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Austin Bensman plays an intense game of chess with his father, Dennis Bensman, on the patio of Washington Hall.

Students, fathers partake in special events to celebrate Dad’s Weekend

No, Ohio University didn’t suddenly enroll dozens of middle-aged men. The influx on campus this weekend came from OU’s annual Dad’s Weekend, as students’ fathers and father figures were invited to spend their time in Athens. 

One of four annual family weekends at the university, it held many events to entertain students and their fathers. 

Being the first Dad’s Weekend since 2019 due to COVID-19, the weekend spurred a number of things to do in Athens. According to the university calendar, one such event involved sitting around the campfire and stargazing at The Ridges on both Friday and Saturday evenings from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. Students and their fathers were able to stargaze through telescopes, listen to stories of Ridges lore and eat campfire snacks for just $10 with this event hosted by Outdoor Pursuits,

On Saturday, Alden library opened its doors as a mini-golf course from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. on floors 3 to 5 of the building. Players could play nine holes for $5 or 18 for $10. According to the university calendar, the course was set up alongside several other games in the library. 

A casino event was held in Baker Center also on Saturday from 2 p.m. until 5 p.m. in the second and third floor atriums. The University Program Council hosted the afternoon of free fun, with games such as Texas Hold’em and Blackjack accompanied by food, drinks and raffle baskets.

Perhaps the most widely anticipated Dad’s Weekend event, on Saturday night, Stephen Kramer Glickman, best known for his performance as Gustavo Rocque on Big Time Rush, performed in Baker Center Ballroom at 8 p.m. Marza Wilks accompanied him on cello, and they performed songs such as “The Climb” by Miley Cyrus and “Happier Than Ever” by Billie Eilish. 

The event was followed by a meet and greet in The Post’s newsroom, where attendees who paid for VIP tickets were invited to spend time with Glickman. The post-show event included refreshments and a photo opportunity with Glickman. 

Nia Harris, a sophomore studying communication sciences, attended his performance and thoroughly enjoyed her experience. She said the show was especially meaningful to her because she grew up watching him on TV.

“He was a big comfort character for me, so it was really nice to go in there and see him on the stage and listen to him talk about stories from his time in Big Time Rush and working with the actors,” Harris said. “Watching him on the stage and hearing him talk, I had no idea how nice of a person he was. Just seeing how genuinely excited he was to be there really made the whole experience a lot more fun.”

Aside from the events put on by the university, there were a host of other activities students could experience with their dads over the weekend. Megan Syring, a senior studying sports management, and her father, John Syring, spent Dad’s Weekend together. John Syring arrived Saturday, and the pair took a hike at The Ridges before eating at Bagel Street Deli, 27 S. Court St., for dinner and spending the evening at Broneys, 7 W. Carpenter St. 

They said it was the first Dad’s Weekend they’ve been able to experience together. Megan Syring said she was happy her dad was able to spend some quality time in Athens.

“It was just fun having him come up for a weekend because he never really stays up here,” Megan Syring said.

John Syring agreed, adding he was grateful for a dad's-only experience.

“It doesn’t feel like dads are ever specialized, so that’s cool,” John Syring said.

Luka Cuschlag, a junior studying music education, was also able to host his father, Wayne Cuschlag, for the weekend. Wayne Cuschlag began his visit Friday night with a get-together at his son’s apartment. The pair continued their Dad’s Weekend celebration Saturday at the Ohio basketball game against Capital University. Luka Cuschlag, who is in the Marching 110 and performed at the game, said it was special because of Dad’s Weekend.

“They allowed all the dads in the room to sit with the band, so we did that and watched the basketball game,” Luka Cuschlag said.

Afterwards, the pair embarked on a 4-mile run before spending the evening together. On Sunday morning, they got Donkey Coffee & Espresso, 17 W. Washington St., as a pair and sat on Court Street. Luka Cuschlag said it was fun having his father visit. His dad agreed and said he was grateful for the weekend because of the glimpse it gave him into his son’s world.

“Spending time with my son, that’s the big draw,” Wayne Cuschlag said. “(I like) getting an understanding of his lifestyle and his friends. Peeking into his world, that’s what I like.” 


Katie Millard


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