Colleges tell parents to go home

It’s hard to get parents to go home again once they’ve dropped off their kids at college, reports the New York Times.

In order to separate doting parents from their freshman sons, Morehouse College in Atlanta has instituted a formal “Parting Ceremony.”

It began on a recent evening, with speeches in the Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel. Then the incoming freshmen marched through the gates of the campus — which swung shut, literally leaving the parents outside.

When University of Minnesota freshmen move in at the end of this month, parental separation will be a little sneakier: mothers and fathers will be invited to a reception elsewhere so students can meet their roommates and negotiate dorm room space — without adult meddling.

Grinnell College gathered students on one side of the gymnasium bleachers, parents on the other.

The president welcoming the class of 2014 had his back to the parents — a symbolic staging meant to inspire “an aha! moment,” said Houston Dougharty, vice president of student affairs, “an epiphany where parents realize, ‘My student is feeling more comfortable sitting with 400 people they just met.’ ”

Then the parents were urged to go home.

Colleges officials talk of “velcro” parents.

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  1. It’s sad that these schools have to resort to subterfuge. Can’t they just be direct and say, for example, that parents aren’t allowed in the dorms? Or are these helicopter/velcro parents impervious to such things because their babies are “special”?

  2. Judge Crater says:

    Got to get the people paying the bills away, so they don’t see how their money is being spent.

  3. I agree with Judge Crater! I don’t like the helicopter parenting either, but with the severely bloated costs of college I can understand why parents feel the need to hover to see how their exorbitant investment is being spent. My parents were never around, and that is probably because I paid for college myself. Second, universities have turned themselves into romper room for what are supposed to be adults – they infantize their students and then expect the parents to disappear. You can’t have it both ways. Start expecting adults to behave and act like them (meet deadlines, show up for class, etc.) than the parents are not needed so much.