Family Weekend making comeback to SIU


Dominique Martinez-Powell |

SIU cheerleaders run across the field holding flags that spell “SALUKIS” during the beginning of the game against Illinois State University Sept. 25, 2021 at the Saluki Stadium in Carbondale, Ill.

Family Weekend came back to Southern Illinois University at Carbondale from Sept. 24 through 26 with a variety of events on campus for students including karaoke, sorority activities and a tailgate before the Saluki football game. 

Carly Holtkamp, the assistant director of the Office of Student Engagement, said they have had family weekend at SIU-C for about fifteen years.

“Family Weekend is a chance to get students’ families back on campus,” Holtkamp said. “We hope that this is a chance [for students] to see their parents, grandparents and siblings, whoever it is that is coming to see them and a chance to show them a new life at SIU.” 


Holtkamp said this event allowed students to show their parents what their life is like at SIU. She said although family weekend had a smaller schedule this year due to COVID-19, there was still plenty to do on campus.

Holtkamp said there will be a variety of things for students and parents to enjoy from bowling, craft sales and karaoke. 

According to Holtkamp, they were not able to have family weekend in person last year due to COVID so they had to change it to a virtual event.

“We didn’t do it in person on campus because of COVID-19 we didn’t feel it was appropriate to have families traveling to town and bringing more people,” Holtkamp said.

SIU-C Chancellor Austin Lane said he is glad to be having family weekend again in person.

“You’ve got a lot of the alums and legacy, so it’s always good to have them come back and see where they went to school years ago,” Lane said. “It’s overall the weekend to reconnect.” 

Lane also said they intended on following the COVID safety guidelines all throughout the weekend.


“There’s got to be a mask on at all times and outdoors you don’t have to. That’s the state’s guidelines. So outdoors since we’re in phase five is you don’t have to wear a mask outside,” Lane said.

Taylor Lawrence, a sophomore at SIU, said she is excited to see her parents and go to the upcoming football game.

For the first day of Family Weekend, the student center hosted different events from craft sales, karaoke and bowling.

Off the Rails, the newest convert series in Carbondale, was held at the Washington Street Venue on Sept. 24th from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

The lineup for the concert had different bands for families to enjoy such as Radio Free Honduras, Jason Ringenberg, and Hugh DeNeal and company.

On Saturday, the different fraternities and sororities hosted Greek Sing where they performed skits, songs and dances. 

Before the football game against Illinois State, a tailgate was held at Saluki Row for parents and students to hangout before the game.

Family Weekend is a way for students and parents to reconnect and spend time together since students have been away at school for so long.

“Hang out on campus with their son and daughter at a place that they attended 20 or 30 years ago. That’s what’s special about it, is that they can do that, and have the memories and create a legacy,” Lane said.

Staff reporter Janiyah Gaston can be reached at [email protected] or on Instagram at @janiyah_reports. To stay up to date with all your Southern Illinois news follow the Daily Egyptian on Facebook and Twitter.