LSA freshman Lisa Kalmus, a native Californian, said her parents wanted to attend this year”s Parents Weekend festivities but the Michigan winter kept them away.

“My mom didn”t want to come to Michigan in February it is too cold for her,” Kalmus said.

Parents Weekend, which begins today, is held each year to give parents an insight into the University community. Events are hosted by the Student Alumni Council.

SAC President Janet Hodges said there are 1,500 parents registered for this weekend”s activities, which is significantly down from past years when attendance has topped out at 3,000. Hodges said 1,500 parents is a success since they were expecting much fewer, considering the weekend”s main event has changed from a football game to a basketball game because of scheduling conflicts and ticket problems with the football agenda.

The change in calendar date also forced SAC to create a different agenda for the weekend instead of the traditional tailgate parties. Fifteen activities are planned for the weekend, including attending different lectures at the University like Engineering 101 and Geology 117.

A newly added event is a continental breakfast at the Harlan Hatcher Graduate Library during which the weekend”s participants can view rare pieces of the University”s collection, such as ancient Egyptian papyrus and the journals of explorers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark.

“The University is very excited to display pieces of their rare collection to the students and their parents,” Hodges said.

Most of the ticketed events are sold out, but there are plenty of activities still open for parents who still want to attend, Hodges said.

Besides being able to see their parents over the weekend, many students are excited that they will be able to have a break from residence hall food when their are here to visit, LSA freshman Jane Viventi said. “There are a bunch of my friends in my hall that have their parents coming too, so we are all planning to go out to eat together,” Viventi said.

LSA sophomore Jeremy Kressmann said his parents aren”t visiting because of the crowded conditions Parents Weekend creates in Ann Arbor.

“It is just too congested. My parents are coming up another weekend when it is less crowded,” he said. “There is no parking and it is almost impossible to get reservations.”

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