Fall Fest offers families a slice of campus life

Brandeis hosts students and their families for a weekend filled with fun activities and events

Photo/Mike lovett

Brandeis students welcomed their families to campus and Waltham for Fall Fest this past weekend. From catching a performance by comedian Dave Coulier (better known as “Joey on ABC’s “Full House”), to touring Salem, Mass, to inviting their parents to sit-in on a class, students had a chance to create a Brandeisian moment for their families.

“This was a very successful Fall Fest,” says Assistant Dean of Students Stephanie K. Grimes. “It was a weekend that gave families a glimpse into the everyday life of Brandeis students and reconnected them with their child and the community as a whole.”

Sponsored by the Department of Student Activities, Fall Fest kicked off Thursday night with activities ranging from a Brandeis Players’ presentation of “Angels in America” to the opportunity to play the trivia-based game ThinkFast. Friday was jam-packed with things to do, as parents were allowed to sit-in on undergraduate classes and attend religious services sponsored by the Interfaith Chaplaincy.

On Friday evening, hundreds were at the Gosman Sports and Convocation center for Coulier’s show, “Sit Down and Stand Up,” while others went into Boston’s theater district to see “Shear Madness.” Namaskar, the Brandeis association for Hindus, Jains, and Sikhs, worked with the Interfaith Chaplaincy to organize Diwali, an Indian festival of lights, more than 300 people attended the Shabbat Dinner, and the Japanese Student Association hosted a Bento Box night that showcased traditional Japanese cuisine.

“Fall Fest has been a part of my Brandeis experience since I first volunteered freshman year,” says Sandra Luo, an on-campus programming coordinator. “Planning such a large-scale event that caters to parents and students alike has pushed me to grow. One of my favorite moments from this year's Fall Fest was seeing the filled seats at Dave Coulier's show and hearing the roaring laughter.”

Many students and their families took campus shuttles to Salem to participate in some pre-Halloween celebrations on Saturday, while other stayed on campus to take part of information sessions, tours and religious services. In the evening, students and their families participated in a community dinner, which featured a wide array of cuisines from Waltham’s diverse restaurant selection, and attended performances by student groups Kaos Kids and Rather be Giraffes as well as by saxophonist Tom Hall.

Sunday’s events further illustrated the diversity of the Brandeis experience. The morning started with the Chabad 5k Run, which benefitted Chabad at Brandeis. It was followed by a carnival on the Great Lawn, complete with a barbecue, an obstacle course, games and a petting zoo. The Taiwanese Student Association’s Night Market, a re-creation of the atmosphere of the famous night markets in Taiwan, brought the day’s sponsored events to an end.

“This weekend was special due to some of the programming,” Grimes says. “Having Dave Coulier perform was definitely a highlight. The activities our student core committee planned met the needs of our families and really showcased Brandeis life.”

Categories: General, Student Life

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