Sibs Weekend, bonding CMU students with their younger siblings, breaks attendance record

Midland resident Skylar Quinlan,10, runs in front of her sister junior Sadie Quinlan as they race Lowell junior Sam Barman as she carries her brother Rickey Barman, 10, while they in line for the "Wrecking Ball" inflatable during the Sibs Weekend Carnival Saturday afternoon at the Student Activity Center. Kaitlin Thoresen/Staff Photographer

Students and their families showed their Central Michigan University spirit and broke the record for most siblings to attend Sibs Weekend Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

This year marked the 50th anniversary of Sibs Weekend, which began in 1963 and has since become a CMU tradition.

“The cool thing about this weekend is that we have the record-high amount of siblings this year,” Livonia senior and Sibs Weekend co-chair Kristin Turbiak said. “We have more than 1,500 participants this year, so it’s really cool to be able to celebrate the golden anniversary with the large amount of CMU students and their siblings.”

Turbiak is an advocate of the bonding time the weekend provides.

“It’s a very great opportunity and very special to them,” Turbiak said. “… We spend, let’s say, nine months of the year at CMU, so it’s a great way to introduce their immediate family to their CMU family. It’s a great way for them to meet, have fun, hang out with their siblings and have more bonding time with them.”

During the weekend, there were several activities going on for students of all ages, from the CMU men's basketball game to bingo, rock climbing, movie nights and a carnival, which allowed some to have their faces painted.

Rachelle Spence of Chesterfield took her siblings ice-skating and went to the carnival, where they took pictures in the photo booth and had sibling rivalry while racing through the inflatable obstacle course.

“It was really a lot of fun,” said Connor, Spence's 11-year-old brother. “It’s my third year going. The first time, I was a little nervous. I was a little lost, but then I got really used to it, and it was a lot of fun."

Spence said this Sibs Weekend is bittersweet because she’s graduating at the end of the spring semester. Spence and her younger siblings said they have been having a Sibs Weekend countdown to the event, and has been the highlight of their year.

“It means a lot because I get to spend quality time with them,” Spence said. “… And being able to show them why I love this university so much. It’s just a lot of bonding and things to do. So, we get to have a jam-packed weekend of fun.”

Rochester Hills sophomore Cianna Fant wanted her brother to see what she does while she is at school and away from home.

“I just think it’s fun that your siblings can come and see what you do throughout the school year while they're at home, and you get to spend time with them, and there are activities," Fant said.

Fant's 15-year-old brother Jalen said he misses his sister when she’s away, but was happy to reconnect with her over the weekend. Jalen said he also enjoys coming to CMU to see what it is like to be in college.

“It’s pretty cool because you kind of get to experience what college life is kind of like,” Jalen said.

Cedar Springs freshman Sebastian Andringa was visited by his younger brother and enjoyed bonding with him during the weekend by playing in the racketball rooms in the SAC, rock-wall climbing and sharing an all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast.

“I just really like it because I don’t really get to see him so much,” Andringa said. “Just being around him the whole time is really cool.”


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