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Ram Welcome Parent & Family Newsletter

August 22-25, 2013



Ram Welcome

Dear Parents & Families of New Colorado State Students,


We encourage new student and family involvement in Ram Welcome!


Ram Welcome: Experience CSU!  provides new students an opportunity to create community and learn what it means to be a CSU student before the semester begins.  We offer this programming because we know our most successful students are those who 'plant their feet' here on campus and take ownership of their experience at Colorado State from the beginning.  Four days of intentional interactions help students start their college careers in the right direction, giving them a solid foundation from which to build.


The student Ram Welcome schedule for first year students (including those living off-campus or at home) and international students lasts the entire four day period before the semester begins (Thursday, August 22 – Sunday, August 25).  For transfer students, we understand they know what it's like to be a college student, so we've developed an abbreviated schedule of specialized programs to help them successfully transition to Colorado State (Thursday, August 22 - Friday, August 23, with optional weekend programming).  During this time, students will have the opportunity to build community with other new students, learn about academic expectations, meet their faculty, find their classrooms and prepare for the beginning of the semester, participate in fun traditions such as Hike to the "A" and We Are CSU diversity programming and photo, and connect to their Ram Welcome groups and floor/off-campus/transfer communities on a more personal level.  The experience is designed to help students feel connected and at ease with the campus environment when classes begin on Monday, August 26, 2013.


Colorado State also offers a parent and family Ram Welcome schedule that begins on Thursday, August 22 at 4:00 pm and ends at noon on Friday, August 23.  We hope you will join us for the full day and a half of Ram Welcome for parents and families because it is designed to help you move through the transition of students going to college.  This college transition is not just all about your first year/transfer student; it is also about you and your family. By attending our sessions, families will learn tips and strategies for supporting your student through their first year in college, learn about important resources on campus, and make connections with other CSU parents and families.


This “special edition” of the Parent & Family eNewsletter aims to help parents and families with the logistics of coming to campus on Thursday, August 22, 2013, including navigating traffic, important campus maps, and a framework to start the Ram Welcome experience.  It also provides details to the Ram Welcome parent and family schedule (click here for a printable schedule) and offers a few reminders and tips before you and your student arrive on campus.  Click on any of the links below to take you directly to articles of interest, or scroll down to peruse the entire newsletter.

In closing, thanks in advance for sharing your student and your whole family with Colorado State University!  We hope to see you in just a few weeks!


take care, Jody & Kacee


Jody Donovan, Ph.D.

Dean of Students/Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs


Kacee Collard Jarnot, M.S.

Director of Parent & Family Programs


Parent & Family Programs

Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs

Colorado State University

201 Administration Building

Fort Collins, CO 80523

(970) 491-6680



Alcohol Edu/Haven:  Sexual Assault Prevention Requirements for All New CSU Students


As we discussed during the Transitions & Keeping Your Student Healthy sessions during Preview and Next Step orientations, your students have received instructions on how to complete the required Alcohol Edu/Haven: Sexual Assault Prevention modules.  This information was emailed to their email addresses the week of July 22, 2013 and, as a reminder, Part 1 must be completed by August 26, 2013.


These links will take you to the information sent to your students, as well as instructions on completing the Alcohol Edu module as a parent or family member.  While it is required for new students under the age of 23 to complete the module, it is not required that you take the parent and family version of Alcohol Edu.  The option is available should you want to see what is required of your student.


Please do not complete your student’s course for them, as this is an important step in helping your student make well-informed choices about alcohol while at CSU.  We encourage you to talk with your students about the course to learn about their planned approach to situations involving alcohol and consent while attending CSU (as well as their plans to complete the modules prior to arriving to campus to begin their first year at Colorado State).



Purchase Your Tickets to the New Student & Family Picnic by July 31!


