Dear Parents and Families,
I usually begin the February newsletter in a frenzy because I want to send it out to families as early as possible…and then I realize it is my welcome letter that is holding it up. For some reason, time in the spring semester always seems to go by much more quickly than the fall semester. While the energy and enthusiasm is up, so is the amount of work students are expected to produce in a semester. As I think about the atmosphere on campus this February, it is busy and full of life, but so far February is just downright cold.
This month's newsletter contains a lot of important information– everything from housing options to a highlight feature on Eating Disorder Image Awareness Week – but I want to focus the opening letter on financial aid for the next academic year. I know many of you are thinking about this and may even be a bit worried too. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid is due for priority consideration by March 1, 2014 and the Colorado State University Scholarship Application is also due by March 1, 2014. Financial aid is an important component of any student’s educational journey and hope you and your student will use these resources as you complete your financial aid paperwork:
Parents and families can access many financial resources on the Student Financial Services website or through the FAMweb portal (eBilling, Financial Aid, and Tax Information), so talk to your student about how they can grant you access to their records. In addition, you can contact Student Financial Services at 970-491-6321 or visit them in Centennial Hall with questions. You can imagine their staff can become quite busy between now and mid-March, so please be patient if you call and are placed on hold.
I hope the information provided throughout is useful and I close with utmost gratitude for you and your students. Please be sure to send your feedback regarding this month’s content and let us know if there are other topics you’d like us to address.
Kacee Collard Jarnot
Director of Parent and Family Programs
Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs
Colorado State University
201 Administration Building
Fort Collins, CO 80523
back to top
Career Center Insights: Building a Network Using LinkedIn
By Summer Shaffer, Associate Director of Communications, Outreach & Technology, The CSU Career Center
The Career Fair, held Feb. 4 & 5, hosted over 235 employers this year. Career Fairs, along with several other networking events lined-up throughout the semester, offer students an opportunity to begin building their professional network and their individual personal brand. One tool designed to assist students in building their professional network and brand is LinkedIn. Many students have dipped their toes into LinkedIn through classroom assignments and building a LinkedIn profile. Although this is a fabulous step in the right direction LinkedIn is a robust and vital tool to building and maintaining a professional online presence.
Many students feel that managing in their LinkedIn profile is too much work. Many don’t understand the benefits of utilizing this online tool. There are several who feel that keeping up with Facebook is enough online connection in addition to their classwork. All of these hesitations are understandable. However, since 2006 recruiters across the country have increased their use of LinkedIn as an active recruiting tool from 34% to over 70% in just 7 years (www.socialmediaexaminer.com, 2014). What does this mean for students?
- Build a profile – building a profile only takes about 30 minutes. Make sure you opt to create a personalized URL when setting up your profile. This URL is a quick and simple way to begin connecting.
- Refine your profile – ask faculty and staff for guidance on what can be improved. In addition to faculty and staff, students are strongly encouraged to seek guidance from our career experts at the Career Center Drop-In office.
- Carefully consider what should and should not appear in your profile. Just because uploading your resume is an option doesn’t mean you should upload your resume; especially if your resume has not been professionally critiqued by a career counselor. Remember, LinkedIn is a tool to build your professional brand. Think of the information you are sharing as you would if you were messaging about a product. What are the highlights that reinforce your personal brand?
- Take the time and get a professional looking photo. You don’t need to worry about paying hundreds of dollars for a professional photo shoot. Start by dressing professionally and having someone with a good camera snap a few headshots of you in front of a contrasting colored background.
- Begin connecting – students are highly encouraged to utilize the Career Fair and networking events as venues to build their professional LinkedIn network. The Career Center is providing students with free business cards if they do not already have their own. Share your LinkedIn URL with employers when asking if they would like to “connect” on LinkedIn.
- Maintain an active presence – Building your network can take time, but it is time well spent. If you begin building your network while in college you will be well-set to begin your job or internship search when it comes time to do so. Join LinkedIn Groups (such as The Career Center at Colorado State University), post and comment on discussions. You profile will improve its search engine placement the more active you are.
