The Residence Halls Association will be partnering with organizations on campus like Chartwells and the Oakland University Rec Well to host fun-filled activities for OU students to participate in with their siblings. Along with the Zombie Walk, it is considered to be one of the RHA’s biggest events of the year.
This year’s theme is “May Your Sib Be With You,” in reference to both the sibling bonding and some of the “Star Wars”-themed activities expected to take place over the weekend, which will cater to all siblings regardless of age.
“This will be an all inclusive event,” said Bettina Lee, the co-coordinator of the event. “For example, we will be showing two movies during the weekend: ‘Despicable Me 3’ for younger audiences and then more of a PG-13 style movie with ‘The Force Awakens.’”
Among other events, there will be two boxes of unstuffed animals for siblings to stuff and accessorize. While they wait, they can play lightsaber tag with blow-up lightsabers. The Rec Well will be open for siblings to play basketball or go swimming during the day as well.
Additionally, RHA has arranged for a magician to come on Friday night and give a magic show. There will even be an open mic night for siblings to watch and participate in, whether it be with jokes or songs.
“Something cool we’re adding this year was an idea from RHA staff was to have a video game contest in the Bear Cave at the Oakland Center,” Lee said. “We will be having siblings face off in games like “Mario Kart” and “Super Smash Brothers” and much more.”
There will also be a galactic scavenger hunt, where siblings will have to find and take pictures of items for the game and post to social media with a certain hashtag, which will make them eligible for a raffle.
“RHA is organization that advocates for the student body and make life better, especially for those who live on campus,” said Nia Brown, co-coordinator of Siblings Weekend. “For this event, I think we do a pretty good job setting up the event. We have all RAs as well as all of RHA helping supervise the activities. Residents will also be informed of the siblings that will be coming to visit, which calls for revisiting of Resident Hall rules. But we’ve never really had a problem in the past.”
RHA has recruited additional staff to ensure the activities and events run smoothly. Event coordinators have suggested that OU students who are bringing siblings should give their roommates notice ahead of time.
Since its implementation, Siblings Weekend has become both an opportunity for sibling bonding and recruitment for future OU students.
“I came here with my sibling in 2008,” Brown said. “This was my first experience of Oakland University. It was so cool to be on the campus, to see what it’s about, to see how students live on campus.”
“Fundamentally, we want to show off Oakland University for the siblings,” Lee added. “We want the events and their time here to peak their interest and to promote sibling bonding and show them what it’s like to be a Grizzly.”