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Vermont College of Arts Sets New Standard for Sensitivity with Organism Weekend

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The college tradition of Parents Weekend is now a thing of the past at Vermont College of Arts. A fresh new approach to parent relations has taken hold.

“A few years ago, we joined the rest of the country by renaming Parents Weekend,” said Autumn Horigan, Director of VCA Family Relations. “In order to be sensitive to students who might not have traditional parents, we used the more inclusive ‘Family Weekend’ title. Now, we’ve realized that some students don’t like their families, and we didn’t want to hurt their feelings. We’ve decided to move to a more welcoming ‘Organism Weekend.’ In this way, students can invite friends, relatives or even pets, and we’re made sure they all feel equally welcome.”

“We want to remind students that even though we value their pets, we have strict policies about letting animals into the residence halls,” added Sandra Runyon, the director of VCA’s Green Hall. “I’d hate to have to write someone up for breaking the rules during what should be a fun weekend, but I will if I have to.”