A Magazine for the George Mason University Community

Parent and Family Council Created

By Mason Spirit contributor on September 15, 2014

“Families are integral to student success and have a lot to offer our institution in terms of input and involvement,” says Kaitlin Oyler, associate director of family programs and services in University Life. That’s the major reason Mason is launching its new Parent and Family Council.

The council provides a way for parents and families to actively engage on campus. Council members will act as ambassadors, representing the council to prospective and current students and families. They also will represent the university to the local community. Out-of-state council members will take the Mason message back to their hometowns.

The Office of Orientation and Family Programs and Services accepted applications from prospective members last November. Phone interviews were conducted in December. Sixteen finalists were chosen and accepted up to four-year terms on the council. They are eligible as long as their student is a Mason undergraduate.

Wayne Applewhite and Inge Gedo of Fairfax, parents of a freshman bioengineering student, are chairing the council. “Being informed is a responsibility, being involved is a choice,” says Applewhite. “Being both makes a difference.”

The council will hold two meetings each year on campus, and council members will be required to volunteer twice a year at various university events where they can network with incoming and current families.

“Council members will be able to share their perspective on what it’s like to have a student at Mason and ease anxieties families may have throughout the college transition process,” says Oyler. “Establishing this council reinforces just how important families are to the Mason community.”

—Sudha Kamath

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