By Marissa Murray, Staff Writer

Maya Kasper in front of Fall Fest Sign

Maya Kasper in front of Fall Fest Sign (photo courtesy of Wyatt Porter)

The University of Maine at Farmington’s (UMF) Fall Fest is a weekend’s worth of events that celebrate campus life and helps fight homesickness in students.

    Throughout the weekend of October 4th-6th, students will be able to attend an assortment of events with their family and friends and the weekend is also tied to the alumni events.

 “Having this opportunity for family and friends to reconnects with their loved ones that go to school here is really important to students’ success and being connected to the school,”  said Maya Kasper, Assistant Director of Resident Life.

    Having family and friends on campus also helps combat homesickness. An article on collegebound.net quotes Pamela Najarian, director of the Study Center and Academic Support Services at Merrimack College in Massachusetts estimating that at least 50 to 75% of college students suffer for some form of homesickness. Academia.edu reported that up to 95% of first year students report some feeling of homesickness when placed in a new environment.

    “Even the research shows  that it’s really important that you provide an opportunity for families to come back on campus that haven’t had a chance to connect with folks,” said Kasper.

    Kasper explained how in her first year at UMF, the radio station was broadcasting across campus. “It was blasting out on the green,” said Kasper. A family that lived in California was streamed on the air and was able to say hi to their kid because they could not be there.

    Maileny Guillen, senior and assistant to Kasper, noted how the Fall Fest is also a way for students to get to know each other better. “It’s a great opportunity for them to attend all these fun events and get to know each other more,” said Guillen. “It is also a chance to get to know your friend’s family.”

    Guillen’s friend’s family comes to Fall Fest and “adopts” her for the day.

    “They become my mom for the day and we do all these fun things.”

   The price per person for the weekend is ten dollars, five dollars if they are under twelve years of age. This includes the meals for the three days, which are served in the dining hall, and all the activities that are available.

    “We try to make it affordable for everybody,” said Kasper.

    The events vary from day to day. On Friday, the President of UMF, Dr. Kate Foster, will be inaugurated in the Fitness Center. There will also be a showing of “Despicable Me 2” and a game of Fandom Feud sponsored by Stone Hall and there will be prizes for that event.

    On Saturday, there will be a Family Craft session with cartoons and free Dunkin Donuts. There will also be a Campus Wide Amazing Race challenge with prizes, a Clefnotes, the UMF a cappella group, performance, and a “Minute to Win It” Family Style game with up to $200 in cash prizes. There will also be Antique Photos and wagon rides throughout town by Meadow Creek Farms.  The University of Maine Art Gallery will be hosting a show on Saturday.

    On Sunday, the Narrow Gauge Movie Theater will be hosting Dollar Matinee movies. There will also be a Field Hockey game next to the theater versus the Simmons College Sharks.

    With registration, families will be able to visit the Sandy River Farm UMF 150th Logo Corn Maze for free.

    More information can be found at http://studentlife.umf.maine.edu/center-for-student-involvement/umf-fall-fest/