Mom’s Weekend

Hypnotized or not, students and their mothers spent the entire weekend wine tasting and practicing archery during South Dakota State’s annual Mom’s Weekend. 

Mom’s Weekend took place April 17 and 18 and allowed moms of SDSU students to come and visit the campus and the Brookings community.

“Mom’s weekend is … basically a place or a time where students can invite their moms to campus,” said Jamison Lamp, professional and special programs coordinator. “The goal is to invite [moms] to campus to be able to see what student life is and to be able to see what the community of Brookings itself is like and help them to create a connection with a place that their student calls home for four years.” 

The weekend offered moms and students a variety of activities including an opening registration and social; hypnotist; fitness classes; brunch; activities on campus, in the Brookings community and in surrounding communities and a closing concert featuring Dustin Evans and the Good Times.

According to Lamp, the brunch was one of the bigger events for the weekend. The brunch included breakfast, an opening speech, reading from the winners of the Honors College Creative Writing Contest and a keynote presentation by Mary Alice Haug, author of “Daughters of the Grasslands”.

“The culminating piece will be the Mom of the Year presentation,” Lamp said. “This is the first year we’ve done the Mom of the Year. Students nominated their parent and filled out a fairly short series of questions and a student group kind of narrowed those down and made the final selection.”

The Mom of the Year was Chris Chesser. She was nominated by her daughter Haley Snell, a freshman pre-nursing major.

Chesser traveled from Riverton, Wyo. to visit Snell for Mom’s Weekend.

“I think it’s important for children to be successful in college to have family involvement and for moms and dads and their families to come and see what their campus is and to come and see what they do,” Chesser said.

Chesser and Snell planned on going shopping and attending the Dave Evans and the Good Times concert.

This year was the second year of Mom’s weekend. According to Lamp, the event did not change much from last year due to the newness of the event.

Many moms were interested in coming to Mom’s weekend to see their children in their college environment and to see what their life is like.

Diane Paradise came to Mom’s weekend to spend time with her daughter Karlee Paradise, a junior nursing major.

“I came last year and really enjoyed it, and it’s an opportunity to have one-on-one time with my daughter,” Diane Paradise said. “It’s fun–get to experience the university, and the campus is beautiful here.”

Diane and Karlee Paradise attended the registration at McCrory Gardens, went to the hypnotist, Erick Kand, went to a yoga class and attended the brunch.

“We have to get to the Dairy Bar, my favorite place on campus next to the bookstore,” Diane Paradise said. Karlee and Diane planned on going to the olive oil and vinegar tasting at the Pheasant Restaurant.  They also thought about exploring downtown and the various shops and sales that were occurring in conjunction with Mom’s weekend.

“[Mom’s weekend] gives us an opportunity to meet some of their friends and get to know the environment they spend so much time in and get to know the community,” Diane Paradise said. 

Shannon Hegland, a freshman biology pre-medicine and Spanish double major, and her mom, Sue Hegland, spent time together during Mom’s weekend by going to the opening registration and hypnotist and they had plans to go to the olive oil and vinegar tasting, visiting the South Dakota Art Museum and taking a tour of the Dairy Bar.

Sue Hegland said her goal is to visit her daughter and son at least once a semester at SDSU.

“It’s nice to have a day where you just feel like you’re going from one fun activity to another and you don’t feel like you have to squeeze in any obligations … it was nice a little breather for us to share,” Sue Hegland said.

Another attendee of mom’s weekend was able to see and appreciate Mom’s weekend from two perspectives. Becky Johnson, whose son is Christian Johnson, a freshman history major, was able to see his experience from a mother’s perspective, rather than from her typical perspective of college students as a campus minister at Southwest Minnesota State University.

“[F]rom the mom perspective, it’s nice to see him in his environment … a more structured way for us to come visit. It’s hard to visit him on a regular weekend,” Becky Johnson said. “But from the campus minister perspective, one of the things that really good about doing it is that it allows that support structure to show the kids that you love them we’re they’re at.”

Mom’s Weekend was not limited to just moms; some dads, aunts and grandmothers were also in attendance.

Sandy Bartz came to visit her son, Shane Bartz, a freshman advertising major. Sandy also brought along Mary Freid, Shane’s grandmother.

“I wanted to spend time with Shane, … we’re about five hours away … so getting a chance to spend time with him is always important to me and I definitely wanted to come down,” Sandy Bartz said. Shane and my mom are very close and I’m very close to my mom so it just seemed natural to bring to her with.”

Whether it was moms, students or some other family members, the entire weekend was packed with fun for all. 

 “It seemed like moms and students really enjoyed themselves over the weekend. The weather was beautiful for the Friday night social and people really took advantage of being at McCrory Gardens,” Lamp said. “Saturday’s brunch was great and we heard lots of positive comments about the Saturday afternoon activities. Dustin Evans and the Good Times band were a perfect closing to the weekend, he really got the crowd involved!”