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March2012 Volume 7 | Issue 3

Dear CSU Parents and Families:

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Colorado State University is thriving!  So much to do, so many opportunities yet to discover – faculty, staff, students, and families have much to be thankful for this fall.  This month’s newsletter covers many things, including: academic advising updates, FERPA information, and a message from CSU Health Network.  Let us take a few minutes to lay out Homecoming & Family Weekend details and midterm support here:

Homecoming & Family Weekend starts this Friday!  We cannot wait to welcome families to campus starting with the Housing Options After the First Year session on Friday, October 5, 2012 at 2:00 p.m.  This session helps families understand students’ options for living arrangements after their first year.  If you’re not able to attend, we’ll post the presentation & handouts on the Parent & Family website under “Housing Options” for all to access.  This session leads straight into the Festival & Reunions on the Oval (complete with a band!) and the traditional homecoming festivities:  parade, bonfire, pep rally, lighting of the “A” and fireworks.  Saturday morning, we hope you’ll join us for a special RAMFAM Association meeting featuring CSU’s Leadership:

  • Tony Frank, CSU President
  • Rick Miranda, CSU Provost & Executive Vice President
  • Blanche Hughes, CSU Vice President for Student Affairs
  • Regina Martel, Associated Students of CSU President

They will provide important campus updates & engage in a Q&A session with families – an important constituent group for our leadership.  So bring your students and your questions to this session. 

To wrap up the weekend, we hope to see you at the official Homecoming & Family Weekend Tailgate before the football game against Fresno State.  Famous Dave’s is catering and we will have plenty of CSU Rams “flare” to get you ready for the game!  The forecast is in the 50s, so be sure to bring warm clothes.

We’ve had multiple questions about late registration and parking.  With regard to registration, we had to place an end date on registration to allow us to plan for adequate space and other logistics, so thanks to those of you who were able to register on time.  If you’ve not yet registered, please know that you can still attend the Housing Options After the First Year and RAMFAM Association meetings – we’d love your attendance!  Unfortunately registration is closed, catering has been ordered, and logistics are already in place for the other events.  In terms of parking, CSU’s usual parking restrictions will be in place on Friday, October 5.  We recommend parking in the Alumni Association lot when you check in with them and they will offer parking options at that time.

Also important this month, we want to recognize that October is traditionally a tough month for students.  Mid-October marks the uphill path of the ‘hump’ between midterms and fall break. Homework and midterm tests begin to cause additional stress, it is beginning to get darker earlier, and, for many students, the ‘newness’ of being a college student is starting to wear off. If your student begins to feel the stress of the semester, remind him or her to reach out and use available resources: The Institute for Learning and Teaching, faculty member office hours, and study groups are all great resources for students. It’s not too late to improve grades! This can also be the month when students begin to talk about transferring to a new institution. If you hear ‘transfer talk’ (“I don’t like my classes.” “I’m not getting along with my roommate.” “I hate Fort Collins.”), please encourage your student to focus on getting through the semester successfully and don’t engage in ‘transfer talk’ until the semester break. Usually, if we can help students be successful between midterms and fall break, they will continue their studies at CSU. Care packages from home can’t hurt, either!

Lastly, President Frank sent out a campus announcement regarding the future of a new stadium at CSU.  As usual, he looks at the issue from all angles.  It’s a bit of a read, but worth your time to see his thoughtful response.  Click here to read his full message.

