Marquette Wire

Little siblings weekend gives chance for immersion

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Little siblings weekend allowed students a chance to show family members what life is like on campus.

Little siblings weekend allowed students a chance to show family members what life is like on campus.

Photo by courtesy of Rheanna Quandt

Photo by courtesy of Rheanna Quandt

Little siblings weekend allowed students a chance to show family members what life is like on campus.

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Something was different at McCormick for Saturday morning breakfast — it was flooded with the younger siblings of Marquette students.

This past weekend was Marquette’s Lil’ Sibs Weekend. For those registered, siblings were provided a weekend jam-packed with activities, events and a free T-shirt.

Hannah Van Der Karr, a freshman in the College of Communication, spent the weekend with her 15-year-old brother Owen Van Der Karr. They participated in some of the scheduled activities, as well as doing some of their own, while their parents also traveled up to Milwaukee to have their own small weekend away.

Some of the scheduled activities they looked forward to attending included a magic show at Weasler Auditorium, a pancake breakfast at Schroeder Hall, Hunger Clean-Up (Marquette’s biggest day of service), bowling at the Annex, a jazz concert, and caricatures at the McCabe Apartments. In addition, the pair planned to go to a surprise birthday party for one of Hannah’s friends and meet up with their parents for dinner.

Owen said that while he was excited, all the places his sister planned to take him to and people she wanted him to meet were slightly overwhelming.

“I just plan on doing whatever Hannah takes me to,” he said.

This was not Hannah’s first time showing a sibling around Milwaukee. Her older brother Riley goes to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and the two of them explored Milwaukee together last weekend.

“Now my entire family has kind of been to Milwaukee and seen some of the basic touristy things as well as Marquette,” she said. “Even if they didn’t fall in love with it themselves, they all collectively agreed that this is the place that I’m meant to be.”

Whether students and their siblings followed the official Lil’ Sibs Weekend itinerary of activities or created their own adventures, fond family memories were made.

Sara Pardej, a senior in the College of Arts & Sciences, was joined this weekend by her 17-year-old sister Olivia Pardej and her 7-year-old brother Adrian Pardej. To avoid the cost of registration and because the large age gap between the siblings made none of the scheduled activities sound very appealing for all, they did not register for Lil’ Sibs Weekend. Instead, on Saturday, Sara and her siblings visited the Milwaukee Public Museum, went to Starbucks to do homework together and then planned to spend Saturday watching Disney movies and baking. They then planned to spend Sunday taking advantage of the nice weather by going down to Lake Michigan and exploring the city.

With Olivia being a high school junior, the weekend was the perfect time for her to visit the school and consider what college life could be like if she chooses to attend Marquette like her older sister.

“Since I never really thought about the school until my sister started coming here and I started visiting the campus a little bit more, I’ve definitely opened my eyes to the school,” Olivia said.

Ariana Madson, a freshman in the College of Health Sciences, also had a sibling of college-searching age come up to visit. Ariana said she hopes her 16-year-old brother Nick Madson will follow her example and enroll in Marquette.

Nick was only able to spend one day and one night on campus, but the siblings filled it with fun, traveling to Purple Door Ice Cream, eating dinner at Cobeen Hall, going bowling at the Annex, meeting Madson’s friends and hanging out in the dorm with pizza and a movie. On Sunday morning, their parents came up and they went to church as a family before departing.

Regardless of how it was spent, Lil’ Sibs Weekend was all about letting family members get a taste of students’ life of campus: the city, the friends, the buildings, the food and the whole experience.

Madson reflected on her day spent with her brother: “Letting him kind of see the world that I’m living in — because he obviously doesn’t know, he’s back home with my parents — … that was pretty cool.”

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