Dear CSU Parents and Families


Welcome to 2015 at CSU!  We hope you are having a wonderful Winter Break with your student.  We also hope your student has had a chance to relax, connect with friends, and reflect on their fall semester.  Parent and Family Programs wants to especially welcome the parents and families of the spring start students (those new students who are just beginning their Colorado State journey this month).  Welcome to the Ram Family! 

A new semester for students means a chance to potentially try new things, make new friends, re-visit what works best in terms of academic performance, etc.  At the same time, the weather will be colder, the skies may be less blue, and it continues to be darker earlier.  With all of this said, it’s important for parents and family members to touch base with their student, before the spring term begins, to check-in about how things are going at CSU (or things to consider if your student will be new to CSU).  Your interest and involvement, as a parent and family member, in your student’s CSU experience is key.  Talk to your student about the fall semester and how it went.  If your student will be new this spring, get them excited about orientation and spring Ram Welcome. 

The key is to start supportive conversations with your student about how they are doing both in and outside the classroom.  See this newsletter as a resource to draw from when having these conversations.  There are articles about academic support, ways to engage on and off campus, the benefits of choosing to live on campus as an upper division student, and the list goes on.  We are excited to partner with you this spring semester to support your students!

Go Rams!

Take care,

John and Erin

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Key Campus Deadlines/Upcoming Events In January

While many students may be taking a break over the winter season December 20 to January 19, our student athletes will be in action over the entire month of January! Support Men’s and Women’s basketball either in Fort Collins or at one of their away games in your home town! The Rams play in Albuquerque, Laramie, Colorado Springs, Reno, and San Jose during the break. This can be a great way to experience Moby Madness on the road with your student.

Classes kick off on January 20th for the start of the spring semester! For more information on other exciting events happening at Colorado State this January, check out our University Events Calendar!    

Here are some important dates to remember,

Winter Break - December 20 - January 19

Last day to cancel spring 2015 Registration with no assessed tuition or fees - January 19

Classes Resume - January 20

Restricted Drop Deadline - January 23

Add Without Override Ends - January 25  

Add With Override Begins - January 26

*Note: If you have any questions about the add/drop deadlines, please encourage your student to check their Spring 2015 Weekly Class Schedule on RAMweb to determine specific add/drop dates for their registered courses.

-Parent and Family Programs

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Transitions Presentation - Survey for Parents and Families of First-Year and New Transfer Students

Requesting Your Feedback—If you are parents/family of a first-year or transfer student who attended orientation this past summer 2014— we'd appreciate your feedback, please complete the following survey.

During summer Ram Orientation 2014, Parent & Family Programs staff presented a session entitled, “Transitions.”  This session provides a “transitions theoretical model” that we believe can support both students and their parents/families in transitioning more successfully to CSU.  Now that the fall semester is over, our staff is curious if parents and/or family members of new CSU first year or transfer students, who attended an orientation session during the summer of 2014, would be willing to provide us with some feedback about the model we shared.  Please click on the following link— take a brief survey.   

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Resources for Body and Mind from CSU Health Network

By Mellody Sharpton | CSU Health Network

Whether your student is new to CSU this spring, entering the second semester or is looking forward to graduation in May, it’s a good time to remind your son or daughter of the many resources available at the CSU Health Network to support mental and physical health.

Medical Care

Full-time, fee-paying students have unlimited access to primary care and psychiatry providers at no additional charge. Many other services are available on campus at a nominal charge, including:

  • Allergy Clinic
  • Behavioral Health
  • Dental Services
  • Immunizations Clinic
  • Laboratory Services
  • Massage Therapy
  • Men’s Clinic
  • Nutrition Consultation
  • Optometry Services
  • Pharmacy
  • Physical Therapy Services
  • Psychiatry Services
  • Radiology Services
  • Sports Medicine / Orthopedic Clinic
  • Triage Clinic
  • Travel Clinic
  • Women’s Clinic


Full-time, fee-paying students receive five counseling sessions per semester at no additional charge. The professional staff of licensed psychologists, licensed clinical social workers, and licensed professional counselors, as well as graduate student staff from each of these disciplines offer several counseling options, including:

  • Individual and Couple Counseling
  • Group Services
  • Drugs, Alcohol and You Programs (DAY)           
  • Learning Assistance Consultation
  • Intensive Outpatient Services (iTEAM)
  • Emergency Services
  • Counseling Consultations with Colleagues/ Parents/Friends

Health Education and Prevention

The Health Education and Prevention team hosts many programs and workshops for students.

