Family Weekend: A Fairytale or a Facade?


Belén Yudess ’25
Copy Editor Intern


From Feb. 17-19, families flocked to Scripps for the college’s annual Family Weekend. This three-day event offers relatives a brief window into their student’s academic and co-curricular life at Scripps, complete with a Malott brunch. Programming for this event included a series of faculty lectures, student panels, botanical tours, and an ABBA tribute band — with special guest singer Izzy Gustitis ’26 — hosted by Scripps Presents.

Although Family Weekend consists of a multitude of moving parts, a chance for families to connect with their students lies at its heart. “I feel that Family Weekend is an opportunity to give my parents and other family members, a glimpse into my college experience,” Tori Eichel ’25 said. “Over the years they have been able to meet my friends and their families, meet faculty members, and participate in my daily activities on campus.”

Brooke Kasl-Godsley ’26 echoed this sentiment, explaining how specific campus locations from her life became important parts of her family’s experience. “My mom really wanted to go see Denison and I think my dad liked seeing Denison,” she said.

For many, the ABBA event was the highlight of the weekend. Eichel and her family were able to channel their inner dancing queens alongside a crowd of other families and community members.

“I loved seeing everyone dancing and singing and encouraging their folks to get up and move with them,” Eichel said. “My parents told me how incredible it was for them to see students expressing themselves freely through their ABBA-inspired outfits and free-spirited dancing because they could tell how supportive and loving the Scripps community is.”

Aside from the structured activities available, Kasl-Godsley stated that some of her favorite moments were the ones that happened naturally among her family and friends. “My dad [ended up] sending me a really nice text afterward that was like, ‘it was really nice to see you living your college life and to meet your friends’ and everything,” she said.

Kasl-Godsley touched upon the sense of familiarity brought by her parents’ presence throughout the weekend. “I’m very happy to be here, but it’s nice being parented again,” she said. “I’m no longer the sole one responsible for my well-being even if it’s for like two days.”

Family Weekend is meant to highlight the more pristine and positive aspects of the student experience at Scripps, evident through the tents temporarily constructed for outdoor dining, the catered meals, and the line-up of student and faculty success stories featured during organized talks. Although marketing strategies are expected during an event of this magnitude, Kasl-Godsley points out her hesitation to accept these tactics.

“I had a great time watching my parents and I think that parents really like it, but it feels weird to me, especially this Family Weekend because there’s so much tension between students and the administration right now,” Kasl-Godsley said. “I know a lot of it’s directed towards Pomona’s administration and not quite our administration, but we’re definitely not in the best place right now.”

Kasl-Godsley continued to explain how presentations, specifically from President Amy Marcus-Newhall, did not seem entirely truthful to the reality of Scripps.

“President Marcus-Newhall was talking about this program that they’re doing where they’re trying to raise a bunch of money so more people can access Scripps, and we’re like, ‘they just want more money,’” Kasl-Godsley said. “It feels like they’re using the experiences of first-generation or marginalized students or people who need scholarships to access Scripps to get more money and then not actually providing them a ton of support once they get here. I think the way that administration presents themselves to parents is definitely a marketing scheme. And obviously I love it here, but I also understand that there are many flaws. It’s a little bit insidious, especially in the current climate and the fact that the administration isn’t really listening to its students right now.”

In recent years, marketed events have been sites of student activism on behalf of larger issues. The 2022 Scripps Admitted Students Day happened amid student uproar over the housing shortage, and the 2023 Pitzer Admitted Students Day saw action from Claremont Student Workers Alliance (CSWA) in response to the firing of three McConnell dining hall staff members. Although this Scripps Family Weekend was not met with direct demonstration, Kasl-Godsley acknowledged the need for the administration to welcome student input rather than dismissing it.

“I don’t know what it would look like for the administration to be more transparent,” she said. “It’s nearly impossible to eloquently admit that your students are upset with you but I don’t understand what’s in it for the administration. They’re making their job so much harder by not listening to their students. I get there are forces that are far outside of our control and our knowledge but, there’s all of these issues going on on campus … and [members of administration] were students once, you understand what it’s like. How do you change that much?”

Image Source: Momoka Schmidt ’25

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