We hope to see you at Homecoming & Family Weekend!

take care,

Jody & Kacee

Jody Donovan, Ph.D.
Dean of Students/Executive Director of Parent & Family Programs

Kacee Collard Jarnot, M.S.
Assistant Director of Parent & Family Programs

Parent and Family Programs
Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs
Colorado State University
201 Administration Building
Fort Collins, CO 80523
(970) 491-5312



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Academic Advising Insights: Empowering Your Student to Get the Most Out of Academic Advising

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By Gaye DiGregorio, Director of the Center for Advising and Student Achievement

Students beginning their collegiate experience often ask themselves questions such as Am I in the right major?, How am I doing in my classes?, What is the advising appointment about?  Even a year or two in, students can run the continuum of knowing exactly what they’d like to major in through still searching for that perfect fit.  Here are a few resources that can help students find their niche at Colorado State University:

Major Exploration 

Academic and Career Horizons: Information sheets describe the interests, skills, and career opportunities for each major, giving students the option to learn more about specific majors.  Additionally, the exploratory course list suggests introductory courses and the key adviser list provides a contact for all majors in the University.

Students can also attend the Exploring Majors Fair on Wednesday, October 10, 2012 from 11:00 am-2:00 pm in the Lory Student Center North Ballroom.  This fair helps students discover all that CSU has to offer, with representatives from over 65 majors and 8 colleges.  Encourage your student to get their questions answered at this “one-stop-shop”!

Composition & Math Placement

If a student has not taken the placement tests for Composition and Math they need to do so as soon as possible and likely before registration. 

Withdrawal Timeline

 If a student is considering withdrawing from a course, the deadline for most courses is October 15, 2012.  This is different than withdrawing from the University; so students need to ensure they understand the difference.  All of the important academic dates can be found on the Registrar’s Office website.  Students are encouraged to consult with an advisor to consider implications with financial aid, health insurance, and graduation timelines before withdrawing from a course.

Students Should Schedule an Academic Advising Appointment Soon!

The following dates are when each class BEGINS registration for spring semester. Once students complete the Registration Ready portion in RAMweb, they can access their specific registration date and time.

  • October 23 – Seniors (90+ credits)
  • October 26 – Juniors (60-89 credits)
  • November 2 – Sophomores (30-59 credits)
  • November 9 – Freshmen (29 or fewer credits)

Students should contact their advisor to set up a meeting 2-3 weeks prior to their registration date to ensure they are on track academically.  If your student doesn’t know how to set up an appointment, encourage him or her to contact their major department directly.

Before meeting with an academic advisor, students should review their Major Check Sheet  which outlines all the graduation requirements for each major.  They should also review “My Degree Plan” in RAMweb.  This tool shows graduation requirements that have been completed and requirements that still need to be completed and gives students a good idea of what still needs to be accomplished before meeting with their advisor.  It is also helpful if students prepare a list of possible courses for spring semester before their advising appointment.

The advising meeting is a time for students to share their experiences in the courses that they are currently enrolled, discuss courses for spring semester, share goals and interests, learn more about their major or majors they are considering, and ask questions.  The more students prepare; the better their experience will be.

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Assessment Results: Ram Welcome Survey

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Ram Welcome

By Maria Marinucci, Graduate Assistant for Parent & Family Programs and Retention Initiatives

Although it may seem like Ram Welcome was years ago, we wanted to close the loop on our assessment and fill you in on some of the feedback we received.  883 of you responded, and we truly appreciate it—we could not improve our programming without you!  We pulled a lot of great information from your responses, which we will bring with us to planning meetings for next year’s Ram Welcome.

In general, most of you reported being pleased with the move-in process, with 95.26% responding that you were “satisfied” or “very satisfied” with this experience.  Many of you had great things to say about the Greek-affiliated students that helped with move-in, and we have passed this information on to them.  They were incredibly grateful for your positive words, so thank you again!  For those of you that attended Friday morning’s Parent & Family sessions, over 90% said you felt connected to CSU afterward.  That is great news and we are encouraged by your positive feedback.

There were some things we can continue to improve and your comments were helpful.  Some of you mentioned parking troubles, the long line for the picnic, and audio difficulties in the Lory Student Center broadcast of Convocation.  We will be looking into ways to improve in these areas to make Ram Welcome a great experience for all.

More detailed feedback can be found here.  The wordles (explained in the slideshow) are based on your responses to the questions and present a visual representation of your comments.  The feedback regarding the Friday morning sessions includes selected testimonials representative of all remarks for that specific presentation.  Thank you again for your assistance in improving Ram Welcome and Parent & Family Programs!

