Opinion: NYU should have more than one parents weekend

NYU’s Alumni and Parents Weekend is a time to reconnect with family. Students deserve more than one opportunity to do that.

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Samson Tu

NYU president Andrew Hamilton speaks in front of parents and alums at Bobst Library on Oct. 22 during Alumni and Parents Weekend. (Samson Tu for WSN)

Molly Koch, Contributing Writer

In case you missed it, this past weekend was NYU’s annual Alumni and Parents Weekend. From Oct. 20-23, NYU welcomed student families to campus and celebrated its extensive alumni network — the largest of any private university. It offered reunion celebrations, faculty lectures, parent welcome gatherings and updates from President Andrew Hamilton. But is one parent weekend a year enough? 

Parents weekend is supposed to be relaxing and a chance to regain some mental stability. But NYU is currently in its midterm season, which is not exactly great timing to be hanging out with parents. Many students have to scramble to make time for both studying and visiting with their families. With more opportunities for parents to officially visit campus, students may spend less time studying and more time being tour guides for their families.

NYU also prides itself on being a global university — which means that some parents live abroad too, and they can’t come to campus on a whim. Flights are only cheap when booked months in advance, but those ticket prices skyrocket the later they are booked. That doesn’t look too good for parents — especially on top of the hefty tuition they’re already paying. Many international students and students from out of state were not able to see their families this weekend. If NYU provided more opportunities for families to visit, there would be a higher chance families could actually come visit. 

NYU is also not the greatest at promoting its Alumni and Parents Weekend. Most students, especially upperclassmen, had no idea that Oct. 20-23 was parents weekend. If the event was promoted more effectively to students and not just parents, many more students would have seen their families during such a crucial weekend.

Parents weekend offers some benefits that aren’t necessarily available during the rest of the year. For one, you may eat better. You most likely won’t have to eat at the dining halls for four days out of the week, which seems like a huge win. That Italian restaurant you’ve been dying to try, but just can’t find it in your college-student budget to splurge on? You could be there with your parents Saturday night.

If you’re a forgetful packer, parents weekend is the chance to fix it. Maybe you forgot to pack winter clothes or you’re missing some supplies completely. Your parents will be more than happy to get you anything you need. The city is expensive, so let them handle its costs for a bit. 

Having your parents visit can be a bit overwhelming, from picking them up from the airport or Pennsylvania Station, to spending way too long explaining how the subway works. But it offers a nice break from doing homework for a few days to spend some time with your family. Parents weekend is just as important to students as it is to parents, so we need to have more of them — even if they make us a bit more homesick when they’re over.

WSN’s Opinion section strives to publish ideas worth discussing. The views presented in the Opinion section are solely the views of the writer. 

Contact Molly Koch at [email protected]