For questions regarding LinkedIn contact the Career Center at 970-491-5707 or connect with the Career Center LinkedIn Group.
back to top
Assessment Results: Advising Beyond the Code
By Caitlin Kotnik, Academic Support Coordinator with the Center for Advising and Student Achievement
As an Academic Support Coordinator on campus, there are few phrases that make me squirm more than when a student tells me, “I’m just here to get my advising code.” While it’s true many students are required to meet with an advisor before registering for classes, getting the code is just one small piece of the advising process. Advisors and academic support coordinators at CSU are highly trained not only to assist students with course registration and degree planning but also to help them get connected on campus; identify degree programs congruent with their interests, abilities, and values; and develop as scholars and people. The following list outlines suggestions for students to develop meaningful advising relationships that venture beyond the code.
- Students can (and often should) meet with their advisors more than once per semester.
Working with an advisor to select classes for the subsequent semester is important, but only so much can be covered in a thirty-minute appointment. Students should schedule additional meetings at the beginning and end of semesters to engage in more in-depth conversations about long-term degree planning, co-curricular opportunities, academic challenges, and program “fit.” Most advisors genuinely want to know their students, and that relationship can be incredibly beneficial for both parties. For example, I regularly send scholarship and involvement opportunities to students who I’ve connected with beyond class selection. The busiest months in most academic advising offices on campus are October, November, March, and April during peak registration times.
- Students should be prepared to have meaningful conversations during appointments.
The number of decisions students are expected to make about their futures can be overwhelming, and I hear the default response of “I don’t know” a lot during appointments. Not knowing all the answers is OK, but part of the advising process is talking through options to, eventually, make informed decisions. Students should be prepared for their advisors to ask questions that require them to reflect about themselves and their goals. Advisors are here to facilitate conversations and ease the discomfort of decision-making, but students should recognize there isn’t always one, simple answer and they will ultimately be responsible to determine their own academic paths.
- Advisors rely on students to ask for the help they need.
If, at any point throughout the semester, your student is struggling or has questions, encourage him or her to seek help. Sometimes the only way I know a student is struggling is A.) he or she tells me or B.) I notice negative changes to GPA at the end of the semester. Please empower your student to work out challenges proactively by meeting with an advisor at the first sign of trouble.
- Students can utilize advisors for more than course selection.
Advisors and academic support coordinators can serve as guides to navigate CSU’s campus. We work regularly with academic departments and other support service offices so even if we’re not the most appropriate resource for a situation, we can usually connect students to someone who is. Depending on each student’s personal goals and circumstances, being academically successful may mean connecting with anyone from Education Abroad to Counseling Services.
- Students should rely on advisors – not roommates – to answer policy questions.
University policies get contrived as quickly as a game of “Telephone” when passed from student to student. In addition to course planning, advisors can help explain policies that may help a student to repair a GPA, change majors, or get back in to good standing after academic dismissal.
The advisor-advisee relationship has the potential to be rich and rewarding. We hope you will encourage your student to get the most from their academic advising experience at CSU.
back to top
Learning Outcome: Learning About Diverse Cultures, Values, Beliefs, and Practices
By Kacee Collard Jarnot, Director of Parent & Family Programs, with assistance from many campus partners
A large portion of today’s college students are a part of the Millennial generation, born between 1982 and 2002. Millennnials are the largest cohort in the nation’s history and are diverse and well educated.
And they are telling us they are ready to talk about diversity and learn from different perspectives:
Americans: A recent report from the Center for American Progress indicates 70% of Americans who participated in their research agree with the statement: “Americans will learn more from one another and be enriched by exposure to many different cultures” and 69% agreed that “Diverse workplaces and schools will help make American businesses more innovative and competitive”.