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Reasonable Expectations: FERPA SMERPA- The Family Education Rights and Privacy Act and YOU

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By Jody Donovan, Dean of Students/Executive Director of Parent & Family Programs

“I pay the bill so you should send me the grades.” At last month’s RAMFAM Association meeting, Dr. Marshall Frasier, faculty member and academic advisor from the College of Agricultural Science, said it best, “If you as the parent are paying for your student’s education, the contract is between you and your student, rather than you and the University.”

This may feel like a strange concept, however, it is based on federal legislation, originally passed in the 1970s and amended multiple times over the years. The Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) protects students’ education records from kindergarten through higher education. During K-12, parents or guardians are responsible for their students’ records, however, when that student enrolls in higher education, the responsibility is shifted to the student, regardless of age or who pays the bills. College students determine who has access to their education records as they shift from a dependent child to an interdependent adult.

Last year, Colorado State University created FAMweb, an online tool for students to grant “trusted individuals” access to specific parts of their education record.  Students can initiate access in their RAMweb accounts through the “Manage my Records (FAMWEB)” link. Students can choose to whom to grant access as well as select among the four options: weekly class schedule, eBilling, end of term grades, and unofficial transcript.  This access is initiated by the student and the “trusted individuals” are then sent an email alerting them to set up a profile and begin accessing the information.

While many parents and families would like Colorado State University to send them hard copy bills and grades, we have not done this for many years for several reasons. First and foremost, it would violate the federal legislation, second, the expense of printing, postage and staff time to do this for 30,000+ full and part-time, graduate and undergraduate students (some of whom have multiple households) would be outrageous, and lastly, we are all working together to help students become responsible, self-sufficient adults.

My husband and I have a written contract with our sophomore son, Matthew.  He understands his financial and academic responsibilities and we’ve outlined our financial and emotional responsibilities. Throughout the semester, he provides verbal updates on how he is doing academically, including his accomplishments and his struggles.  We periodically review his and our budgets, making adjustments as needed.  When speaking with Matthew, he shares his sense of personal responsibility and feelings of “acting like an adult” when he compares himself to friends whose parents pay for everything and routinely "hack” into their student’s RAMWEB and RamCT accounts to check on grades without their student’s permission.  By treating Matthew like an adult, we are teaching him how to behave like an adult. It is a gradual process and of course, we experience hiccups along the way.

If you do not like this arrangement, you can do something: contact your legislators and work toward amending the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act.  In the 1990s, it was amended to allow universities to contact parents/guardians for medical and emergency reasons as well as drug and alcohol violations. I fully anticipate an amendment related to accessing education records to be passed within my lifetime…if parents and family members rally and lobby their elected officials!

In the meantime, please encourage your student to take responsibility for his or her education. This occurs when students make appointments with academic advisors, meet with faculty during office hours, access tutoring and academic resources outside of class, and actively engage in their academic journey. Going to college is your student’s job.  Supporting and encouraging them is your job.

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Learning Outcome: Engaging with Call-A-Ram

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Call-A-Ram (courtesy of https://advancing.colostate.edu/CAR)

By Maggie Linn, Program Center Manager for CSU Call-A-Ram, Ruffalo Cody

Call-A-Ram students are gearing up to talk to you!  Starting November 1, 2012 Colorado State University students will be calling you, our CSU parents and families.  The Call-A-Ram students provide great insight into CSU from a student perspective and will help you find resources for many of the issues your student may be facing. 

