Welcome from Parent & Family Programs
Hello Parents and Family Members,
We hope you are well. It’s difficult to believe that Fall Break is now in the past with final exams and Fall Commencement (for our soon to be graduates!) in the near future. You might be asking yourself, “Where does the time go?” For those of you with graduating seniors, can you believe your students are about to earn their degrees? For those of you who recently joined our Ram Family with your new student this fall, is it hard to believe semester #1 is almost over? For all of you, we appreciate the support you provide to your students!
The semester break between fall and spring can provide great opportunities for good conversations with your student. Please keep the following in mind:
If you have a graduating senior (or soon to be graduating this spring), remind your student about the many resources available through the Career Center and Alumni Association. Encourage your student to stay connected with these valuable resources!
If you have a student finishing their first semester, make time to discuss how their coursework went. Remind your student of valuable academic/classroom learning resources available through The Institute for Learning and Teaching (TILT), the importance of connecting with their academic advisor, and if they are new, first year students, reminding them of the “Getting to Year 2 @ CSU” effort (designed to support new students to transition effectively from year 1 to year 2).
If you have a student who is working through their second or third year at CSU, make time to check-in with their overall progress. How are they feeling about their classes? How are they feeling about their experiences outside the classroom? Basically, are they feeling good about their academic experience as they shift into more upper-division coursework? Are they balancing their time between focusing on school but also, having some fun?
As parents and family members, be prepared for some challenging conversations over the winter break. Maybe your student’s academic experience did not produce the grades they were hoping for. Or, maybe your student felt stressed out during the entire fall semester and couldn’t find ways to effectively manage their time. Another challenge might be your student feeling like the friends they made earlier in the semester are not who they would like to continue remaining close to in the spring semester. Please know that your support, as parents and family members, is key for your student to be successful. However, you are not alone. Don’t forget to reach out to our office if you think we can provide you with support and guidance. Or, take time to listen to what your student is sharing and talk through what might be helpful campus resources for them to connect with once they are back from winter break (or to reach out to the Alumni Association or Career Center if they just graduated). Rams take care of Rams—meaning—students have access to a lot of support and sometimes, just need a helpful reminder to both reflect on what’s available and make plan of action to receive support.
We hope you enjoy this December newsletter, which is full of information designed to support your student as they approach and move into the winter break!!
Director of Parent and Family Programs
back to top
Important Upcoming December Dates
By Destiny Story | Student Intern - Vice President for Student Affairs Office
The end of the semester is right around the corner which means many students are beginning to prepare for final projects and exams.
Throughout the month The Institute for Learning and Teaching will be hosting multiple workshops to ease student’s minds as finals approach! For example, "Final Exam Prep", presents tips for different exam formats as well as some study prep.
The CSU Health Network is continuing the Mindfully Managing Stress Workshop throughout December as well to provide further ways for students to handle the possible upcoming stress.
Is your student planning living arrangements for the next semester or next year? Recommend attending the Roommate Roundup either on December 7th or 10th through the Off-Campus Life office! Students are welcome to meet other folks on campus to find new homes and new roommates! (LSC 372, 5-6pm)
To have some fun towards the end of the school year, throw on some CSU gear and support our basketball teams! There will be multiple games throughout the month! Come show some Ram Pride as the teams dive into the seasons!
Other dates to keep in mind:
- Regular Classes End: December 11th
- Finals Week: December 14th-18th
- Grades available on RAMweb: December 23rd
back to top
Housing & Dining Services Updates
By Sylvia Cranmer | Housing & Dining Services Communications Coordinator
This is a busy time of year at CSU and in Residence Life, as we are wrapping up one semester and at the same time preparing for the next. Student’s minds are filled with finishing work for their classes and getting ready for finals, as well as sorting out their housing options for next year. Some helpful information to make sense of the housing pieces:
Winter Break On Campus Housing Information
Winter Break: Dec. 19 – Jan. 18. If your student is planning to stay in the residence halls for all or part of the break, be sure that they apply and sign-up by Wednesday, Dec. 16 – info available at this link: www.housing.colostate.edu/winterbreak The cost is $35 per day, which includes housing and $15 RamCash to purchase food at Durrell Express or other campus outlets.
Only Parmelee and Westfall halls will be open during Winter Break. Residents of these halls may stay in their current room over break if they sign up. Residents of other halls may stay in limited available spaces in the open halls, also by signing up in advance at myhousing.colostate.edu. Food will be available at Durrell Express during the break period, and will be open 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. daily. Payment accepted with cash, RamCash or credit card. Breakfast items will be available at Durrell Express as to-go options, which may be purchased the night before.
- Residence halls close at 10:00 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 18. The last dining center meal is lunch; students may get a to-go meal for dinner by 2:00 p.m. at all dining centers. Residence halls re-open on Thursday, Jan. 14 at 8:00 a.m. with limited dining centers and hours until Monday, Jan. 18 – at which time dining centers resume regular schedules with breakfast.
