Saxa Politica: Going parental

February 12, 2009

Why was this weekend different from all other weekends? There wasn’t unleavened bread, bitter herbs, or haroset, but just like at your Passover Seder, there were lots of old people.

That’s because this weekend was Senior Parents Weekend, organized by the Senior Class Committee to give seniors and their parents “a chance to celebrate their time at Georgetown … without the stresses of graduation weekend,” according to Senior Parents Weekend Chair Megan O’Neill (SFS ’09).

Although the Committee did a good job of coordinating parents’ access to the weekend’s events, such as the Cherry Tree Massacre, the basketball game, and an orchestra concert, the whole thing seemed a little off balance. The problem was that, in the end, it wasn’t that different from any other weekend.

If my parents were planning to visit, I’m not sure this weekend would be a stand-out candidate. Events like Cherry Tree Massacre happen frequently enough that, unless your parents are particularly enthused about all-male a cappella, it wouldn’t be too difficult to find a good substitute.

“It was a nice way to share some of my college experience with my parents,” Jill Bohling (MSB ’09) said. “But I mean, I took them to Tombs.”

Rather than simply coordinating among the various events that occur on typical Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, Senior Parents Weekend should stand on unique and creative programming that makes our parents’ visit exceptional.

One obvious option for amping up the weekend is to tie it in with Jesuit Heritage Week. At registration, visiting parents did receive a schedule of events celebrating our local men in black, but—as with the rest of the programming—it was far too tangential. There were some delightful events last week, including volleyball with the Jesuits and a tour of campus iconography, but the best happenings were over by the time the weekend rolled around. Coming up with a particular event devoted to bringing the Jesuits together with mom and dad would go a long way to making the weekend more memorable.

The Senior Class Committee should also take advantage of the city. O’Neill points out that the programs mainly took place on campus because Georgetown was the focus of the weekend, but the District of Columbia is a significant part Georgetown’s identity. It’s a great town. Theaters, museums, parent-friendly bars, and other District businesses would undoubtedly be happy to cut Hoyas some deals for the special weekend.

In the end, the weekend was perfectly adequate. But with a little imagination, what were a mundane three days that happened to include mom and dad could be turned into something much more memorable.

Meet the parents with John at


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