We invite all parents and family members to join us for an outdoor picnic on the intramural fields immediately following Convocation on Thursday, August 22.  Students are hosted by the CSU Alumni Association and are expected to attend this event by swiping their Ram Card at the entrance.  To help us account for the number of parent and family members attending the picnic, we need you to purchase tickets online by Wednesday, July 31, 2013.  The instructions for purchasing tickets are below, with the option to print tickets at home or pick up purchased tickets prior to the Parent & Family Reception (by 4:00 pm) at the iBox, located in the north end of the Lory Student Center next to the Transit Center on the day of the event.  Please be aware that lost, forgotten, or stolen tickets cannot be replaced.  For families who choose the “print tickets at home” option, please be prepared to have your ticket with you on the day of the event, as there are no available printing facilities for picnic tickets on campus.


Your new CSU student does not need a ticket to enter the picnic, but if you have 10 people helping move your students to CSU, please make sure you purchase 10 tickets to allow everyone to eat at the picnic.  Please purchase your tickets as follows (step-by-step instructions can be found on our website):

  • Website:

  • Price: $6 per ticket

  • Last day to purchase tickets: July 31, 2013

  • Please note:  lost, forgotten, or stolen tickets cannot be replaced through the iBox & “print at home” tickets cannot be printed on campus the day of the event

For families who choose not to attend the New Student & Family Picnic, we encourage you to eat at one of our fabulous local restaurants and return to campus after the picnic to meet up with your students for the Carnival & President's Concert!



Ram Welcome Parent & Family Schedule – Thursday, August 22, 2013


Residence Hall Move-In and Traffic Patterns

by Tonie Miyamoto, Director of Communications for Housing & Dining Services & Mandy Hagedorn, Assistant Director of Communications for Housing & Dining Services


Residence Hall Move-In will begin on Thursday, August 22 at 8:00 a.m.  Students and families should expect the check-in process at the halls to take about an hour.  While your students check in, please take a few minutes to visit the parent and family tables to receive Ram Welcome materials for parents and families, including a schedule of events.  Specific traffic and parking guidelines have been put in place for Move-In Day to make the process as seamless as possible.  Several major construction projects are underway on campus so traffic patterns will be different this year – please check this map for temporary parking spaces and be sure to visit for hall-specific parking instructions the week of move-in to help guide you.  Here are some helpful pointers and reminders to prepare for Move-In Day:

  • Be sure to review the online Move-In Guide prior to your arrival on campus.

  • Residents of halls on the South side of campus (Braiden, Newsom, Academic Village, Edwards, Ingersoll, Summit) are asked to enter campus from the South side of campus on Prospect Street.

  • Residents of halls on the North side of campus (Durward, Westfall, Corbett, Parmelee, Allison) are asked to enter campus from the North side of campus from Laurel Street.

Temporary parking will be available along Laurel, Plum, Pitkin, and South Drive Streets for unloading. Students and families are asked to move their vehicles to the Engineering and Moby parking lots after unloading at the residence halls to allow other vehicles to enter the hall parking lots and utilize the temporary parking spots.


Police officers will be on site to direct traffic and control traffic flow. CSU staff members will be available to assist you and give directions to your hall. If you have any questions, please stop at one of our Welcome Booths and we will be happy to assist.


First Year Off-Campus Students

by Jeannie Ortega, Director of Off-Campus Life


While first year students are moving into the residence halls, first year students living off campus or at home can check in to Ram Welcome at the Student Recreation Center any time between noon and 4:00 pm. At 4:00 pm, students are to attend the Off-Campus Student Welcome at the Student Recreation Center. Ram Welcome Leaders will lead and guide students through the Ram Welcome experience throughout the weekend. Here are some helpful tips and reminders to help first year off-campus students and families navigate campus this day:

  • Traffic will be heavy on and around campus. Police officers will be directing traffic and adjusting directional flow on some streets to one-way.  Be patient and allow extra time to find parking. Check here to see move-in day traffic flow around residence halls

  • Park in a “Z” lot. Check here to see the campus parking map for available “Z”  lots around campus (noted in yellow, green/yellow striped.  The Parking Garage also has “Z” parking (noted in purple on campus parking map).