They are also calling to fundraise for the Parents Fund.  The Parents Fund gives parents and families the opportunity to enrich the lives of all undergraduate students by funding university-wide programs to support leadership, diversity, service and learning.  In cooperation with the Parents Fund Committee, the Vice President for Student Affairs determines where the need is greatest for use of Parents Fund gifts.  In past years, this fund has contributed to everything from the annual Hunger Banquet, which exposes students to poverty issues, to the President's Leadership Program, which teaches students leadership skills to help them engage in social change.  In addition, Parent & Family Programs is funded solely through the Parents Fund:  all of the publications, the RAMFAM Association, Family Weekend and other parent and family events, services, programs, and staffing.  When these students call, give them a chance to help you connect to CSU.  We know families of college students have many expenses, but this is an opportunity to enhance your student's education outside of the classroom.  This fund is sustained on donations from numerous families and we appreciate the support you can provide.

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Need a Mechanic? Shuttle? Grocery Store? Check Out the RAMFAM Association Business Directory!

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RamFamBy Maria Marinucci, Graduate Assistant for Parent & Family Programs and Retention Initiatives

Many of you have contacted ouf office recently asking for information about places to stay in the area, ways to get to the airport, names of trusted mechanics, and local grocery stores—all of which are legitimate questions and things parents and families want to know.  We understand this, which is precisely why we have the RAMFAM Association Business Directory!

We encourage you to use the Directory as your first resource, as these businesses have all been personally referred to us by parents and families of CSU students.  Plus it is a quick and easy one-stop-shop that is regularly updated online.  In the last few months, we've been able to add another recommended mechanic and a meal plan to the directory. 

Know of another great business that you don’t see listed?  Have you had a positive experience that you want others to share?  We would love to hear about it!  Use the “let us know” link on the page listed above and we will reach out to the business to see if they are interested in being part of the directory.

Thank you to all of you who have recommended businesses and for your continued use of the directory.  We look forward to hearing about others and hopefully adding them so this resources becomes even more beneficial!

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Academic Struggles: Early Grade Feedback and U-Turn

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UTurn (image courtesy of http://tilt.colostate.edu/learning/skills/uturn.cfm)

By Lisa Dysleski, Assistant Professor of Chemistry and Maria Marinucci, Graduate Assistant for Parent & Family Programs and Retention Initiatives

CHEM 111 courses have participated in the EarlyCheck (or Early Grade Feedback) program since its inception in the fall of 2010. I see this program as valuable for a three reasons: feedback is early, the information is concrete and the message is often a catalyst that helps students to seek the help that they need and to take advantage of the powerful resources that CSU has to offer.

Feedback is early. In a course like CHEM 111, a majority of a student’s points come from performance on exams. The first exam in CHEM 111 (which occurred on Wednesday, September 12), might be the first experience that your student has with unsatisfactory performance on an exam. Some students explain the first low grade as a “fluke” or as the result of simply getting used to the way that chemistry tests are formatted. Unfortunately, more often than not, a low grade on the first exam is indicative of some deeper problem with the way that the student is engaging with course material. To be clear, it is completely possible for a student earning a low grade on the first exam in CHEM 111 to turn his or her grade around and end up with a good final grade in the course. However, this will only happen if the student makes significant changes to how he or she studies for the exams. And, the changes need to happen right away. The longer your student waits to make changes to his or her study habits, the more difficult it will be to improve a course grade. Providing the student with an EarlyCheck grade early helps him or her to start making changes right away.

The information is concrete. Rumors abound about how grades are calculated in courses in which a curve (or an adjustment to the traditional 10-point grading scale) may be applied to the final course grade. Students often have misconceptions about how curves are calculated and about how their final numerical grades will translate in to letter grades. With the Early Grade Feedback program, we calculate each student’s percentage score and assign letter grades as we will at the end of the semester. We then assign EarlyCheck grades of “S” to each student with a letter grade of “A”, “B” or “C” and an EarlyCheck grade of “U” to students earning a “D” or “F”. We hope that this minimizes confusion about assigning letter grades.

