September 29, 2020

SIU is celebrating Saluki Family Appreciation Week Oct. 5-10

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. — Saluki Family Weekend is becoming Saluki Family Appreciation Week at Southern Illinois University Carbondale in 2020. The weeklong celebration of SIU students and their families begins Monday, Oct. 5.

Escape your way to family fun

Even though some events are virtual due to the COVID-19 pandemic, organizers have still found a way to bring Salukis and their families together for a good time. For instance, there is the Virtual Escape Room game from 7 to 9 p.m. on Oct. 8, where participants work to solve puzzles as a team during the “The Exit Files” escape room challenge. Students and their families can team up or, if you join alone or with a small group, organizers will place you on a team.

Some puzzles are easy and some quite challenging and game masters will be available to offer hints and check the progress as players delve into the mystery that begins with a strange email from an eccentric uncle who designs games. The uncle hasn’t been seen in years, and the challenge is to solve his puzzles.  

The game is open to the first 600 people to register. You just need a computer with a current browser - Chrome is recommended – to play. Organizers will use Zoom to offer video or audience team conferencing; participants will get the Zoom meeting link as your game starts.  

Virtual 5K

The Saluki Family Virtual 5K is Oct. 10 and results can be submitted anytime that day -- from 5 a.m. until 11:59 p.m. Prizes will be awarded to 10 participants who are selected by random drawing.

Register in advance on the Family Weekend website any time before the race.

Spirit store and activities

There is the opportunity to show your Saluki pride during the week and all year long. An online Saluki family apparel store will offer a variety of SIU items for sale from 8 a.m. Oct. 5 through 8 a.m. Oct. 16. Students can pick up their orders at the Office of Student Engagement at the Student Center, or delivery is also available. Profits from the sales will help benefit the Saluki Strength Breast Cancer Scholarship Fund.

On Oct. 9, wear Saluki maroon regardless of where you are, click a picture, and post it on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter and tag @SIUGetInvolved.

The Saluki Family Appreciation website also offers other fun activities including:

  • Free downloadable Saluki coloring sheets.
  • Links to fun, popular Saluki videos.
  • Virtual movie night options featuring talented Salukis. These movies, available on various streaming or rental services, all have one or more SIU alumni involved in their production.

Virtual Tailgate and Historic Saluki Football Game

While a full Saluki football schedule will not happen this fall, a family weekend of football including a virtual tailgate is set for Oct. 10. The kick-off is 2 p.m. via YouTube for a historic SIU football game from Homecoming 2002 as the Salukis battle Western Illinois.

Be sure and get in the full spirit of the celebration by sharing photos of your Saluki gear and at-home viewing setup using the hashtag #SalukiVirtualGameDay for what will be a great practice run for the Salukis’ upcoming live football game against Southeast Missouri State on Oct. 23.

Families of the Week

This year SIU is selecting two Families of the Week: one will be a legacy family, where one of more parent or guardian is an SIU Carbondale alumni. Each family will receive prizes including Saluki swag, an exclusive visit with a campus administrator and a two-night stay at the Hampton Inn of Carbondale that is redeemable through April 30, 2021. The university and New Student Programs will also recognize the two families.

Especially for current Salukis

Students can enjoy a variety of special activities on campus throughout the week as well. They can stop by Faner Plaza and fill out a postcard to send home to their families and record a message for the Saluki Family Appreciation Week video anytime between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Oct. 5 or Oct. 6. The Office of Student Engagement will release the Saluki Message Home video on its Facebook page (@SIUGetInvolved) and post the message on the website at 3 p.m. on Oct. 9.

Students can also pick their own design and have it screen-printed onto a mask for free at Faner Plaza from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Oct. 8.

For more details

Find the complete Saluki Family Appreciation Week schedule and additional details online at