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Saint Mary’s invites siblings to campus

Ashley Charnley | Monday, April 12, 2010

One of the hardest parts of going away to college is leaving behind younger siblings. To help alleviate that difficulty, Saint Mary’s Residence Hall Association (RHA) organized Lil’ Sib’s Weekend so students could bring their younger siblings to campus to participate in events and get to know their older sister’s home away from home.

Sophomore Catherine Moore, co-chair of the event, said she and other co-chair senior Andrea Firth started thinking of themes at the beginning of the school year before finally settling on “Saint Mary’s County Fair,” which brought close to 250 people to campus.

“Once we had the theme and dates down, Saint Mary’s County Fair [and] April 9-11, thinking of things to have going on all weekend came a little easier,” Moore said. “We split up the work between us so we would not get too overwhelmed. Let’s just say I am very good at multitasking and working towards a deadline now.”

The weekend’s events began Friday in the Student Center where participants registered and received T-shirts, followed by an ice cream social.

On Saturday, the younger siblings were taken to a county fair where there were animals at a petting zoo including sheep, calves, lambs, baby goats, alpacas, emus, rams and a potbellied pig.

In addition, there was a Moon Bounce, an inflatable obstacle course and a ball toss game.
Saturday afternoon there was also a magic show for the children, Moore said.

“The weather was beautiful and it was a perfect day for this,” Moore said. “At the carnival we had a magician perform. He had two lovely acts that kept everyone stunned and entertained.”

Each of the residence halls on campus provided its own activity Saturday.

The Hall Councils on campus also provided an activity for in which everyone could participate at the carnival.

“Le Mans Hall had flowers to plant in cups and you could decorate the cups,” Moore said.  “McCandless brought a tug-of-war rope, Holy Cross Hall had bozo buckets and prizes to win and Regina Hall put on a pie eating contest.”

That evening RHA held a showing of the movie Barnyard in Carroll Auditorium.

The weekend came to a close Sunday when a Mass was held at the Church of Loretto.

Junior Grace McClurkin participated for the first time this year with her seven-year-old sister. She said the timing this year worked out well for her sister to come and the two enjoyed all the events.

“There were enough that we always had something to do and look forward to, but it wasn’t super busy, so we still had time to relax and hang out,” McClurkin said. “My little sister is seven, so she had a blast with the petting zoo, bounce arounds and face painting at the County Fair.”

McClurkin said she would bring her sister back next year if the timing works out again.
“It’s always fun to have people from home visit your home away from home,” she said.

Moore said she believes events like those of this past weekend are important because they give non-students a different perspective of campus.

“I think Lil’ Sibs Weekend is an important event to have because it allows students the opportunity to show off their school to their siblings and family,” Moore said. “The siblings get to see what Saint Mary’s is really all about from an insider’s point of view.”

Alicia Smith contributed reporting to this story.