The message is a catalyst. Just before EarlyCheck grades are posted, I talk with the students in my class about where they should expect to find their EarlyCheck grades, how the grades are calculated, and what the grades mean. For many students, a grade of “U” motivates a student to come to my office hours to ask for help. I know this because I hear statements like “I have an EarlyCheck grade of “U” and I’d like to meet with you about turning my grade around”. I appreciate the opportunities that I gain to talk to students about improving performance in my class. Additionally, supplemental programs like “U-Turn” give me a specific direction to send students that are facing additional problems that are compounding the academic problems that they are experiencing.

We value the information provided by the Early Grade Feedback program so much that in CHEM 111, we will update “EarlyCheck” grades after every exam, four total times throughout the semester. We have also started providing “EarlyCheck” grades to students throughout the second-semester CHEM 113 course. We hope this information is helpful to you and that your students utilize EarlyCheck to help propel them to success.

If your student is enrolled in a course that was part of Early Grade Feedback and received a “U”, or if he or she just wants to improve his or her grades and learn some new academic skills, “U-Turn: A One-Stop Shop for Academic Resources” is a great resource!  The event will be held on Tuesday, October 9 from 11am-4:30pm in The Institute for Teaching and Learning (TILT).  It will bring over 50 campus representatives and recourses into one room to talk about topics including tutoring, study skills, test anxiety, finances, health issues, career options, involvement, and much more.  Students should plan to spend about an hour at U-Turn, and will begin their time with a brief academic assessment.  They will then meet individually with a “Navigator,” who will help them understand their assessment and resources that would be most helpful.  From there students can get some snacks, visit the resource booths, create an action place, and even register for prizes. 

This event is an amazing opportunity for any student trying to get or stay on track academically.  The representatives will be there to discuss individual needs, not simply general ideas and tips.  Whether your students received a “U” indicator, or just want to hone their skills, this event is will be beneficial and informative for all.

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Getting Involved: Cans Around the Oval and Alternative Breaks

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Students Walking

By Tina De Giso, Graduate Marketing Coordinator and Sarah Stephens, Volunteer Programs Graduate Coordinator

Cans Around the Oval

The Office of Student Leadership, Involvement & Community Service (SLiCE) is a great place for students to drop by and get involved. One of our biggest community programs is Cans Around the Oval. “Cans”, a CSU tradition for over 25 years, will take place throughout the month of October, in conjunction with the Larimer County Food Bank and with global Hunger Awareness Week. Cans is Northern Colorado's largest food drive and a great representation of CSU's commitment to service-learning. Student organizations and living communities throughout the campus collaborate to raise awareness of local hunger, discuss the underlying social issues, and compete to see who can collect the most cans and monetary donations for the community.

There are several events throughout the month, including canvassing, Canstruction (where collected cans are turned into public art to raise awareness of hunger), and the Hunger Banquet. The week culminates in Can Collection day on October 17, during Hunger Awareness Week. Can Collection day is the single largest 1-day donation of food in Northern Colorado. Last year the program collected over 66,000 pounds of food and $39,000 in donations, sums we hope to top this year!

It is important to remember those less fortunate.  Students don't have to give any money to help those who do have to worry about hunger, but a little of their time could help a lot. For more information, check out our website

Alternative Breaks

While Cans Around the Oval looks at our local community, another opportunity SLiCE provides students to give back and look at service through a new perspective is our Alternative Break (Alt Break) program.  This program offers community service and experiential learning trips for students seeking adventure, challenge, and growth.  These experiences provide students the opportunity to immerse themselves in different environmental, socioeconomic, and cultural communities.  Communities hosting alternative break may be near or far — CSU offers trips across Colorado, the United States, and the world — but one commonality is an environment far different from a college campus.

Students leave behind the world education to enter communities grappling with issues as varied as hunger, inadequate housing, and environmental degradation. An alternative break is not simply volunteerism--students offer service in exchange for an education about current cultural and social issues facing the host communities.  While the communities benefit from work completed or conversations had, the students gain a broader understanding of the world around them.  Many students express their respect for the program, exclaiming the trip was the best week/weekend of their lives, and recognize their experiences as life-changing.

