Photo Series: A recap from UWL’s family weekend


Photo taken by Henry Anderson.

Henry Anderson, Photojournalist

The fall semester of 2022 here at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse has reached its halfway point. With classes picking up steam and the weather getting colder, students are starting to settle into life here in La Crosse. However, just because things are changing around here on campus, doesn’t mean indoor and outdoor events cease. 

From Friday, Oct. 21 to Sunday, Oct. 23, the university held a family weekend. Put simply, family weekend is an amalgamation of events at the UWL campus as well as the larger La Crosse area based around family participation. Aislinn Hernandez, the coordinator of new student and family programs, said, “Family weekend is about letting folks know what UWL is about.”

“[Family weekend] is about welcoming people to UWL and for that reason having something for everybody to do this weekend,” said Hernandez. Family weekend had numerous activities for families to participate in. “Along with the dessert reception and bingo, there are self-guided hikes led by the REC, and free movies including Back to the Future and Top Gun: Maverick,” said Hernandez.

Including these events, families had the choice of numerous sports games and music concerts to attend, along with a bean bag tournament to participate in. 

“This is my first year in the role of organizing family weekend here at UWL,” said Hernandez. So, trying to figure out what family weekend looks like is essential to Hernandez’s role because, as she says, “[Family weekend] is trying to make folks feel welcome.” Additionally, Hernandez says, “Knowing that most first-year students haven’t gone home yet, having their families here to show them around campus is important.”

Like Hernandez said, having family around after a couple of weeks of living away from home can be beneficial. Not only can students reconnect with family, but the whole family can take time to get to know UWL and the surrounding area through numerous activities. Living in a new place can be stressful, especially for those who are not used to being away from home. Having something like family weekend relieves those stresses. 

Ellie Hemming, a musical theater major and a freshman here at UWL, is one of those students that spent family weekend with her family. Hailing from Darlington, the Hemmings spent the weekend participating in the various activities that the family weekend had to offer. “We went to a choir concert last night, Ellie’s roommate is in the choir,” said Ellie’s mother Kori. Kori continued by saying, “We also plan on seeing Murder on the Orient Express. Since the weather is so nice, we are hoping to get to walk along the river and do some things outside.”

Family weekend also allowed families to check in on their kids after their move away from home. When the Hemming’s were asked why they chose to come to visit their daughter on family weekend in particular, Kori said, “She’s our kid going off to college.” She continued, “We wanted to come and support you here on family weekend, and we get to see a show while we are at it.” 

In retrospect, family weekend here at UWL was a weekend in the fall semester that allowed students, new and returning, to take a mental break with their families. By having activities planned and advertised for families to partake in, families were able to not only get rid of some stress associated with moving away to college but also have time to spend time with each other.