If you have any questions, stop by our Welcome Booths in various locations around campus and visit with CSU staff members who will be happy to assist you.


Parent & Family ReceptionStudent Recreation Center


Whether you are moving your student into his or her residence hall, an off-campus apartment, or just rearranging their space (if your student will commute from home), move-in day is hectic and usually hot.  After you've moved your students' belongings into their spaces, please join us for refreshments & light appetizers!  Families will have the opportunity to dialogue with University Leadership and a student panel in an air conditioned space during the reception.  This quick Q&A will help with logistics:


Can my student attend the reception with me?

Your students will begin their Ram Welcome journey at the same time, in different locations.  It is vital for students to attend these sessions to begin to build community at Colorado State.


Students living on campus will attend a Residence Hall Floor Meeting at 4:00 pm.  They will get a quick introduction to Residence Life and meet their Resident Assistant (RA) and their Ram Welcome Leader (an upper-division student dedicated to a particular floor during the 4-day welcome week experience).  It is critical for students to begin to connect with their housing community, so this meeting is mandatory.


Students living off-campus will attend the Off-Campus Student Welcome at 4:00 pm in the Student Recreation Center to meet other commuter students & learn about great campus resources through CSU’s Off-Campus Life Office.


Transfer Students can connect with one another and begin their transition to CSU at 2:00 pm in the Lory Student Center by participating in interest sessions with other transfer students to learn about campus resources specific to students who know what it means to be 'in college' but aren't yet sure what it means to be a 'CSU student'.  At 4:00 pm, the Transfer, Adult Learner, and Student Veterans Welcome will allow transfer students to connect with Transfer Mentors & other fantastic staff members to kick off their CSU experience.


Where is the reception located?

In the Student Recreation Center in the middle of campus.  The main entrance of the Student Recreation Center is on the southeast side of the building, closest to Meridian Avenue.  Please note, Meridian Avenue has limited access, so families will likely need to walk from individual Residence Halls or "Z" parking lots on the exterior of campus.  The actual reception will be held in the Main Gym of the Student Recreation Center.  When you enter the Student Recreation Center, look for the Parent & Family Reception sign pointing back and to the left side (west side) of the building.  When you've reached the Parent & Family Reception banner, you've arrived!  Please enjoy the refreshments and take a few minutes to rest and relax after a busy first day on campus.


Convocation - Moby Arena for students and Student Recreation Center with a live webcast into Moby Arena for parents and families


After the reception, look to the big screens in the Main Gym of the Student Recreation Center to watch students fill Moby Arena to kick off the academic year.  During this event, the President, Provost, Vice President for Student Affairs, and ASCSU President welcome your student to Colorado State University.  During this GREEN OUT event, all students wear their For-Ever-Green T-shirts to show their CSU pride. This event is packed – both with people and with speakers – so we ask parents & families to remain in the Student Recreation Center, where Convocation will be broadcast live to parents and families. This event helps students and families celebrate the beginning of students’ collegiate journeys at Colorado State University.


In addition to hosting a live webcast of Convocation in the Student Recreation Center, we will also host a live feed that can be accessed from any internet source.  We know many families want to take some time to relax at their hotel between moving students in and attending the New Student & Family Picnic, so if you can connect to the internet, you can watch the Convocation from a comfortable place.  Just visit the Ram Welcome website and click on "Convocation Live Stream"!


New Student & Family Picnic with the CSU Alumni AssociationIntramural Fields


At the closing of Convocation, we invite families to filter out onto the Intramural (IM) Fields for an outdoor dinner.  Students are expected to attend this event & can swipe in with their Ram Cards.  Please remember, you must purchase tickets in advance (by July 31) to attend this event.  For those who purchased tickets online and chose the “will call” option, we invite you to pick up your tickets prior to the Parent & Family Reception (before 4:00 pm) at the iBox, located in the north end of the Lory Student Center next to the Transit Center.