Annually, about 200 CSU students participate in the yearlong commitment as site leaders, training to prepare themselves for the trips, and range in age, major, upbringing, background, and interest.  They attend pre-trip sessions, learn about diversity and privilege, experience the week-long alternative break, and reflect on experiences upon returning to CSU.  Trips occur during fall, winter, spring, and summer breaks at CSU. 

SLiCE offers travel grants to individual students participating in an Alternative Spring Break experience. Up to $10,000 will be awarded to students who apply during this school year. Students should complete their grant application, attach it to their alternative spring break application, and return both to the SLiCE Office no later than 5pm on Tuesday, October 23, 2012.

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Student Employment: Opportunities and Benefits

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Employment  (Image from FreeDigitalPhotos.net, "Success Concept" by FrameAngel)

By Frank Martinez, Assistant Director of Student Employment Services

Student Employment Services assists Colorado State University students in securing part-time employment while they are in school.  Employment provides students with the opportunity to gain valuable work experience as well as a practical means to contribute to the costs of their education. On average, 1,600 work-study and 6,300 hourly employees are employed each year on and off-campus in a wide variety of employment positions, earning an average of $3,566.  Some students may be employed in community service jobs, such as Literacy/Math Tutors in nearby elementary schools; as Staff Assistants at the local museum; as Lab Assistants in research projects; as Administrative Assistants in various departments on-campus; as Dining Services Workers in the Lory Student Center or residence halls; as Customer Service Representatives for Admissions or Student Financial Services, assisting parents and students with the financial aid, billing, student employment, admissions and tuition classification questions. Student Employment Services is also responsible for managing Federal, State and Institutional Work-Study programs, totaling more than $2.7 million annually.

How do Students Benefit from Working?

A common myth among incoming freshmen and their parents is the idea that working part-time while attending college is somehow detrimental to academic performance and focus.  In reality, employment offers many benefits, most of which directly enhance academic performance and time management skills.  Other than the obvious financial benefits that come with part-time work, research consistently shows that students working part-time (less than 20 hours/week) tend to do better academically and have a higher probability of persisting with their academic plans.  Student workers also benefit from connections established with other students (as coworkers or helpers) and the inherent opportunities to develop the beginnings of meaningful mentorships with supervisors/faculty & staff.  As a parent of a college sophomore, I can appreciate this informal support system surrounding my student, while also offering a tangible connection to the larger CSU campus/family.  

Where Can Students Find Jobs?

The best way for students to find jobs is to search through the Student Job Listing link on RAMweb. Most employers list their open positions on RAMweb, and all listings are reviewed by our office for compliance with federal/state labor law and Office of Equal Opportunity requirements before being released for student view.  Every listing contains a job title, pay rate, required work hours, job description, contact person, and how to apply.  The next best option for students, and one that is not well known, is for the student to approach an employer directly to inquire about potential openings.  This strategy can be intimidating, for freshmen especially, but often results in securing employment.

How Can Students Interact With Student Employment Services?

Students may call us at 970-491-5714, email us at seserv@colostate.edu, or visit us in Centennial Hall.  We also have many resources located on our website, ses.colostate.edu.  Our website contains many guidelines for both employers and students, offering many answers to common questions related to student employment, as well as important dates and contact information. We also offer individual assistance for students having difficulty locating employment opportunities, and offer a listening ear and helpful strategies when students find themselves dealing with employment-related issues. 

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Roommate Conflicts

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Conflict Resolution & Student Conduct Services graphic

By Melissa Emerson, Assistant Director; and Melissa Williams, Graduate Assistant Conflict Resolution and Student Conduct Services

After six quiet weeks of hearing about how much your student loves Colorado State, their classes, and their roommate you may be surprised to receive phone calls about how annoying their roommate is and how they are no longer on speaking terms.  The honeymoon is over, and here in Conflict Resolution we know that around this time of year students are starting to notice irritations about their roommate. 