College Students: The Cooperative Institutional Research Program (CIRP) out of UCLA conducts the annual Freshman Survey, touching over 270 college campuses almost 204,000 first year students. CSU participates in this study and a recent survey indicates CSU students are even more ready to discuss ideas related to difference and living in a diverse world:
Competencies for a Diverse World
76% of students
81% of students
Believe they have the ability to work cooperatively with diverse people
72% of students
78% of students
Believe they are tolerant of others with different beliefs
65% of students
71% of students
Believe they have the ability to see the world from someone else’s perspective
55% of students
61% of students
Believe they are open to having their own views challenged
61% of students
66% of students
Believe they are confident in their ability to discuss and negotiate controversial issues
So what do we do with this information? How can we begin to help students develop the skills and tools to have productive conversations related to difference in values, identities, and belief systems? In addition to the wonderful talking points and tips provided by Bridgette Johnson, Director of the Black/African American Cultural Center, and open-ended questions offered by Beau Johnson, Instructor of the Spiritual Dimensions of Student Development Theory workshop, in previous newsletters, I think exposure to new ideas and cultures is a great starting place. CSU offers many speakers, workshops, and month-long awareness programs as part of the student experience. Encourage your student to attend these upcoming events and follow up with them to see what they learned and how this knowledge impacts their experience. (Please note: this list is not meant to be comprehensive & students can always check the CSU Calendar of Events for opportunities throughout the year.)
Students can also look forward to increased training for faculty and staff on the CSU campus through Diversity Training Initiatives. The university is focusing efforts throughout campus on diversity training and diversity competence for faculty and staff. The goal is to provide a more inclusive campus environment, greater cultural competence in the classroom, and an atmosphere which welcomes, values, and affirms diversity at Colorado State.
back to top
Health and Safety Brief
By Dell Rae Ciaravola, Senior Public Relations Coordinator, CSU Police Department Public Information Office
The university’s Public Safety Team is responsible for alerting students and employees about safety concerns on campus. While emergency text and email alerts are strictly limited to employees and students with a university id number (to ensure that they are delivered as quickly as possible), parents also can keep up on safety information by:
- Visiting our website – this site includes alerts that rise to the level of an emergency text or email, and also serves as the main website for lower-level safety alerts and information.
- Following the Public Safety Team and CSU Police Department on Twitter at @CSUPoliceSafety.
- Liking the Public Safety Team and CSU Police Department on Facebook at Colorado State University Police and Safety.
CSU cares about its community and we want to know when a student or employee is having a hard time so that we can connect them to confidential resources.
We’ve developed the Tell Someone program, which provides a number of ways for parents, families, outside community members, students, faculty and staff to let us know that someone within the CSU community may need help, and to help provide education about university resource options.
The system is not designed to “get anyone in trouble,” but does alert caring professionals at the university. Tell Someone is designed to help supply support and response for students or employees at various levels of distress, from connecting them to information about counselors, to helping students navigate academic concerns when they have a family emergency. It also provides a framework for the university to respond to students or employees who may be a danger to themselves or others.
Tell Someone is accessible through a phone call or online form. If you or your student is concerned about someone who is a member of the university community, we encourage you to reach out through Tell Someone. For more information, visit us online.
Questions About Marijuana
We know that news coverage about changing laws in Colorado related to marijuana have gotten the attention of many of you.
While state laws have changed, the use and possession of marijuana is prohibited on campus. Amendment 64 authorizes the university, as an educational institution and an employer, to prohibit the possession and use of marijuana and possession and use of marijuana is still prohibited under federal law. As a federally controlled substance, the use and possession of marijuana is prohibited by CSU policy and the CSU Student Conduct Code, and is not permitted on campus. For more information, visit our online announcement.
back to top
Reassessing Time Management Strategies
By Heather Landers, Director of Learning Programs, The Institute for Learning and Teaching
A new semester, a new start. One of the great things about being a college student is that every semester offers a new opportunity to re-assess what worked (and what didn’t) in terms of balancing life and academics. Habits for the semester often begin in those first few weeks of classes, so the beginning of the semester is a great time to try out new time management strategies. Here are some tips:
Get some sleep (and go to bed earlier). Many college students stay up late doing their homework, and then sleep in the next morning. Most people (even those who think they are “night owls”) perform better work when they perform their tasks in the daytime hours rather than at night. Get to bed at a decent time, and begin getting up earlier in the morning. Use the morning hours productively—for many people, the morning can be a peak time to accomplish complex tasks because minds are fresh after a night of rest.
