For HoyaSibs, A Family Affair

By Andreas Andrea Hoya Staff Writer

Several campus organizations cooperated this weekend to produce the first annual HoyaSibs weekend, which allowed students and their siblings to spend time together within the structure of specially organized activities, events and safety precautions.

Although the coordinators initially faced skepticism from Residence Life, that office and the Office of Student Programs assisted with various organizational and safety-related aspects of the weekend, while InterHall and the Students of Georgetown, Inc., offered financial support, according to Keavney Klein (NUR ’02), one of the two HoyaSibs 2000 coordinators.

“I was really pleased with the collaboration we were able to achieve between the departments and student organizations,” said eaghan Keeler (SFS ’02), the other coordinator.

Klein said that Residence Life was concerned where students would sleep, and at one point Residence Life suggested having all the siblings locked in McDonough Gymnasium overnight. Other concerns were potential roommate difficulties that could arise from a sibling’s stay and who would ultimately be responsible for a sibling’s behavior.

“We had a meeting with all the students to explain who would be ultimately responsible for the actions of the siblings and to explain that this was a weekend for them to spend with their siblings and to have more of family-time fun, and not college-type fun, which would be inappropriate for kids under age,” she said.

Students were required to obtain the permission of their roommates in order to participate in the program.

However, in the face of skepticism from the administration, the coordinators managed to pull through and were “surprised” when Residence Life offered so much assistance. “For being something that no one has ever done here before, I think it went really well. We didn’t get any reports on misbehavior by any of the students or siblings. All we have gotten is positive responses,” she said.

John Daly, area coordinator for Alumni Square, Harbin Hall and Village C East and the coordinators’ primary contact at Residence Life did not return two phone calls left yesterday.

Keeler and Klein said they initially wanted to hold the HoyaSibs weekend last year, however they faced difficulties in obtaining funding from the Georgetown Program Board, Klein said.

Klein said that new coordinators will be chosen for next year and that HoyaSibs is “a new tradition.” She does not yet know whether HoyaSibs will apply to the Student Activities Commission to get funding in its own right as a student organization.

Safety precautions that the coordinators, with help from Residence Life, put in place were requiring students and their siblings to wear blue bracelets for the weekend and giving siblings temporary identification cards that would allow them access to campus buildings after student guards had left their posts. A list of contacts in each residence hall and the coordinators’ cell phone numbers were also given out to students in case of emergency.

One event that did not proceed as originally planned was Meet the Athletes, where students and their siblings were scheduled to have an opportunity to speak with Georgetown athletes, including members of the basketball team. However, according to Keeler, no basketball players came to the event. She said she does not know exactly why they did not show up but said, “I think some of the athletes were told different times.” Keeler said their scheduled appearance was coordinated through one the HoyaSibs 2000 committee members.

About 120 students and 130 siblings participated in the weekend, with the largest group being in the 16- to 17-year-old age group, Klein said.

Events included cosmic bowling, a Georgetown scavenger hunt, a guided bike tour of the monuments, a trip to the national zoo and a paddling trip on the Potomac held by the Outdoor Education Program, among others.

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