Fittingly, October is the month designated to increase public awareness about conflict resolution and its many benefits.  First year students living in the residence halls are learning to navigate the many intricacies of a roommate relationship.  Common disputes occur around cleanliness, sharing property, visitors, and study hours to name a few.  Often we receive calls from parents concerned about their students rooming situation.  Many students have never had to share a room before and having these difficult conversations can be a skill that students have not yet developed.  Unfortunately, students frequently jump to solving their problem by requiring someone to move out rather than directly voicing concerns or seeking resolution through some of the university provided support systems.  It is important for students to recognize that moving is not always a realistic option.  Once students are living off campus, have financial obligations and signed leases to work around, moving becomes even less of an option.  This is why we encourage students to start developing skills for interpersonal conflict resolution here and now.  Whether their issues are with roommates, professors, employers, colleagues, or friends, there is no time like the present to work on building competence around conflict resolution.

Similarly in October, our office consults with an influx of off-campus students dealing with roommate issues.  Matters such as overnight guests, parties, food purchasing, rent, heat bills and common space time, all start to come up as bigger issues than students originally anticipated.   In the past, we have seen roommates who had started communicating exclusively through texts and post-it notes.  We brought all the parties together for mediation and the roommates came up with an agreement which included a weekly house meeting to voice concerns as well as a commitment to no longer use post-its as a form of communication.  We encourage roommates to establish clear roommating expectations and agreements about how conflicts may be handled.  By being proactive and working together to address concerns, the roommates will hopeful avoid an escalated situation

Conflict may also arise when one student is concerned about the well-being of their roommate. They may be worried about their friend’s health, alcohol use, sleep patterns and academic success.  Conflict Resolution is happy to be a resource and will provide the appropriate connections to support systems on or off campus.

Many of the students seeking assistance from our office are often looking for some form of conflict coaching.  They would like tips on how to have a difficult conversation and may even want to role-play what the dialogue will look like.  Others have found that communication channels have completely broken down between roommates and  are hoping for a neutral third-party to help mediate the dispute Conflict Resolution staff will assist students in having those difficult conversations and can help draft a roommate agreement that all parties can live with.  Students can request an appointment with our office by calling 970-491-7165 or by submitting an online appointment request

In the spirit of Conflict Resolution month, encourage your student to view their roommate conflict as an opportunity to build upon their communication skills and hopefully improve their living situation.

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Healthy Student, Happy Family: CSU Health Network

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woman with a coldBy Marie Allen, Coordinator of Marketing & Communications, CSU Health Network

Good health is essential to the academic success. The CSU Health Network is your student’s partner in staying mentally and physically healthy while at college.

Homesickness and the College Student

Your student might have been excited upon arriving at CSU several weeks ago, so perhaps you are a little surprised to see signs of homesickness starting to surface.  For example, your student may start expressing major dissatisfaction with the college experience, or perhaps he or she is suddenly calling home more often and requesting visits home sooner than you were expecting.

It is very normal for students to start to feel homesick after the novelty and newness of the semester starts to wear off. Students are dealing with unfamiliar situations, a lack of routine, and a loss of close friends and family. This can stir up emotions and lead to missing the familiarity of home. Remember that change, even positive change, can create a new level of uneasiness and alter feelings of security and confidence. Consider these tips to help your student feel more comfortable:

  • Validate and normalize her feelings and be available just to listen.
  • Let your student know that you miss him or her, but try not to dwell on your own adjustment to his or her absence.
  • Continue to speak positively about college and explore together ways to feel more connected.
  • Resist the urge to swoop in and bring your student home or text her more often. Recognize that she may need even more distance and time to make the social connections that will help her feel more connected on campus.
  • Tell your student that you believe that he can and will adjust and gain valuable independence through this experience.