Use blocks of time during the daytime hours to complete assignments, read, or write. Many college students have large uncommitted blocks of time during the day. Instead of using this time to grab a leisurely lunch with a friend, take a nap, or play on social media, dedicate daytime hours to schoolwork. That way, the evening—when most people feel like unwinding—can be a more relaxing time to balance busy days.
Use high-impact study strategies learn material more deeply. Many college students study by re-reading class notes or skimming the textbook. These are passive strategies that do not take a significant amount of mental effort. Because less mental effort is required, these strategies rarely lead to deeply knowing material. Instead of wasting time on passive strategies, use active, high impact study strategies. Click here for a link to some high-impact study strategies. Although these strategies take more effort on the front end, they will save students time in the long run because the material will be learned well in increments, eliminating the need to spend hours right before the exam cramming.
Use time management tools. In our time management workshop through The Institute for Learning and Teaching, we recommend a “three-tiered” time management system, which includes:
- Semester at a Glance: Use this form to see your semester all on one page. Write down big exams, papers, and weekends you will be out of town. This allows you to get a feel for the “flow” of your semester and is a visual reminder of your “big weeks” when you have two exams and a paper due and helps you plan accordingly (“oh, there’s no way I’ll have time to write that entire paper that week, I better get started the week before!”) For many students, it’s also a nice reminder that there are less intense weeks, and that Spring Break is coming up soon!
- Weekly Schedule: Use this to plan out how you’re going to use those larger blocks of time when you’re not in class. In an “ideal” week, here’s what you would spend your time doing. Make sure to include meal times, exercise, or any other meetings or on-going commitments you have.
- Daily To-Do: Write this either before you go to bed at night, or right when you wake in the morning. These are the non-negotiables: things you are saying HAVE to get done today. You could even have two lists” a “have to get done” list and a “nice to get done” list. Crossing things off that list gives a great feeling of accomplishment!
For more information and resources about time management and other academic strategies, check out our online resources. In addition, we offer three workshops a week on academic & study skills. Students can drop-in, and the workshops are free. Hope to see you there!
back to top
Residence Hall Room Selection: Room Selection for Returning Students Begins February 3
By Tonie Miyamoto, Director of Communications & Sustainability, Housing & Dining Services
The Live On campaign to return to the residence halls next fall officially kicks off February 3 and continues through March 29.
In previous articles we’ve shared data demonstrating that students who live on campus have higher GPAs and are more likely to be retained by CSU. We have also highlighted that there are several incentives for returning students including frozen room and board rates, first choice of premium rooms on campus, and a drawing for free room and board. All that said, we thought it would be helpful to hear directly from students who have chosen to return to the halls. Perhaps your student has some similar thoughts?
- "You always have a study buddy when you live in the halls." Julietta, Academic Village Engineering Hall
- "When I don't know how to solve an engineering problem or when I have problems with a paper I know I can ask anybody in my hall for help." Nikita, Parmelee Hall
- "Studying, for me, in an off-campus environment is very difficult: I've tried it and I've failed at it. On campus there are so many more resources; there's the Cube, there's the library, there's the study halls." Taylor, Westfall Hall
- "Having the RAs is really nice. They are always there if you have a problem.” Colyn, Braiden Hall
- “Everything you need is here. You can even work on campus, which is awesome." Kara, Summit Hall
- "There's food everywhere. Seriously. There. Is. Food. Everywhere." Kara, Summit Hall
- "There are so many dining halls around campus – there's a bunch of kids in my hall who are gluten-free and there are so many options for them." Chase, Summit Hall
- "All the maintenance is done for us. When you're a student you have so many other things to worry about.” Allison, Allison Hall
- "You don't have to figure out things like a lease and rent and utilities. You have your whole life ahead of you to do that." Lisa, Aspen Hall
- "I'm very involved so I need to stay close to campus. I'm in a thousand clubs and I need to be available." Kwon, Parmelee Hall
- "One of my favorite parts about living on campus is being able to use my bike so much. I don't have to pay for a car. I don't have to pay for car insurance or gas or tickets. Any car related expenses are completely cut out of my budget, which I can use for other things." Allison, Allison Hall
- "When you have snowy days you don't have to walk super far or try and drive in the snow… which is dangerous! I’m close to everything." Colyn, Braiden Hall
- “As a junior living on campus, I have been blessed with the ability to meet students from as far as South Africa, Australia, and England and as close as my neighboring town in Illinois. I have also met Fort Collins natives and mountain explorers who live in a town so small it takes a minute to drive from one side to the other. Without living on campus, I would have not been able to network on campus, establish these life-long friendships, or benefit academically from the resources on-campus.” Haleigh, Summit Hall
- "I came from Russia and life here is really different. Living on campus, I got to know people who helped me adjust.” Natalia, Parmelee Hall
- "I love to work out. Living on campus is really convenient because I can just walk over to the Rec Center. I've been working out a lot more just because it's so close." Julietta, Academic Village Engineering Hall
- "It's definitely easy to be green if you live on campus. AV and Durrell both compost which is super cool. There's recycling everywhere." Allison, Allison Hall
If you’d like to see a video featuring these students, as well as the Live On dates, rates, and details, please visit our website.
