Colleges and universities now need to cater to more than just freshmen -- they have to provide multi-day orientations for those pesky parents who just can't bare parting with their kids. Surveys show 74% of institutions said that this year they were hosting parent receptions on move-in day, up from 7% in 2003.
So, what's the deal with clingy parents? Some suspect it's the carnivalization of rites of passage. Weddings used to be a few hours long. Now they're week long events. The same goes for sending kids to college. Others think parents are realizing how much they missed out on childhood years and are trying to make up for it in those last days.
Colleges see parental interference as a detriment to new students' assimilation on campus. When the folks are around they can't gather students for meetings and events. They've had to adapt by providing parent programs to ease their anxieties and get them out of the students' ways.