On campus

Tech Family Weekend

Current Student, Holly Eaton, shows a ball python to guests at reptile event for family weekend. Photo by Elliot Payne.

Tech held its annual Family Weekend from Friday, Sept. 16, until Sunday, Sept. 18. The weekend consisted of many activities including: family golf and bowling, a bus tour of Cookeville, as well as a Tech football game against Samford University on Saturday night. 


As many students welcomed their families to campus, the Student Government Association was sure to emphasize the importance of Family Weekend and all it offers. According to student body president, Addison Dorris, the weekend provided families the opportunity to see what their students’ lives are like on campus. 


“It gives families an idea of how they can better support their students, and it allows students to create wonderful memories with their support system,” Dorris said. “Having the chance to show the people that you love the place that you love is very special and I have always enjoyed doing that with my family too.”


Dorris, who formerly served as a student coordinator within the Office of New Student and Family Programs, cited the importance of mental health throughout the semester. She said Family Weekend can produce a sense of encouragement some students may need in order to continue working toward the academic success they desire. 


“Midterms and college life can be stressful as we all know, so Family Weekend can provide some encouragement in that way. Sometimes just being reminded that you have people in your corner is all you need to keep pushing,” Dorris said. “Being able to fall back on the memories they’ve made will help students remain positive when they are feeling overwhelmed or stressed.”


Dorris noted she understands the importance of the position she fulfills and the duties which follow the title. She added her belief in the importance of involvement not only as student-body president, but as a student herself as well. Dorris said she holds great value and pride in her position and tries to be involved in as many campus events as possible. 


“Events such as Family Weekend, homecoming and SOLO concerts are what make college worthwhile. Sure, we’re all here for the academic aspect of college, but your best memories won’t come from the classroom,” Dorris said. “Getting out of your comfort zone and making the effort to be involved in campus life will make all the difference in your college career.”


A feeling of connection and family on campus is what attracts many parents, such as Vicki Phillips, and their children, to Tech. As a member of the Parents Association, Phillips’ understanding of how to help and encourage her children throughout college has grown. 


“From what I’ve seen, college is so different now than it was compared to when I was in college, especially with the improved technology,” Phillips said. “The resources available to the students are great, but parents still need to give that emotional support when it’s needed to help their kids keep pursuing their goals, so that’s what I try to do with mine.”


Phillips’ son, Ryan Phillips, said he is very appreciative of Tech and all of the opportunities the school provides not only to himself, but his entire family as well. Ryan added he believes the amount of care and resources available to him have certainly impacted his academic success. 


“After high school, you have a lot more freedom in school, but I think understanding Tech has my best interest in mind, just like I do, helps me a lot,” Ryan said. “I think college is more about learning mentally than it is learning academics, so now since I am more familiar with everything that goes into college here, I’m more comfortable.”