back to top
Off-Campus Living and Roommates
By Emily Allen, Community Liaison, Off-Campus Life
You may have noticed that recent conversations with your student have gone from chatting about the start of the spring semester to them worrying about where they will live come fall. Off-Campus Life staff are here to help make your student’s transition to living in Fort Collins a smooth one. Just visit the OCL website for more information on: March 5th’s Housing Fair, Where Will I Live Next Year workshops, the Student Handbook, our Rental Search, and so much more. While moving into a place in the Fort Collins community can be a very exciting time, let’s start with an important first step…
Many students jump into signing leases with friends before considering whether their friend will make for a good roommate. In fact, Chobani yogurt-eating roommates may be the demise of that great friendship. Here are some things for your student to consider prior to committing to a yearlong lease with their “bestie”:
- Observation Period: have your student take a few days to observe their potential roommate(s). How do they keep their current room? Do they like to hit snooze 20 times in the morning before rolling out of bed? Students can sometimes put blinders on when it comes to living with their best friends. By taking the time to observe current behaviors, they will get a better picture of how next year may look.
- Values Clarification: college is all about self-exploration. Have your student take advantage of what they are learning and have them continue the discussion with their potential roommates. Explore values and communication styles (text messaging, in person, etc.). Have them ask open-ended questions instead of simply getting yes/no answers.
- Roommate Contracts: sure, your student may have thought their residence hall roommate contract days were far behind them. It turns out that the stuff they learned in the halls is invaluable! Students should sit down with their would-be roommate(s) and walk through a roommate contract (conveniently in our Student Handbook!) prior to making a commitment to living with one another. By taking this important step they are insuring that they agree on sleeping habits, cleaning, bill paying, pets, smoking, overnight visitors, noise levels, partying, food, and many more important issues.
- Honesty: remind your student that open communication needs to be a two-way street. Your student should be open and upfront about their values, personal habits, and financial expectations. By being honest upfront, they are avoiding sticky situations in the future.
- Keep an Open Mind: college is the time and place for your student to be open to change. Perhaps living with someone who from another country or state is just what your student needs. Sometimes complete strangers make for the best roommates.
- Finding a Roommate: if your student already knows they are looking to find roommates outside of their current group of friends, have them check out the Roommate Roundup events that our office hosts.
Off-Campus Life offers a great deal of important resources that can help your students with selecting a roommate to selecting a place in the community. Have your student check out the following resources we provide:
- Student Handbook…late-February, all students living in the residence halls will receive a handbook titled “Off-Campus Life Student Handbook: Navigate Living in Fort Collins.” Topics include: where to search, budgeting, leases, roommates, utilities, safety, good neighboring tips, city codes and ordinances (noise, occupancy limit, nuisance gatherings, parking, snow shoveling, etc.), and much more!
- Where Will I Live Next Year (February 12, 19 & 26)…workshops that include guest speakers from Student Legal Services, Student Financial Services, and the City’s Code Enforcement office. Speakers will tackle the topics of lease-signing, budgets, city ordinances, rental housing standards, off campus parties, renter’s insurance, and more.
