By Maureen Lynch
Tony and Anne Cappelli sat on the steps outside Laska Gym with their daughter Elizabeth (Lizzy) Cappelli, watching another family decorate Frisbees.
“The frisbees look fun,” said Tony Cappelli.
“I was just saying, look at those food trucks,” said Anne Cappelli.
Even with the mask hiding her grin, Lizzy’s eyes conveyed just how happy she was to have her parents on campus for the weekend.
The community at Assumption University is not just made up of students. It is made up of friends, family, alumni, staff and faculty. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 Pandemic however, the community has not been able to come together. The weekend of September 24-26 offered a family reunion of sorts for the Assumption community.
Family Weekend marked the first time in two years that family and friends could come onto campus since the start of the pandemic. Assumption University’s Campus Activities Board (CAB) oversaw the planning and events for the weekend.
“We chose the theme “Memories that will last forever” because many families were unable to see their kids at college,” said Tatiana Martinez, Family Programs Executives on the CAB exec board. “For this year’s family weekend, we wanted to make sure it would be one families would not forget.”
To kick off the memory filled weekend, families could eat at Taylor Dining Hall and then play some Bingo in the Tsotsis Family Academic Center. According to Martinez, the prizes for bingo included Assumption apparel, a JBL Bluetooth Speaker and a Polaroid camera.
However, campus was much more crowded on Saturday during Fall Fest. Not only did parents and students get to participate in activities such as Pumpkin painting and Frisbee making, but also got a taste for local vendors. Several businesses came onto campus including Oakley Harvest Design Studio, New to You Boutique, Sweet Sara and Porro’s Custom Interiors.
“I wanted a chance for local vendors to come in and have students see the work they have done,” said Martinez.
However, nothing made the weekend more enjoyable than the fact that the Assumption community could finally come together again.
“Just coming to campus and it’s just a beautiful day. It’s nice to visit campus and just be outside,” said Tony Cappelli.
Students were also grateful that guests could finally be allowed back onto campus starting on Friday, the 24th.
“I would say having people on campus is really nice, the weekends have been like aggressively quiet,” said Elizabeth Cappelli. “Though it’s still quiet, it’s nice to have some people and different people, so that’s been really great.”
The Cappellis got together that weekend to enjoy campus to the fullest. However, the process to visit was difficult.
Before coming onto campus, Assumption asked its parents and students to submit proof of vaccination and register for events in advance. Guests also were asked to wear masks both in and outdoors.
“Registration was tough,” said Tony Cappelli, “It was overly intimidating, and the registration process was just, a nightmare.”
The school asked that the protocols in place for students be followed by parents and alumni moving forward.
“The largest thing when we were planning the weekend was the safety of our campus community,” said Isabella Zaccardi, Coordinator for Student Programming. “So in planning for the weekend we relied on the health protocols group as far as guidelines for families coming onto campus.”
Despite the sacrifices, students and guests finally got a chance to be together on campus. Family Weekend kicked off a semester of memories and community.
“The spirit of the community, seeing people out and about,” said Zaccardi, “That kind of community spirit was back.”