- If a student needs to stay Friday night, Dec. 18, there is no cost but they must submit a Late Departure Agreement Form on-line no later than 12:00 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 16.
- Students needing housing from Jan. 9-13 can request Early Check-in at a cost of $60 per day, which includes housing and meals via the Durrell Dining Center.
- For a checklist of what to do to prepare a room for leaving during the break period, visit www.housing.colostate.edu/winterbreak
Questions? Contact the hall front desk Community Desk Manager, Residence Director, Assistant Residence Director. For more information: www.housing.colostate.edu/winterbreak or call the Residence Life office, (970) 491-4719.
Live On Campus Next Year
As we wind up the semester, the student chatter around campus is starting to focus on where to live next year. Here are a few reasons students may want to return to the residence halls:
- Students who live on-campus have a higher GPA than students who live off campus
- Students who live on-campus are more likely to be retained at CSU
- On-campus residents report a higher level of campus support than students who live off-campus
- On-campus residents report a higher quality of relationships with faculty members and other students than students who live off campus
- Location, location, location – on-campus living is the only option that puts students in the heart of campus with easy access to our award-winning Rec Center, library, classrooms, and athletic and cultural events
- Room and board includes all utilities, high speed internet, and cable and is billed directly to CSU student accounts where it will be covered by financial aid, if applicable
- $0 due at signing (deposit from this year will roll over to next fall)
- Applications submitted by February 29 will be eligible for a drawing that includes many great prizes, including a grand prize of free room and board for one year
- Sign up by December 31, 2015 for the best housing options
For more information about living on campus next year, keep an eye out for the January Parent & Family newsletter, or visit www.housing.colostate.edu/LiveOn
back to top
Helping Your Student Get a Hold of Anxiety
By Mellody Shapton | Adapted from CSU Student Health 101
Is your student feeling overwhelmed? Some worry is normal, but if their anxiety is persistent, overwhelming, and includes a dread of everyday situations, it’s time for them to take action. If anxiety interferes with their daily routine, they may have an anxiety disorder.
Colleges are reporting increases in the rate and severity of emotional health problems, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). The most common issue on campuses is anxiety. That’s partly about demographics: Of the forty million adults in the US who have an anxiety disorder, three out of four experienced their first episode by age 22, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA).
Emotional health issues are linked to lower GPAs and a higher risk of dropping out, according to Active Minds, a non-profit organization that encourages students to speak out about mental health. In 2011, 62 percent of students who withdrew from college with emotional health problems did so because of anxiety, reports NAMI.
What happens when anxiety kicks in?
- A danger or threat generates physical sensations: faster heartbeat and breathing, tense muscles, sweaty palms, queasy stomach, and/or trembling hands or legs. These are signs of the fight or flight response.
- A rush of adrenaline and other chemicals prepares the person for a quick getaway. This can be mild or extreme.
- It takes a little longer for the evaluative brain, the cortex, to process the situation: Is the threat real?
- If the threat is not real, the fight or flight response is deactivated.
- If the threat is real, the anxiety sensations will linger, keeping the person alert and on edge.
- These lingering feelings can bring a sense of doom and foreboding.
Support your student:
- Be careful not to minimize the severity of anxiety symptoms.
- Encourage coping strategies that don’t rely on simply avoiding triggers.
- Encourage your student to maintain a healthy lifestyle. A nutritious diet, enough sleep, and exercise are central to preventing and handling anxiety.
- Help your student identify the nature of their anxiety, its triggers, and appropriate strategies for alleviating it. For example: Establish realistic goals, monitor and challenge their thinking patterns, and minimize some of the activities that feel overwhelming.
- Help your student see how they can change their situation.
- Encourage your student to seek support from personal or professional contacts. CSU Health Network provides a wide range of counseling services to help students. Learn more at health.colostate.edu.
The good news is that anxiety disorders are treatable. Often, avoiding the problem feels better in the short-term. However, in the long-term students get more stuck, miss out on valued activities, and inevitably suffer more over time. Facing the problem head on is much scarier and uncomfortable, but they get to reclaim their life and well-being. They become free.
back to top
Student Diversity Programs and Services Spotlight
Resources for Disabled Students
Colorado State University (CSU) is proud of its efforts to enhance, appreciate and support diversity and multiculturalism as part of its mission as a land-grant institution of higher education.
This month we are pleased to feature student organizations and resources connected with the Resources for Disabled Students office.
By Rose Kreston | Director of Resources for Disabled Students
It is not uncommon for students to minimize how a disability or chronic physical or mental health condition impacts them. They want to be like everyone else and often want to distance themselves from the stigma of being a student with “special needs.”