- Housing Fair (March 5)…an event where your student can visit with landlords, apartment complex managers and property managers while gathering information on places to live around town. Also, other services such as storage places, renter’s insurance and city resources will be present.
- Getting to Year 2 @ CSU conference sessions: Housing Options After the 1st Year & Party Smart: How to Host a Successful Party in Fort Collins (February 18)…this conference is designed to assist students with the transition to a second year at CSU. Our specific sessions will help with selecting housing (on and off etc.) and local ordinances and laws.
And always remember that Off-Campus Life is here to help your student make a successful transition to living in our great city!
back to top
Student Perspective: Staying Connected with Family and Being Involved on Campus
By Lisbel Torres, President's Leadership Program Intern with Parent & Family Programs
As someone who never gets home before 5 or 6pm every weekday, and usually has events or meetings to attend around 7 or 8pm, I can say from personal experience that staying connected with my family at home is hard. Most times I forget to call or text back, but somehow my mother always seems to understand; “you’re so busy”, she says, or “you have too many things going on, I understand honey”. However, I can’t help but feel guilty at times for not communicating with my family often enough.
I want my parents to know I am alright and safe, but how do I do that even when I feel like I don’t have time? I made the time. Everything in college is about prioritizing what is important. For me, my family is everything to me; they have supported me through my toughest days, so making time to speak with them is a goal I set for myself every day. Most days I call my mom and we talk for a few minutes, occasionally we talk for half an hour, but that’s not something either of us expect. I also occasionally call my dad or my sister and see how they are doing. My mom and I are very open about our communication and if I know I have a crazy day ahead I let her know in a simple text, “Hey mom, I’m really busy today so I won’t have time to talk, I love you”, and she always understands and never questions my whereabouts. She trusts me and I trust she will understand.
It has taken my mom and me a while to get to this point. When I was still at home, we spoke about everything every day. We would talk for hours and not realize the time had passed. Coming to college was a shock to both of us. I was her little girl and I wasn’t at home any more and she was my rock and I wouldn’t be seeing her every day. We would sometimes get frustrated with each other and play phone tag throughout an entire day. It was so hard to not be able to be with my family whenever I wanted.
As I slowly started to get more and more involved on campus, talking to each other every day was becoming more difficult. I joined Lambda Theta Nu Sorority, Inc. and was elected as the Vice-President and Academic Chair. I also started volunteering and doing more community service, while also being a part of the President’s Leadership Program. My life was picking up speed and suddenly I started forgetting to call my mom or would get frustrated when she would want to talk for a long time. Soon I realized that was not the right way to go about things because my family is my biggest support and I shouldn’t be treating any of them that way, so I did what I know to do best: I was honest with her about my schedule and commitments but also let her know how important maintaining communication with her would be; I still wanted to talk but I wanted her to understand when I couldn’t. She was hesitant but soon started to warm up to the idea.
Things are going much smoother now, we talk most days for a few minutes but still sometimes go a day or two without a phone call and it’s OK. I always let her know how much I appreciate her and everything my family does for me. I have come to understand that it is not about the QUANTITY of communication with my family but about the QUALITY of communication, it’s never wrong to send a simple “I love you” and still feel connected no matter how many miles are between you.
back to top
Meet the Staff: Orientation and Transition Programs
Orientation & Transition Programs (OTP) is a part of The Center for Student Advising and Student Achievement (CASA). OTP’s mission is to create dynamic, student- centered experiences to inspire purposeful transitions. A student’s transition is not a one-time event but an ongoing process, and OTP is committed to supporting students through their transition from orientation to welcome week to mentoring opportunities to programs supporting them throughout their second year. OTP creates programs for undergraduate first-year, second-year, transfer and international students and is led by a committed team of professionals that stay focused on student transition, retention and graduation.
