Weber State University students participated in a weekend of events with their siblings from Oct. 12–14 to get them interested in college life.
Students had the option of bringing their siblings to class with them on Oct. 13, as well as attending the welcome presentation with WSU’s ambassadors and having a tour of Weber after the presentation.
“The ambassadors were great because they gave me a new aspect of Weber by showing us the locations of the service buildings and were very engaging,” said Micah Laub, a sibling of a student attending Weber.
Student Ambassadors Josie Phipps and Jaden Juergens said they enjoyed meeting everyone and witnessing how the siblings interacted with each other. According to Juergens, the students also provided more personal and honest information about their college experience during the tours.
“Having other students attend the tours gave off good energy,” Phipps said.
During the tour, chemistry professor Edward Walker allowed attendees to participate in several experiments. These presentations involved seeing how much energy one gummy bear released, the release of dry ice vapors through bubbles, making instant gels by mixing a sodium polyacrylate and water, mixing acids and bases in food-colored water to change its color and making the cornstarch-water soliquid.
“I loved the pace of the experiments. It was so hands-on and engaging,” said Rachel Laub, a student attending Weber. “I never lost interest in (Walker’s) experiments, especially the gummy bear one.”
After those activities, the students and siblings concluded the day with a BBQ dinner provided by Sodexo and various games, such as a sand volleyball tournament, bubble soccer, kanjam, spikeball and more. The students and siblings would then stay at Wildcat Village, University Village or off campus.
The final day of Siblings Weekend involved a pickleball tournament, a free swim, board games, climbing and bowling provided on Weber’s facilities. Participants also took a guided hike off campus
“I liked the pickleball tournament because it was very competitive, and it was also a way to spend time with my younger brother,” said Angel Peralta, a resident of Wildcat Village.
After the activities, students and their siblings went to the tailgate party and concluded their weekend with Weber with the football game against Southern Utah University.
Admissions Administrator Lyndsay Carter confirmed the program had around 60 total participants — 40 siblings and 20 students — with siblings and students who came from eight different states and from the country of Kazakhstan. The program was made to allow the siblings to experience what college feels like and as a potential opportunity for them to choose Weber.
“We wanted to give (the siblings) the entire college experience, from telling them about the features the college provides from the tours, the activities that are on-campus, attending a college sports event and staying in the dorms,” Carter said. “Our goal was to have 30 siblings attend and was aimed at students who were out-of-state, but we still enjoyed having students bring their siblings if they were from Utah.”
Housing Office Manager Morgan Kerr said the program was recommended for students who were 13–17 years old because it would give them an idea of what college was like. The dorms were also beneficial to the program.
“We would accept any sibling to get them excited for college,” Kerr said. “A lot of the night activities were at Wildcat Village to help the students and their siblings have a good time and learn more about what it is like at a college dorm.”
Both Carter and Kerr have plans to host Siblings Weekend for years to come and plan for it to be more popular. Carter is hopeful the event will turn into a family weekend when it becomes popular enough.