Cold and Flu Prevention

Just like the changing of the weather, this time of year can signify cold and flu season is upon us. College students across the country report that coming down with a nasty cold or a case of the flu often affects their academic performance. Lifestyle habits, living situations and exposure to germs play a role. Although most of us have heard those common prevention and treatment tips more than once, it bears repeating, perhaps with a few more suggestions to consider. 

Visit the Health Tools and Resources-Cold and Flu Prevention and Care page on the CSU Health Network website for more information.

Students are encouraged to get this year’s flu vaccine early. The vaccine is available to students at the Hartshorn Building of the CSU Health Network for $20.  No appointment necessary.

Stress Reduction Techniques

Stress can be common as mid-term assignments and exams start to stack up. Encourage your student to be intentional about managing stress by focusing on better self-care and taking breaks to relax and “recharge their batteries.”

This month, the CSU Health Network will be promoting some stress management tips and providing ways to help your student connect to campus resources.  

Learn more about this campaign and stress management tips for students by going to the Health Tools and Resources-Stress Management page on the CSU Health Network website. 

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Fort Collins:  So Much More than a Home for a College Campus

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OCL LogoBy Emily Allen, Community Liaison, Off Campus Life

You may not be aware of the incredible relationship between CSU and the City of Fort Collins.  They work hand-in-hand to provide your student with a place to learn and flourish while feeling safe. Through interactions with CSU you have learned about the resources offered at the University and it is equally important to let you know about the city’s. Below, are just a few of the many resources that the city has to offer:

Message from the City Manager – Darin Atteberry:

I truly believe that Fort Collins is one of the greatest mid-sized cities in America - it's where I choose to live and raise my family.  CSU is one of the primary reasons Fort Collins is such a unique community, and I'm proud that thousands of students, faculty and staff also choose to make Fort Collins their home, for four years or a lifetime.  Whether it's quality neighborhoods; our vibrant Downtown; or the thriving research, technology and arts industries; Fort Collins is the ideal place for your students to live and learn - and we welcome them.

Message from the Chief of Police – John Hutto:

On behalf of Fort Collins Police Services, I would like you to know that your children are in a safe environment as compared to similar college towns and cities. We strive to keep it that way in that our desire is for your children to learn and grow in their college experience without having to live in fear. Police Services is available anytime to you, your son, or daughter should there be questions, concerns, or need assistance. We stand ready to assist you 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Poudre Fire Authority can help with everything from Life Safety Education to Emergency Response. Our mission is “to protect citizens and their property by being prompt, skillful, and caring.” We would rather PREVENT an incident than have to respond to one. Also, look for us on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Fort Collins Municipal Court handles traffic and misdemeanor tickets written by Fort Collins and CSU Police Officers, Animal Control, and others. If you receive a ticket, please carefully review the information on the front and back of the ticket. If it is a FCMC ticket, you can also check out our web page for further information, including how to pay some tickets online.

Fort Collins Utilities are a progressive utility, working to transform community sustainability into a mainstream consideration. We invite you to use our website  as a tool to manage your utility bills, participate in conservation programs, learn about and receive efficiency incentives, and to become familiar with sustainability efforts.

Transfort services are available to CSU students through a funding agreement we have with ASCSU. With their Ram Card, all full fee paying students have access to all Transfort routes, FLEX service to Longmont, and connections to RTD. Part-time students can purchase a $25 semester pass and receive the same services. Additionally, through a partnership with ASCSU and Police Services, Transfort provides late-night service on Friday and Saturday nights from 11:30pm to 2:30am, at a cost of $1, called the Green and Gold routes.

Parking Services monitors parking spaces in Downtown Fort Collins and around (but not on) the CSU campus.  There are many areas with one- and two-hour time limits that help make parking spaces available to customers, employees and residents.  For additional information, or to find out where to park, contact Parking Services online or at (970) 221-6617.

The Environmental Services Department, supports our community’s values by offering a ton of programs and services around sustainability. Check our website for info on recycling, how to reduce unwanted junk mail, the state’s motor vehicle inspection program, how to make your home healthy, radon testing, and much more!

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