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Yonatan Gazit, May Tay
Photo used with permission from Tamara Burgos
Yale-NUS College invited student’s families to learn about and experience some aspects of the school over Family Weekend, a two-and-a-half day event held at Residential College Four. From the morning Friday, Sept. 5 to noon, Sunday, Sept. 7 students’ families were invited to Yale-NUS for various events throughout each day.
According to Student Programs Manager Christopher O’Connell, the weekend was set up to, “showcase the exciting opportunities students have both in and out of the classroom while creating spaces for families to ask questions and meet administrators, faculty, and other visiting families,” he said.
Jillane Buryn ’18 said the weekend gave her father, who lives in British Columbia, Canada, a chance to better understand her life here in Singapore. “[Family Weekend] was really good for me, for [my dad and brother] to see where I am and accept where I am,” she said. “They liked it here, and that made me a lot happier.”
The weekend included meals and various panels for parents to attend, as well as an opportunity to sit in on a lecture, listen to a sophomore presentation about their summer biking trip across Southeast Asia, watch the Yale-NUS dodgeball team compete in the inter-faculty games, and attend a performing arts showcase, Snapshots.
Florence Feng ’17 performed a chinese dance during the show along with six other students. Feng said that overall, the performance went quite well. “I found the overall quality of performance pieces at Snapshots—be it dance, acapella or poetry— quite impressive given the limited amount of time performers had in the preparation leading up to the final performance.” However, she said that some students felt the show had too few performances, did not maintain a common theme, and that performers felt rushed due to a late notice for the event.
This year, the administration planned Family weekend, as a collaboration of the Dean of Students Office with CIPE, Admissions & Financial Aid, the President’s Office, and the Rector’s Office, according to O’Connell. Students were left out of setting up Snapshots, which some found problematic, according to Feng. “Another issue that was brought up by some was that students were not involved in the planning of Snapshots, which was very different from last year because the entire process was driven by students,” she said.
In Buryn’s opinion, the school did as good a job it could during Family Weekend. “We are a very diverse community and we are very hard to explain in a weekend. But if you think about it, it’s a weekend that convinced a lot of us internationals to come here,” she said. “And so I feel like in the same kind of way they did what they could in a weekend.”
Overall, O’Connell said it was nice seeing students with their families over the weekend. “I was pleased with how engaged guests were with the various panels, sessions, and receptions, and I know many families left the weekend feeling very informed and connected to what is happening at Yale-NUS,” he said.
The Yale-NUS Dean’s Fellows helped plan and facilitate many of the events, according to O’Connell, a major contributor to the weekend’s success.