Many parents arrive at the Hilltop in mid-October to spend time with their children, enjoy Georgetown in the autumn and take advantage of university-held programs. Often paying a heavy sum of money in travel and lodging expenses, these Parents’ Weekend participants come not only for enjoyment but also to appraise how their investment in a Georgetown tuition is paying off. As it stands, however, these visitors are prohibited from witnessing arguably the most central component of university life: the classroom.
The school week following Parents’ Weekend should provide the opportunity for registered visitors to sit in on select classes and lectures. Adding this option would provide a more engaging and substantive dimension to current Parents’ Weekend programming, the goal of which is to acquaint parents and other adult mentors with Georgetown in its best light.
If such an opportunity were offered, those parents able to stay a few days into the school week would be given a survey of academic life here, which is reasonable given their large investment in it. Georgetown certainly has nothing to hide in this respect.
It could be argued that parents in a lecture hall would be an imposition on already constricted seating space and class time. However, this burden could be alleviated if professors were told not to deviate from the flow of their curriculum and if parents were politely advised not to voice their comments during lecture. Perhaps professors could elect whether or not to participate in the program.
While their children go through earlier education, many parents typically spend as much time as possible knowing what goes on in the classroom. If well-planned and well-executed, this Parents’ Weekend could give visiting parents a similar window into the intellectual lives of their children, even now that they are far from home.