This year’s Family and Friends Weekend welcomes both new and returning visitors to campus


Harriet Rovniak

Northeastern invited visitors back to campus for Family and Friends weekend Oct. 22 through 24.

Grace Comer, news staff

Northeastern’s Family and Friends Weekend held Oct. 22-24 returned after being canceled last year. And with a full weekend of events to welcome both new and returning visitors, campus was busier than usual. 

Many of the visitors had never been to campus before, due in part to the safety restrictions that were in place for the 2020-2021 school year. 

Even for returning relatives, Northeastern’s events brought new life to campus. 

“We’re going to go to the men’s hockey game,” said Peter Otterbein, a visiting parent. “I’ve never seen any activity at Matthews Arena, so it will be fun to see them play.” 

The sold-out men’s hockey game against Colorado College on Oct. 23 was just one of the many events offered that allowed visitors to get a better sense of campus. Tours of university highlights, such as the campus arboretum, the Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Complex and Snell Library, were offered throughout the weekend. 

Parents were also welcomed to the West Village Quad to participate in festive activities, ranging from pumpkin painting to Halloween and fall-themed photoshoot opportunities.

“We really just got a nice chance to see the campus full of students, and got a good sense for how my son is positioned on the campus, where he’s living and how he’s getting around,” said Vanessa Ignacio, another visiting parent. 

Northeastern also welcomed some students and alumni to share their talents. Cover singer Johnny Malone and magician Jim Munsey are two alumni who hosted events this weekend to entertain campus visitors. The NEU Jazz Ensemble performed outdoors and several student acapella groups, including Distilled Harmony, performed for a Spookapella event. 

Opportunities to explore the greater Boston area were also available. Visitors could buy tickets for a Boston ghost tour or a tour of Fenway Park.

Despite the plethora of events offered, Northeastern was still cautious with COVID-19 safety restrictions. 

In an email to the student body on Oct. 15, Northeastern announced that all visitors would be required to present proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test before entry to events. 

These restrictions provided a sense of safety to visitors. 

“I really don’t want to be next to somebody that is spreading, and I certainly don’t want to take a chance that, even though I’m fully vaccinated, I pass something along to someone else,” Otterbein said. 

In another email, students were reminded that only Northeastern students are allowed entry into residence halls. 

“I understand why they wouldn’t want people traipsing around the dorms, and I didn’t feel strongly about that aspect,” Ignacio said. 

The majority of the events took place outside, and many of those that were indoors were livestreamed. These measures helped keep campus accessible, while remaining low-risk. 

“I appreciate them allowing people to get in and see things even with some restrictions,” Otterbein said.  “It feels like they’re being very thoughtful and helpful.”