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SMC seniors greet fathers on campus

Justin Tardiff | Friday, September 30, 2005

Saint Mary’s seniors will be spending a majority of their weekend with a very important man in their life – and it will not be their boyfriends.

Instead, it will be their dads.

More than 150 seniors and their fathers will participate in the College’s traditional “Senior Dad’s Weekend,” which kicks off tonight at 8 p.m. with “Casino Night” at Windsor Hall in South Bend.

In keeping with tradition from previous years, “Casino Night” was originally scheduled to be held at Heartland, however, new owners refused to honor a contract with Saint Mary’s.

What originally seemed to be an obstacle for the Senior Dad’s planning committee proved very beneficial in the end.

“I’m truly glad though that it is at Windsor Hall because it brings more class to the night and the manager at Windsor Hall is a Saint Mary’s alumna and has been wonderful to us,” Senior Dad’s Chairman Casey Campe said. “They have offered us a 50 percent discount on everything. This has really proven to be a blessing in disguise.”

“Casino Night” will be a dressy-casual event where students and their dads will be entertained while partaking in various casino games. During the evening there will be a live auction to raise money for senior class events, such as the senior formal. Bids will be placed on such things as front row graduation seats, a yearlong parking spot in the Special Events lot and Hummer driving service for dinner at The Vine.

On Saturday seniors and their dads are invited to attend Notre Dame vs. Purdue game watch at 4:30 p.m. in the Student Center. In years past, the game watch has been at The College Football Hall of Fame, however, it was decided that it would be held at the Student Center this year in order to show off the new facility.

“I am a little nervous to see how the tailgate goes because we will be serving alcohol, and everyone drinking will not be allowed to leave the student lounge, which, if you ask me, cannot hold over 300 people – but we’ll make it work,” Campe said.

The last scheduled event will be a closing Mass at 9:45 a.m. on Sunday morning at the Church of Loretto.

The weekend allows seniors to show their dads what life is like at Saint Mary’s, and events are scheduled so that students have free time to do just this.

“Everyone is excited about taking our dads out and showing them the ‘nightlife’ of South Bend, although I’m not really sure if my dad will truly appreciate the sweaty crowdedness of the Backer,” senior Anna Hancock said. “Regardless I’m sure it will be a fun weekend, and an important tradition for us to get to spend a weekend just bonding with our dads, and showing them what our lives are really like here at SMC.”

Senior Angela Rizzo said Senior Dad’s Weekend is a College tradition that intends to give seniors time to reflect on their college experience and look forward to what is to come.

“I think it is important to keep the Senior Dad’s Weekend tradition alive because it lets us reflect on how much we’ve grown as women,” she said. “We’re not daddy’s little girl anymore, even though we may still feel like it.”

Rizzo is grateful for weekends such as Senior Dad’s that allow her to relax and spend time with her father, who was last on campus the day she moved her in.

“Spending time with your dad [at Saint Mary’s] is not something all girls get a chance to do each year,” she said. “By designating a weekend and sponsoring events, Saint Mary’s can make it easier to hang out with your dad.”