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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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    SBU Parents Take Their Turn at Orientation

    Orientation at the beginning of the semester offers newStony Brook students the opportunity to explore their surroundingsindependently, but Parents’ Day joins students and parents together inthis endeavor. Approximately 150 freshmen and transfer students and theirfamily members participated in the annual event on Saturday, Nov. 9.

    Since its inception five years ago, Parents’ Day hasbeen greeted with increasing attendance and success, organizers said.

    ‘?In the past, the program has been more general, butthis year we have incorporated research opportunities, study abroad, thenational student exchange, Career Center, and additional workshops intoParents’ Day,’ said Stephanie Foote, Associate Director of theParent Office.

    In the event’s first year, no parents showed up, Footesaid. But two years ago, the Parent’s Office opened, and some 800parents and students registered as members.

    Six workshops were scheduled for the day, including’?Parents as Partners,’ ‘?Planning Ahead: Opportunities Beyondthe Stony Brook Classroom,’ ‘?How to Get Involved inResearch,’ ‘?Becoming Involved in Campus Activities’ and’?Strategies for Academic Success and Support Services.’ Specificsessions for Living and Learning Centers, the Honor College and the EducationalOpportunity Program were also held.

    ‘?[Parents’ Day] was very good? casual yetinformative,’ said parent and alumnus Henry Ellis, who attended morningprograms and the 1 p.m. Seawolves football game. ‘?When I went here a lotof the campus was mud. They’ve made a lot of improvements.’

    Other parents had less to say about the campus itself thanabout the workshop sessions. Parent Susan Rus said that she felt the sessionshad given her a better understanding of her role in her son’s education.When asked about his take on Parents’ Day, however, Eric Rus repliedsimply, ‘?I liked the [Emerson String] Quartet.’

    Director of Orientation Brian DeLong, said that he believedparents had left the event ‘?grateful and satisfied,’ and wasconfident that the food and entertainment had been appreciated by studentattendees.

    Janelle Simmons, Assistant Director of the Parents Officeand a Stony Brook alumna herself, recalled her own undergraduate experiences.’?I wish I had this opportunity when I was a student at StonyBrook,’ she said.

    With so many positive reviews, some wonder whyParents’ Day has not been expanded to an entire weekend and extendedbeyond freshmen and transfer students. Foote said that when the program beganfive years ago, a more comprehensive event was in the works, but interest waslow. Once administrators contracted the program to only include freshmen andtransfer students, they found that the program led to the success they firstenvisioned.

    ‘?We’re looking to expanding this program, butit takes a long time,’ Foote said.

    Offered 15 percent discounts on local eateries such asMario’s and the Curry Club, $10 vouchers on campus food and a hefty 50percent-plus discount on Staller Center symphony performances, few studentswould object to spending a little more time with their families at Stony Brook.’?This event just gives students the opportunity to bond with theirfamily,’ Simmons said.

    Family bonding may have been the order of the day, but somesaid that there were still barriers between parents and their college-age kids.

    ‘?There is just a lot of stuff we as parents have noidea about,’ Stony Brook mom Rosaline King said.

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