Simpson RHA welcomes little siblings to campus

by Laura Wiersema, Staff Reporter

Stepping onto a college campus, even a small school like Simpson, can be an awe-inspiring or terrifying experience, especially for those visiting Simpson College on April 11 and 12.

Kids ranging from kindergarten to sixth grade arrived Saturday afternoon for Simpson Residence Hall Association’s (RHA) annual Little Siblings Weekend. The event, held in April, encourages students to invite their younger siblings, cousins, nieces, nephews or friends to stay with them on campus.

Every year, there is a different theme to the weekend, usually centered on a movie. This year’s theme was “Little Monsters” based off of the movie Monsters University.

Nick Hermon, president of RHA, explained the process of deciding on a theme for the weekend.

“We try to come up with a clever theme. Last year, we had a Very Harry Weekend. It was Harry Potter themed,” he said. “It’s hard to find a movie that’s rated G or that can be appropriate to show little kids.”

One of the biggest obstacles during planning is making sure there are events for both older kids and younger kids to enjoy.

Amanda Kirkpatrick, a junior, had her younger siblings stay for the past two years, but they were all older than most of the kids.

“There’s just a lot to do for them. And some of them are really geared more toward younger kids,” she said.

Throughout the weekend, students and their siblings attended a carnival and won prizes, did arts and crafts, played bingo, watched a movie and participated in Monster Olympics.

The turnout for the weekend is pretty good, averaging about 50 kids per year.

“[Students] should bring their little siblings because it’s a weekend to show them campus,” Hermon said. “It’s good to hang out with your relatives and friends and family. Everybody has a fun time at this.”

Due to changes in residence life staff, it’s unsure how long RHA has been holding this weekend for students’ relatives, but they are not likely to stop anytime soon.

“I think it’s important for families to have that connection, to see what it’s like,” Kirkpatrick said. “My siblings are so curious as to what I do at school.”

Not only does the weekend provide a way for families to spend time together, but it allows the kids visiting to meet others as well. In a way, it becomes like a camp for them to make friends.

“They love it… It almost gives them a little more freedom away from home to connect with other kids around them,” Kirkpatrick said.

Overall, students and the kids visiting have a good time relaxing and enjoying each other’s company.

“I just really enjoy it and I think everyone that does it enjoys it too,” Kirkpatrick said.

“It’s always fun time,” Hermon added.

This year’s Little Siblings weekend proved to be a hit, with students and their siblings getting the chance to experience Simpson’s campus in a new and fun way. Now that the monsters have departed campus, maybe they will think about Simpson and their big siblings when it comes time for their own college decision.