June 2, 2020

College community welcomes families to campus

Jennifer Goetz
Staff Writer

The first weekend of fall was warm and sunny — perfect weather for parents to reunite with their loved ones and tour the College’s campus.

The College’s cheerleaders lined the walkway leading up to the Brower Student Center on Saturday, Sept. 23, as parents filtered in for Parent and Family Day.

Beginning at 9 a.m., families explored the various opportunities the College has to offer for its students — including student organizations, academic buildings and the sports facilities.

Some of the day’s events included a forum with President R. Barbara Gitenstein, a campus tour and a study abroad information session.

Susie Orecchio, the director of administration and operations for Student Affairs, coordinates parent and family programs at the College.

“We really hoped to create an environment that’s both informational as well as social,” Orecchio said.

One of the first events offered was the forum with President Gitenstein, providing an opportunity for parents to learn more about the College’s president and ask her questions personally.

Amandalis Barrood, a sophomore music education major, and her parents David Barrood and Sonia Rosa-Barrood, attended the forum with Gitenstein.

“For me, its learning and keeping up, keeping myself informed so that I know how to best make suggestions or (give) advice,” Rosa-Barrood said. “At the end of the day my daughter has the final word, but if she wants my input, at least I know that I’m knowledgeable enough in what the school is doing in order to give my advice if she needs it.”

Students reconnect with their family members. (Meagan McDowell / Staff Photographer)

Although being away from family can be difficult, Rosa-Barrood is confident her daughter’s receiving the best education.

“I can see how students want to come to come to TCNJ because of everything positive that’s been going on,” she said.

Later in the afternoon, families had the opportunity to talk to the Parent Family Association executive board, which consists of “parent and family members of both current-year students through all class years as well as a few alumni parents,” according to Orecchio.

In addition to visiting their kids, parents were able to meet other parents of students at the College.

Families met with one another to discuss their shared experiences at the College, and could learn new things from different perspectives.

“We want families to seek TCNJ guidance, but this is also a great way (for) people to see other TCNJ families and to socialize with them,” Orecchio said.

The activities and information were a plus, but many families were eager to reunite after a significant time apart from each other.

Although families reunited for a short period of time, memories were made to last a lifetime.

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