  • Alcohol and Other Drug Prevention
  • Mental Health Initiatives
  • Peer Education (CREWS)
  • Sexual Health Initiatives
  • Tobacco Cessation

In addition, there are several interactive screening tools available online at

Student Health Insurance Office

Staff in the Student Health Insurance office are available to help students navigate the complexities of health insurance. They provide general information about the CSU Student Health Insurance plan features and benefits to prospective and current plan participants. They also facilitate plan enrollment and billing for students as well as assist students with the procedures necessary to file insurance claims.

Learn more about these and other resources at the CSU Health Network by logging on to

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Getting Back to Good Academic Standing:

How to Tackle Academics in Spring 2015 Differently 

By Joanna Lilley | Collegiate Success Coach, Outreach and Support, Center for Advising and Student Achievement

It’s that time of year – the beginning of another semester.  Some students find it hard to get back into the mindset of returning to school after having a long winter break.  However, it’s imperative to return with academics as the focus.  If a student ended fall 2014 with less-than-ideal grades, possibly even on Academic Probation (less than a 2.0 cumulative GPA), it’s very important to ensure that a plan for change is in place.  Without a plan, or a direction, a student can find themselves falling into the same academic habits from last semester.  In an effort to support that change, here are some suggestions for students and for parents and families in being proactive academically.

Tips for students starting the semester on a positive note:

  • Meet your professors. If you are on academic probation and you are serious about wanting to get in good academic standing, one significant change is to introduce yourself to your professor and tell them about your academic situation.  Professors don’t necessarily know which students are on academic probation, so it’s important to ask early to hear all available suggestions for academic success.  My recommendation is to do this early on in the semester!
  • Manage your time.   This is how a lot of students find themselves in academic distress.   If you are a full-time college student, you need to be putting in a full-time effort with in class and outside class work.  Without designating time for your studies, the grades will speak for themselves.    
  • Change how you study.  College is meant for students to learn concepts and graduate with mastery in a subject.  In order to retain that information you must space out your prepping for tests, and review your notes on a daily basis.  Interested in learning more about this?  Dr. Matt Rhodes teaches PSY 292: The Science of Learning, where students learn how to effectively study!
  • It’s ok to ask for help!  If you don’t ask, you’ll never know how things could have happened differently.  Ask your professor.  Ask your TA.  Ask your advisor.  Ask your peers.  Ask ANYONE.  Without asking for help, you’re only hurting yourself.   
  • Remembering that there is hope.  Were there moments last fall where you found yourself saying “I thought I did well on that exam,” only to find out that you were far off the mark? And knowing right then, that there was no way to do well in the class?  Remember, there is hope.  Review the previous four tips to help with this.
  • It’s normal to change your major; more than once.  Questioning whether or not you’re in the right major is ok!  Know that it’s acceptable for a student to change their major 1, 2, or 3 or more times.  If you want to speak with someone about exploring other major options, you can speak with the advisor within your major or schedule a 1-hour “Exploring Majors” appointment with an advisor in the Center for Advising and Student Achievement (CASA). 

Tips for parents & families showing support: 

  • Check-in with your student(s).  Asking questions like “how did your exam go?” can be either a relief or an annoyance.  Open-ended questions starting with “what” and “how” always elicit a lengthier response than just a simple yes or no question.  If your student is on academic probation, it’s extremely important to support them in keeping track of their academic progress early on.
  • Celebrate the small things.  Help your student in celebrating the small successes.  What I mean by this is if they still find themselves struggling on exams, yet they are doing well on other assignments or attending class, which they didn’t do last semester; remind them that they are making progress!  Then encourage them to seek out additional academic support.
  • Encourage “asking for help.”  This is a skill that all college students need to learn and the earlier they learn to do this the better it’ll be for them.  In supporting your student, pay attention if they sound hopeless and aren’t sure what to do or who to turn to about academic support.  Brainstorm with them who have they already reached out to, or role play what it might be light to have a conversation asking for help.
  • Participate in academic probation specific programs.  There are specific programs across CSU available for students on academic probation. To name a few, Human Development and Family Studies has Ascent, College of Business has Rock 3.0, and College of Natural Science’s Learning Community has LEAP.  Have your student check in with their advisor to see if there is a major-specific program.  If not, the Center for Advising and Student Achievement (CASA) hosts Project Success each semester as well. 

Starting a new semester on academic probation or close to it, doesn’t have to be shameful.  If a student truly wants to graduate from CSU, a change in their studies will need to happen promptly.  Your continued support and encouragement during this transitional time will go a long way in helping them start their new academic experience on a positive note.

For questions, or additional information, feel free to contact Outreach and Support at (970) 491-7095.

