Families experience college life

The+Barrio+Fiesta+on+May+10+was+one+of+many+events+that+families+had+the+opportunity+to+attend+during+Family+Weekend.+The+fiesta+showcased+Filipino+music%2C+culture+and+food.+About+150+families+attended+Family+Weekend%0Ato+get+the+chance+to+experience+what+Ellensburg+and+CWU+has+to+offer.
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Families experience college life

The Barrio Fiesta on May 10 was one of many events that families had the opportunity to attend during Family Weekend. The fiesta showcased Filipino music, culture and food. About 150 families attended Family Weekend
to get the chance to experience what Ellensburg and CWU has to offer.

The Barrio Fiesta on May 10 was one of many events that families had the opportunity to attend during Family Weekend. The fiesta showcased Filipino music, culture and food. About 150 families attended Family Weekend to get the chance to experience what Ellensburg and CWU has to offer.

The Barrio Fiesta on May 10 was one of many events that families had the opportunity to attend during Family Weekend. The fiesta showcased Filipino music, culture and food. About 150 families attended Family Weekend to get the chance to experience what Ellensburg and CWU has to offer.

The Barrio Fiesta on May 10 was one of many events that families had the opportunity to attend during Family Weekend. The fiesta showcased Filipino music, culture and food. About 150 families attended Family Weekend to get the chance to experience what Ellensburg and CWU has to offer.

Mariah Valles, Editor-in-Chief

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Every spring families are invited to visit campus for a weekend and participate in the college experience. This year Family Weekend was hosted May 10-12 and over 700 people were registered to attend. For one mother, it was an opportunity to experience a university alongside her last daughter to leave home.

Angela Jones, mother of freshman Katrina Jones-Morales, attended community college but never attended a university.

“This is all totally brand new to me, the whole university experience,” Jones said. “It’s really cool just to see what this is all about.”

The family lives in Bremerton, Washington which is about a two hour drive from Ellensburg. Jones-Morales is the youngest sibling in her family.

“She’s growing up,” Jones said. “I have an older daughter as well but this is my last one leaving the nest.”

Jones-Morales said she sometimes struggles with being homesick. She said after about a month of not being near her home, she tends to go back for a visit. At the start of Family Weekend it had been about a month since Jones-Morales had gone home.

“My mom is honestly one of my best friends,” Jones-Morales said. “It’s very true. It’s kind of cliche and cheesy but it’s very true. My mom and I are really close and I love having her around.”

Jones-Morales, who is auditioning for the musical theatre program, is in the ensemble for the “Hunchback of Notre Dame” musical. She’s excited to perform in front of her mom for the first time at the collegiate level.

When Jones-Morales is not performing in the musical, the family will be visiting art exhibits, the farmer’s market and other in-town events. They also plan to visit the planetarium and Barrio Fiesta, a Filipino celebration.

“[CWU] is a beautiful campus,” Jones said. “There’s just really great people here and I’m excited for the next three years.”

Freshman Hunter Pohl, a special events coordinator at Campus Activities, hopes Family Weekend is a memorable time for students and their families.

“It’s one of those times where [students] can relax from school and hang out with their family,” Pohl said.

Pohl and his three team members at the Campus Activities office spent about two months putting family weekend together. The students reached out to different places, such as the planetarium, and created a schedule for the weekend. According to Pohl, the team of students had control over a majority of the event.

Pohl, who has been involved with Campus Activities since October, said the best part about coordinating events is watching the behind-the-scenes portion of event development.

Pohl hopes the event is something families will talk about even after returning home from Family Weekend.

Sophomore Avery Cortinas, also a student coordinator, said the event went well and about 150 different families showed up.

Cortinas’ part in planning the event included contacting the Ellensburg Downtown Association, Thorp Mill and Wildcat Shop. She contacted the Wildcat Shop to put coupons into giveaways and took charge in all other giveaways for prizes such as bags and sunglasses.

The best part of the weekend for Cortinas was seeing families take photos together at the Mother’s Day Brunch on Sunday.

“It was really cool to see all of the families taking their picture together,” Cortinas said. “We’re so busy, you know, we’re college students you don’t get a lot of time to get a family picture.”

Planning the event came full circle for Cortinas because the first event she worked on as a new hire last year was Family Weekend.

“The biggest lesson I learned is that you’re going to deal with a lot of different personalities no matter what the event is,” Cortinas said. “You just have to be prepared for that and have a positive outlook even when things go wrong.”

Cortinas said the team received comments about Family Weekend being hosted during Mother’s Day Weekend. This is a change Campus Activities has taken into consideration. Cortinas said a lot of events happen in spring and Ellensburg is the most beautiful in spring, which makes changing the event to another weekend or quarter challenging.

“We always try to work to offer more of our most popular events,” Cortinas said. “The river float is always really popular so we try to create as many opportunities for that as possible.”

Cortinas said because there isn’t a lot to do in Ellensburg, Family Weekend is an opportunity for a weekend filled with events.

“If your family has not come for Family weekend you should definitely do it at least once,” Cortinas said. “It’s a really fun time to show your family around the campus.”

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