days leading up to the event. For the weekend, she estimates she worked 30 hours making sure everything went smoothly.

In terms of planning and making checklists, she thinks she had about five or six, plus multiple little sticky notes all over her laptop and notebooks.

Email was her primary form of communication, and she sent a few dozen and had a handful of phone calls the week prior to the event.

So why did Peters put so much work into something that would only last two days?

“I know how important it is to those sibs who are coming to visit,” she said. “With myself only getting a year in this position, I knew I would only have one shot and it needed to be the best I could. I wanted to showcase how much fun SHU can be and have the students be excited and proud to have their siblings visit them.”

All in all, Peters said she was happy with the turn out. She stated there are always things that could have run smoother or better, but overall, she said she was very pleased!

What did the participants who attended think? Did they appreciate the work, and what was their favorite part?

Matthew Prater, brother of SHU student Mitchell Prater, said that the Exotic Zoo was his favorite part of the weekend. Peters also said she enjoyed the Exotic Zoo. She thought it was a hit with the visitors and college students alike.

“I really liked the snake that almost attacked my brother, who was cowering in fear,” said Mitchell Prater.

SHU junior Alexis Comden invited both of her sisters, Anna and Claire, to the weekend, and they both had different favorite parts from the weekend.

“My favorite part was getting to hang with my sister, her awesome roommates and friends. They are funny people and it was more entertaining than failing at Putt-Putt,” Anna said.

“I really liked the bouncy house because it had a basketball hoop and balls,” said Claire.

According to the organizers and participants of all ages, it was one that won’t be forgotten. The tradition will continue next year, so stay tuned!