The Office of New Student and Family Engagement has been busy preparing for Family Weekend, a 12-year-old tradition that takes place each October. The weekend brings together DePaul students and their families to get a glimpse of what the university and its unique city campuses have to offer. Once registered, families can attend three days of events that explore different aspects of DePaul, from athletics to arts and culture.
Organizing a weekend packed with events at every hour requires meticulous planning. Gabe Bustoz, a third-year sociology major with a concentration in sociology of culture and game design minor, serves as the parent and family coordinator and helps plan, market and execute Family Weekend.
"The question should be, what doesn't happen during Family Weekend? We have a lot of campus partners putting on wonderful events and the Office of New Student and Family Engagement has a few signature events as well," Bustoz says. "Almost every college is participating in the weekend either by hosting a showcase, providing city excursions or just simply allowing families to meet faculty and staff."
Bustoz has been a key player behind Family Weekend, and his success in the role is partially due to the fact that he is no stranger to the way things run in the Office of New Student and Family Engagement. The office hired Bustoz as one of 24 orientation leaders the summer after his freshman year. Around the same time, he was chosen as a Chicago Quarter Mentor for the Chicago Quarter program's Discover and Explore Chicago classes.
As he began looking for another on-campus job during the spring quarter of his sophomore year, Bustoz knew two things: he was comfortable working with the office and he wanted direct contact with people. As the parent and family coordinator, he would both work with familiar staff and students, and families, making the role an ideal one.
Bustoz's key role in Family Weekend is to ensure collaborations with campus organizations, offices and colleges run smoothly, and that the collaborations result in events that showcase the best of what DePaul has to offer. He facilitates communication between the Office of New Student and Family Engagement, campus partners and external organizations, while also assisting with the development of the weekend's schedule.
While Bustoz has contributed much to Family Weekend by working with many students, parents and families, his contributions also led him to understand his own passions: planning Family Weekend this fall is where he unexpectedly discovered that he enjoyed working in Student Affairs. Bustoz, originally a computer game development major in the College of Computing and Digital Media, recently switched his major to sociology, and intends to study counseling in graduate school, a major that can lead to a career in Student Affairs.
"Being able to work towards a goal that fosters a better environment for learning and makes students feel more at home at DePaul has been really rewarding, and it has really made my decision to work in Student Affairs one day very clear," Bustoz says.