If you choose not to purchase a ticket in advance of the event, we encourage you to enjoy dinner at a local Fort Collins restaurant.  Afterward, we invite all parents and family members to return to campus after the picnic to meet up with your students for the CSU Carnival and President’s Concert.


Carnival & President's ConcertIntramural Fields


After you eat, enjoy games, snacks, carnival rides and live music on the IM Fields!  The CSU Carnival is the perfect way to kick off the academic year at no additional cost and we invite students and the whole family to participate until 11:00 pm.



Ram Welcome Parent & Family Schedule – Friday, August 23, 2013


Early Friday morning, Ram Welcome Leaders will guide students from their residence halls (or meeting locations for off-campus & transfer students) to their individual colleges to learn more about what it means to be a CSU student.  While students are meeting important faculty members and College leadership, we offer programming for parents and families in the Lory Student Center to ease the transition to CSU and to learn more about campus resources.  Beginning at 9:00 am, each session will be offered twice so parents and families can choose the two most important sessions:


Transitions II - Lory Student Center, Cherokee Park Ballroom


This session assists parents and families in your own family members' transitions now that your student has made the physical move to CSU. Stories are sure to make you laugh and cry!


Student Conduct and Campus Safety - Lory Student Center, Room 230


This session provides additional information about campus and personal safety, the conduct system and conflict resolution process, and will address important campus policies, leaving time for individual questions at the close of the presentation.


CSU Health Network - Lory Student Center, Grey Rock Room


This session provides additional information about what CSU Health Network has to offer students and how parents and families can support students in times of sickness or stress.


RAMFAM Association Business Directory Fair - Lory Student Center University Club


Beginning at 8:30 and in between sessions, we hope you'll indulge in coffee and breakfast snacks while you interact with our partners in the RAMFAM Association Business Directory in the University Club.  Members in the directory are recommended to you by current CSU parents and family members and their support of Parent & Family Programs sponsors RAMFAM Association gatherings.  We think it's best to learn about services offered from the businesses themselves!



Saying Your Goodbyes


While students are expected to attend all four days of Ram Welcome events, Parent & Family programming ends at noon on Friday, August 23.


When you leave campus, Ram Welcome Leaders & Resident Assistants will be working to help ease your student's transition, but we also need your help in making this a successful transition for your student.  The inevitable goodbyes are hard and can be emotional.  We recommend you take cues from your student on how best to leave.  If your student is involved and ready to engage in the CSU community, do your best to match their happy tone, even though you may be hurting inside.  (Remember the tips we shared during Preview or Next Step Orientation around the transition model and how difficult it can be when family members are in different phases?).  If your student is sad about your departure, take the opportunity to remind your student about the next time you'll see them.  Concrete dates give you and your student something to look forward to.  Will it be Homecoming & Family Weekend?  Will you be able to come to campus for Labor Day weekend?


If your student is feeling uncertain, it is likely because of the bevy of emotions that come with any transition.  Reinforce your belief in their success and remind them of their strengths.  Words of encouragement can go a long way to helping students plant their feet at CSU.  If you are feeling uncertain, check in with your student about your agreed-upon time of departure. Hold to that time because your student may feel torn between being with family and joining this new-found community of peers.  Long, drawn-out goodbyes are exhausting and rarely get easier as time passes.  Say your goodbyes, include those messages of love, support, and belief in their abilities and make that break for home.


If you planned a long weekend in Northern Colorado, the Parent & Family website and the Ft. Collins Visitor Guide in the Parent & Family Guide produced with our partners at University Parent Media provide great links for fun things to see and do while you're here.  If you're sticking around Fort Collins, please be aware the Pro Cycling Challenge is coming through the afternoon of Saturday, August 24.  We highlight this event specifically because traffic and parking will be extremely challenging and back-ups may impact major streets in Fort Collins as well as I-25.