Kerry Wenzler, Director of Orientation and Transition Programs, is responsible for supervision of professional staff, budget management, and strategic planning for orientation and transition programming to serve new students in transition. Kerry has worked at Colorado State University since 1999 and is a proud CSU alumni, graduating in 1998 as a first generation college student with a degree in Psychology. She also earned her Master’s Degree in Higher Education and Student Affairs from the University of South Carolina in 2001.
Keith Lopez, Assistant Director for Transition Programs, is responsible for post-summer orientation transition programming for first-year, second-year and transfer students including Ram Welcome, The First Year Mentoring Program, Year 2 @ CSU, Transfer Programs @ CSU and more. Keith also supervises and trains the student staff who work to implement these programs. Keith has worked professionally at Colorado State University (CSU) since 2007, and completed his Master’s Degree in Student Affairs in Higher Education at CSU from 2005-2007. He also earned a degree in Secondary Education- Communication Arts from the University of New Mexico in 2005.
Zach Mercurio, Assistant Director for Orientation Programs, is responsible for orientation programming for new first-year, transfer, and international students. Zach also supervises and trains the student staff who work with new student orientation programs. Zach has worked at Colorado State University (CSU) since 2007, and completed his Master’s Degree in Student Affairs in Higher Education from CSU in 2009. He also earned a degree in Media Arts in Design from James Madison University in 2006.
Dani Dummermuth, Assistant Coordinator for Orientation and Transition Programs, is responsible for general office functions and program support for all programs within Orientation and Transition Programs. Dani earned her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Colorado State University in 2011.
Daniel Haddad, Graduate Assistant for First & Second Year Programs, is responsible assisting in the coordination of first and second year experience programming including: The First Year Mentoring Program, the Getting to Year 2 @ CSU Conference, and Year 2 @ CSU: Second Year Program. Daniel graduated with a BA in Psychology and a minor in Religion from Baylor University and is currently pursuing his Master’s Degree in the Student Affairs in Higher Education Program at CSU.
back to top
Healthy Student, Happy Family: Does Your Student Practice Body Acceptance?
by Janelle Patrias, MSW., Coordinator of Mental Health Initiatives, CSU Health Network
The college environment is full of many positive experiences for students. But pressures from stress, peers, the media and a desire to conform can negatively affect a student’s self-perception.
Having a negative body image is a major contributor to the development of disordered eating behavior, especially among college students. When dieting and exercising become a preoccupation, students can easily be distracted from their studies.
More than two-thirds of American women are dissatisfied with their bodies and, on college campuses, 60-90 percent of young women are dieting or trying to lose weight, according to the National Eating Disorders Association. Around 10% of college females are even engaging in bingeing and purging as a weight-management technique.
Eating disorders are not just a women’s issue; approximately 10 percent of those with eating disorders are men. Many young men are also struggling with compulsive exercising and/or abusing supplements or steroids.
For these reasons, campus partners including the CSU Health Network, Campus Recreation, Women and Gender Advocacy Center, Associated Students of CSU and others are coming together to plan a week of events from February 24 – March 2 to promote Body Acceptance – because one size never fits all.
As a parent, you can support your student by not overemphasizing weight gains or losses when your son or daughter returns home on breaks. Instead encourage healthy exercise and self-care. Also, do your best to model body acceptance for your student.
Listen for excessive complaints about body weight/shape, fat talk etc. Watch out for strict rituals relating to food and eating, excuses to avoid meal times, and rigid exercise routines even when sick or injured.
If you are concerned, encourage your student to take the CSU Online Self-Assessment and seek help through the CSU Health Network where counseling and nutrition services are both available.
The College Environment and Eating Disorders Risk
Many aspects of the college environment unfortunately can contribute to eating disorders. Be aware of the following factors when talking with your student.
- The belief that appearance is the key to success in attracting potential dating partners
- Competition among females to gain attention of the same men
- Access to unlimited food in the dining halls
- Fear of the dreaded “Freshman 15”
- Academic and financial stress
- Participation in sports where weight and appearance are perceived to affect success
- Some students may resort to eating disorders as a way of coping with the stress associated with the transition to college and the expectations of a new environment
- Other students may develop eating disorders as a way of coping with the stress of impending college graduation and the changes implied in that transition.
back to top