Siblings Weekend welcomes all ages

Students living in the residence halls were able to bring their siblings to Oakland University to experience a weekend of games, movies and activities.

According to Jenna Nielson, programming chair for Residence Halls Association (RHA), the event has been planned all semester.

“My supervisors put it in my head before Christmas break and the broad concept comes early on,” Nielson said. “From there, it’s narrowed down into more specific things.”

This program has been going on for many years, but things change from year to year. This year included a comedian, magician, activities in the rec center, movies, snacks and shirts for the student-sibling duos.

In years past, the program was designed for younger siblings. Nielson said that last year they learned that many of the siblings were in their teens so this year, they designed programs based on this demographic.

For example, RHA showed both “Inside Out” and “Star Wars” to give content for all ages of siblings.

SPB teamed up with RHA to host the “Neon Lights” dance in the Oakland Center on Friday night. While not a Siblings Weekend-exclusive event, the siblings who did come with their OU student were welcome to the event.

Many younger children and older siblings alike came to “Neon Lights,” making for a mix of both older and younger crowds and a wide variety of music being played.

A total of 275 people registered to bring their sibling to campus for the weekend, bringing the grand total to around 600 people participating in the weekend events.  

“More people pre-registered this year than last year,” Nielson said.

Part of the difficulty of Siblings Weekend comes with Night Watch. Usually, residents have to complete a pre-approval form 24 hours before someone under the age of 16 can stay on campus.

Pre-registering for the event allowed for students to get through Night Watch in an expedited manner.

Students were able to register their sibling on-site, but were not given the extra meal vouchers or shirts that the pre-registered groups received.

“We worked on it for so long, I just want to see people participating,” Nielson said.

The inclement weather over the weekend, though, did lead to the cancellation of some events. Prior to Friday, all inflatables were canceled and Saturday’s baseball game was canceled due to the snow.

Despite weather conditions, siblings still enjoyed the activities with their respective Oakland student.