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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    More ‘family’ to be found in Family Weekend this year

    Family Weekend aims to be more inclusive to the youngest members of families this year after student-parents said they felt shut out from the event last year, a Family Weekend official said.

    A Kidz Korner on the UA Mall, an inflatable obstacle course, arts and crafts, a jumping castle and “”the world’s largest inflatable slide”” will be set up for children in conjunction with the BabyCats club, said Tommy Bruce, Family Weekend director.

    Last year, kid-friendly activities were mostly off-campus, Bruce said.

    “”I just thought it would be so much better if it was all on campus,”” Bruce said.

    Kimberly McQuillen, BabyCats president, said the changes are good for the university, giving the campus a new look on Family Weekend.

    The student-parent population, which is not highly visible, works just as hard as traditional students, McQuillen said.

    The changes this year are also designed to showcase what is on campus to the university community, said Bruce, a business sophomore.

    One such service is Kidz Korner, a play area for small children, located in the student commuter lounge on the fourth floor of the Student Union Memorial Center.

    Kidz Korner is open for use to children of staff, students and faculty of the UA, according to the Student Union Memorial Center Web site.

    This weekend, Kidz Korner comes to the Mall with activities for both parents and children, said Heather Gasser, BabyCats adviser.

    Members of BabyCats will be staffing it, but for liability reasons, parents are required to stay with their kids, Gasser said.

    “”It’s not child care on the Mall,”” she added.

    Kidz Korner on the Mall and other activities are definitely needed as they provide child-appropriate entertainment, Gasser said.

    “”Is a child of 3 really going to enjoy the football game? My 3-year-old wouldn’t,”” she said.

    BabyCats, a student organization dedicated to student-parents’ needs, will also be promoting their club and the BabyCatSitters to get more students involved since the organization is looking for more students to babysit, Gasser said.

    Among other new activities is a four-story inflatable slide, which is one of only four of its kind in the world, Bruce said.

    The kid-oriented area will be a big “”bouncy world”” on Friday, he said. There will also be an inflatable obstacle course.

    Most of the fun things are free, but the slide will cost $1, Bruce said.

    The children’s activities will be on the west side of the Mall.

    Gasser said it will be a nice change for student parents and visiting parents who still have young children in the family.

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