Parent & Family Frequently Asked Questions


I live in Fort Collins and have a pretty good idea of what is offered at CSU.  Do I need to attend the Ram Welcome events for parents and families?


We are often surprised to hear from local and Denver area families who don't believe they need to participate in Ram Welcome and instead, plan to drop off their student and immediately return back home, or if your student will be living at home or off-campus send students to check-in by themselves.  The unintended message is that this is just like high school and not a special time to celebrate the transition into a new phase of life.  Local students see a lot of families surrounding their students and can often feel detached, lonely and sad.  Instead of feeling like a part of a community at CSU, they immediately leave to find their old high school friends or go to their old hang outs to feel like they belong.  If you are a local parent or family member, please check your schedule to reserve time to attend Ram Welcome through Friday at noon.  We love when local families learn something new about an institution in their backyard.


I know Move-In Day is busy, but is there a “good time” to arrive to avoid lines in the Residence Hall check-in process?


Move-In traffic ebbs and flows during the day, so each year’s move-in traffic looks a bit different, depending on when families to arrive.  Our best advice is to plan to arrive as early as you can – but not before 8:00 am, when the halls open – and bring your patience and water.  Typically, families will pull into an area close to the hall entrance and move all of the student’s belongings out onto the grass in front of the hall.  From there, one family member stays with the student’s belongings, while another finds a parking spot, and the student navigates the check-in line inside the halls.  As mentioned in the Residence Hall Move-In article, the check-in process takes about an hour, and then families can begin moving their student’s belongings into the residence hall room.  The only hard and fast timeline is that all of your student’s belongings need to be physically inside his/her room by 4:00 pm so the student can attend the first floor meeting in their hall and parents and families can attend the Parent & Family Reception in the Student Recreation Center.


As your student checks in, be sure to visit the Parent & Family Information tables/tents in each hall to collect materials & schedules to be able to participate in all the important events!


I am very close to my student and am worried I won’t be able to help him/her with issues because we don’t live near Fort Collins.  What services are available to me to help me assist my student from afar?


Parent & Family Programs!  Please call (970-491-6680) or email ( if your student is having issues around transitioning to Colorado State University, finding resources on campus, connecting to new communities, or is feeling a bit homesick.  We’re happy to discuss ways we can reach out and resources available to students on campus.  We’ll also be sharing information through monthly electronic newsletters and RAMFAM Association meetings both on- and off-campus and hope you’ll participate as time and interest allows.


What happens if we can’t arrive until Friday or Saturday of Ram Welcome?


During Preview & Next Step Orientations, we talked about the importance of students “planting their feet” at CSU and owning their experiences.  Ram Welcome is a powerful way to get students connected to CSU before the semester begins.  With intentional programming around welcoming students to the University, exposing students to the academic culture of their individual colleges, learning about CSU’s traditions and values, and connecting to their residence hall/transfer/commuter communities, to the University, and to the Fort Collins community, those students who aren’t able to attend miss out on the opportunities to begin planting their feet on campus.  While we know we are asking families and students to attend events during the work week, we ask families to re-evaluate the decision to come later in the weekend and try to have students on campus by 4:00 pm on Thursday, August 22, 2013.


If you are absolutely unable to attend until Friday or Saturday, please encourage your student to connect with his/her Resident Assistant (RA) and/or Ram Welcome Leader as soon as possible upon their arrival to begin to get connected in Ram Welcome events.


I’m not sure my student’s roommate is going to be a good fit.  How do we go about getting an immediate room change?


Students come to Colorado State from all over the United States and the world.  Your student’s roommate is one of them and your student will have the opportunity to get acquainted with, learn about, and adjust to living with them.  Residence Life seeks to pair roommates who have similar preferences, based on information provided on the Residence Hall Housing Application.  Note: discrimination based on race, color, creed, religion, sexual orientation, or national origin is contrary to the purpose and policies of Colorado State University and violates the spirit and intent of the civil rights laws of Colorado.  For this reason, information of this kind is not requested on the Residence Hall Housing Application and is not taken into account when making roommate assignments.