Truth of the matter, however, is that a disability or chronic health condition can impede a student’s success. For example, if a student has difficulty reading and/or processing information, he/she may find it hard to finish exams in 50 minutes. Or a chronic condition like depression may make it difficult to meet the attendance or assignment requirements of a course. The results of these difficulties is reflected, then, in student's grades.
Thanks to specific civil rights mandates, students have a resource available to them to counteract the effects of a disability or chronic health condition. Resources for Disabled Students (RDS) provides reasonable accommodations for students in order to ensure equitable access to programs offered by CSU. Accommodations are simply part of students’ civil rights and address the gaps in a structure of learning that is not easily negotiated with the effects of a disability or chronic health condition.
The goal of an accommodation is to minimize the effect of a disability or chronic health condition so that a student has the opportunity to simply be a student. They do not make the learning process easier nor do they guarantee a student will pass and/or graduate. A student is ultimately responsible for his/her own learning, grades and graduation. Accommodations merely provide access to the opportunity to pursue academic goals.
The accommodation process begins when a student meets with one of the RDS specialists who, together with the student, will determine what accommodations may be needed. Reasonable accommodations are determined on a case by case basis, taking into account how a disability/health condition affects a student and the fundamental nature of the course. Common accommodations include: taking exams with extra time; flexibility with attendance requirements; conversion of print material into electronic formats; and extension on assignments. RDS also provides advocacy on behalf of students.
RDS recognizes that having a disability or a chronic health condition is part of being human; it does not make a student ‘special’ or ‘deviant’. But the process of teaching and learning can marginalize any student who needs to manage a disability or chronic health condition. Accommodations can be one answer to that marginalization.
For more information, visit the RDS website.
A more complete list of student organizations and activities associated with Student Diversity Programs and Services offices can be found here. While each office listed may emphasize a specific segment of the student body, services and programs are available to benefit all students at CSU.
back to top
Prepping for Off-Campus Living
By Emily Allen | Off-Campus Life Office
Chances are fall break was filled with conversations around where your student wants to live next year. A quick recap on October’s article, “Your Students Still Have Time Before They Sign (a lease)!” – fall semester is a great time to have these housing conversations and winter break serves as an opportunity to review resources, continue conversations, and prepare for the search come spring – they have plenty of time and should take it!
Once your student is ready to start, here are some things they should be doing…
- Your student should stop by Off-Campus Life in the Lory Student Center, Room 274, for in-person assistance and an extensive list of apartment complexes, property management services and many other resources for life in the Fort Collins community.
- Students should look for the Off-Campus Life Student Handbook, in their residence hall mailbox or by swinging by Off-Campus Life for a copy, before they leave for break. The handbook, titled “Off-Campus Life Student Handbook: Hiking Into Off-Campus Living”, includes topics such as: where to search for housing, budgeting, leases, roommates, utilities, safety, good neighboring tips, city codes and ordinances (noise, occupancy limit, nuisance gatherings, parking, snow shoveling, etc.), and much, much more!
- Students in the process of searching for housing for the 2015-2016 academic year should attend the Off-Campus Life Housing Fair; being held on Wednesday, February 10, in the Main Ballroom of the Lory Student Center from 9 am – 4 pm. There is no cost to students or family to attend the fair. This event brings the Off-Campus Life Student Handbook to life by allowing students to visit with landlords, apartment complex managers and property managers, utilities companies, city resources, and more while gathering information on places to live in the community.
- Additionally, BEFORE a student signs a lease they are encouraged to stop by the Student Legal Services office, Room 284 of the Lory Student Center (970) 491-1482, to set up an appointment for a confidential, one-on-one consultation to review their lease.
- Have you checked out CSU’s Housing & Dining housing options lately? There have been a lot of exciting changes and you may just find the perfect place to live right on campus!
Remember, Off-Campus Life is here to help your student successfully live in the great City of Fort Collins. Visit us in room 274 of the Lory Student Center, www.ocl.colostate.edu, call (970) 491-2248, and follow us on social media for updates/event reminders/important off-campus living tips, etc. on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.
back to top
Get Your Student's 1098-T TAX Form on FAMweb
It’s almost tax time! Colorado State University is required to annually provide eligible students with an IRS Form 1098-T. The information on this form is used to determine eligibility for federal income tax education credits. For more information, visit the IRS website at www.irs.gov and view IRS Publication 970 or consult your tax specialist. If you have questions about your Form 1098-T, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Many parents who claim their student as a dependent on their tax returns need this form to claim education tax credits. Your student can now grant you access to view or print their 1098-T Form online through FAMweb.
Students need to grant access through RAMweb by selecting Manage Access to My Records (FAMweb). If there is already access for billing information, grades, schedules, etc., check the Tax Information box.
Parents or trusted individuals can then log in through FAMweb to access the following tax information:
· 1098-T tax reporting form (current and prior years)
· 1098-T detailed information
· Information regarding education tax credits
· 1098-T FAQs
Questions about the 1098-T Form?
Contact: Debbie Owens
back to top