Attention ETSU Freshmen: Are you experiencing over-worried, overly paranoid and/or excessively concerned parental overload? Well, on Feb. 23-24, Student Affairs is offering an opportunity for both new students and their families to connect and discover what ETSU and the surrounding locale has to offer.

Winter Weekend 2018 will be hosted by New Student & Family Programs, a division of Student Affairs.

Jake Allen, the division’s Assistant Director, who has been working to help organize ETSU’s Preview and Orientation Leader Organization (POLO) has also been in charge of cultivating and organizing the events for this semester’s family-inclusive weekends.

Allen outlined the framework of yearlong family events which ETSU offers new students, “This event is a lot like Family Weekend, which we have in the Fall– where we invite family members to campus. This is basically the spring or winter version. We send invitations to people who join Buccaneer Family Association (BFA) at orientation [which is] a service for the family members.”

Aside from providing the service of parental stress alleviation through urging parents to enroll in BFA and receive newsletters, calendars, goodies and updates, what kind of events does the New Student & Family Programs offer?

Winter Weekend 2018 will feature a basketball game on Friday with a pregame meal.

On Saturday, students and families will meet for lunch at Sabores, a Cuban-fusion cafe.

Sabores has been around, locally as The Dining Room in downtown Jonesborough. Until its recent rebirth in downtown Johnson City, the ultra-fresh Latin- influenced cafe had been mourned and missed for many years by its’ Jonesborough-an patrons.

After Sabores, families and students will venture further into historic downtown Johnson City until they reach The Art of Escape–an “escape” game which challenges players to think productively and act logically in order to clear the obstacles in their path(s), participate collectively, and uncover the secret to escaping. Check out for more details.

If your family is signed up for BFA, it will be $10 a person for Friday and $18 on Saturday. For those who are not BFA members, prices will go up $2 ($12 for Friday, $20 for Saturday).

“Families need to sign up ahead of time [for Winter Weekend], online. Registration closes on Feb. 19,” said Allen.

And before you think, “Hooray! I’m in college, and I’m just so glad I never have to see to my parents again,” think about this statement regarding retention: According to Allen, “Parents need an opportunity to connect with their students on campus…Now, obviously, we want our students to be independent and grow as individuals, but it’s important to have that family connection for when things get hard. That’s our role, and also, research shows that if parent/family members are involved, it can help retention.”