We know the first instinct is to check out a new roommate on Facebook or another social media site. We remind students (and parents/family members) it has been our experience that students do not get a complete and accurate sense of who their roommate is based on a Facebook profile. Viewing status updates, photos, and affiliations on social media sites may not accurately reflect whether or not your student & their matched roommate will be compatible. We recommend your student contact his/her new roommate directly, get to know that person face-to-face, and take the time to see how they will relate as roommates.


To assist students in successfully sharing a room, students can obtain Roommate Contracts from their RA and students are encouraged to sign them.  If an unresolvable issue arises between your student and his/her roommate, they are encouraged to seek advice from their Resident Assistant, Residence Director, or consult with the Office of Conflict Resolution and Student Conduct Services.


My student is covered under family insurance. We understand that full time students can be seen by medical providers at the CSU Health Network at no cost, but what options do we have to pay for services at the CSU Health Network that do have a cost? 


RamCare is a program specifically designed for students who have their own health insurance. RamCare will cover up to $1,500 of services per semester in the CSU Health Network such as lab, radiology, physical therapy, allergy and counseling, that would otherwise be billed to students at the time of service. It also provides up to $100 per semester to use in our pharmacy and $50 flex dollars to use toward other services such as optometry, immunization or dental.


As a non-network provider for most outside insurance plans, the CSU Health Network knows how difficult it can be to get receipts from your students and fill out the paperwork required by your insurance, only to get a minimal reimbursement from your insurance company. Additionally, if your plan is an HMO or has a high deductible you may not receive any reimbursement. By purchasing the RamCare Supplement each semester, we anticipate the majority of the services your student uses at the CSU Health Network will be paid for under the program and you will not need to interface with your insurance or pay extra bills.


The cost is $150 per semester for the Fall and Spring and $100 for the Summer. Students taking less than six credit hours who purchase RamCare will also be assessed the health fee upon enrollment. This is not an insurance product and is only for use at the CSU Health Network. The deadline to enroll for the Fall 2013 semester is September 11th.


To learn more about the details of the program or to enroll please visit the RamCare page on the CSU Health Network website.



Make Plans to Attend Homecoming & Family Weekend - October 11-13, 2013


The weekend kicks off early in the afternoon of Friday, October 11, with a RAMFAM Association meeting featuring CSU leadership.  This meeting gives families an opportunity to interact with the University’s administration, learning more about important current issues and participating in a Q&A session with them.  Following that, we invite families to participate in Housing Options After the First Year.  This session helps families explore all of your student's housing options, covering residence halls, fraternity and sorority living, living off-campus, and the pros and cons of purchasing a home in Fort Collins. Saturday brings a multitude of options in the morning – including enjoying time in Fort Collins with your family – leading into the Homecoming & Family Weekend Tailgate, which provides families an opportunity to connect and show your Ram Pride before the football game vs. San Jose State.


Over the years, families have asked for more free time during the weekend to spend time with their students.  So this year, we're doing just that – programming for Family Weekend ends after the Homecoming Football game.  We hope you'll enjoy Saturday evening and Sunday morning with your student in Fort Collins before heading home!  Here is a tentative list of all the Family Weekend Events – check the Homecoming & Family Weekend website for updates and registration links:


Friday, October 11, 2013

  • RAMFAM Association Meeting

  • Housing Options After the First Year

  • Festival on the Oval

  • Homecoming & Family Weekend Parade

  • Bonfire, Pep Rally & Lighting of the "A"

Saturday, October 12, 2013

  • 5K Race

  • Hillel Homecoming & Family Weekend Bagel Brunch

  • Homecoming & Family Weekend Tailgate

  • Homecoming Football Game (CSU vs. San Jose State)

  • CSU Volleyball vs. Boise State



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