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Why Live Off Campus Next Year When You Can LiveOn!

By Laura Giles | Director, Residence Life 

We know that some of the off-campus apartments offer very appealing incentives like hot tubs, tanning beds, and flat screen TVs when students sign a lease.  The campus newspaper was full of ads at the end of fall semester enticing students to live in various apartment communities and rental properties around Fort Collins. As we in Housing & Dining Services prepare to offer residence hall students the option to return to the halls next fall, we thought it would be helpful to provide some information and discussion points to help you and your student decide which housing option is the best fit.

We often hear rumors that we have no space in the halls for returning students or that no returning students live on campus. Here are some myth-busters that may help clarify campus housing options for returning students.

  • Myth: the halls are only for first year students.
  • Fact: with recent renovations and the brand new Laurel Village, we have more than 1,200 spaces to offer to returning and transfer students. Returning students get first choice of premium spaces including singles, doubles-as-single, and new and recently renovated halls.
  • Myth: no returning/upper division students live in the halls.
  • Fact: over 20% of the students in the halls are returning, transfer, and upper division students and we’d like to see that number grow. We have designated communities and wings set aside for returning and transfer students so they can live with other upper division students.
  • Myth: dining plans don’t offer returning students enough flexibility.
  • Fact: the U Plan, offered only to returning and transfer students, offers maximum flexibility with just 5 meals per week, 20 bonus meals, and $150 RamCash. New and recently renovated student kitchens in the halls provide space for students to cook when they want to and the dining centers offer balanced meals for students when they need them.

Most importantly, on campus housing has a different focus (think higher GPAs and more likely to be retained by CSU)! 

Important dates for fall 2015 room selection:

  • February 2-3: Students who are eligible to return to their current room may select it.
  • February 5-6: Groups of 3 or more students who wish to be roommates/suitemates can select adjacent rooms/suites via Block Housing; participants in Housing & Dining Services student leadership can select their choice of rooms (RHA/NRHH, Hall Council, Eco Leaders).
  • February 9-10: Displaced students (students who are unable to retain current room/hall due to Residential Learning Community or other programmatic requirements) may select their room.
  • February 12-March 31: Open selection; all students may select any available space.
  • April 1: Room Selection closed; current students who still wish to apply for on campus housing must complete a New Student Housing Application.

We hope this information is useful as you and your student discuss living options for next year. If you have any questions about campus living options, please visit our website, email us at, or call (970) 491-4719.

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Spring Semester Programs and Activities at Campus Recreation

By Brittany Heiring White and Ashley Wylde | Campus Recreation 

While Colorado winters are beautiful, they also provide a unique set of obstacles for students. It’s easy to want to curl up and hibernate for the winter, and this inclination, combined with the stress of classes can create a cycle of inactivity. At Campus Recreation, we aim to provide students with exciting and innovative ways to engage, supplementing their days with programs that relieve stress, promote health, and create community. Encourage your student to get involved with some of the exciting things happening at Campus Recreation in the beginning of the new year.

For students who want to get involved in a group workout program, the Fitness Program is offering Ram Recharge for the second year in a row. The program begins on February 15 and runs for ten weeks, through April 26. Participants receive specialized training with certified personal trainers, cooking classes, wellness presentations, and more, while working out with fellow students in weekly group workouts. More information can be found here

Spring semester Intramural Sports will be in full force beginning February 2nd. Sports offered include basketball (both recreational and competitive coed, men’s, and women’s leagues), kickball, tube water polo (men’s and women’s leagues), 4v4 and 6v6 indoor soccer, racquetball, indoor flag football (coed, men’s, and women’s leagues), bench press, bowling, and more. Students can register for these activities online and the cost differs per sport. More information can be found here.

The Fitness Program offers a wide variety of activities for students to stay active during the winter months, including group fit classes like zumba, high intensity interval training (HIIT), and kickboxing. Group fit classes are free to students and Rec members, and the full spring schedule will be available online. For students looking to participate in more specialized fitness classes, Mind/Body and Cycle class passes are available to purchase (you can buy one over the phone for your student), which give access to all the yoga or cycling classes depending on the type of pass purchased. The Fitness Program also hosts a variety of Dance & Martial Arts courses, which are taught by certified instructors and run throughout the majority of the semester. Check out the Fitness Program’s page for more information. 

For students looking to spend some time in the gorgeous Colorado winter landscapes, the Outdoor Program offers a range of trips and clinics from Intro to Ice Climbing, backcountry skiing, climbing, and more. Trips are led by certified instructors, and costs include transportation, gear, instruction, and even meals (depending on the trip). The Outdoor Program website has more information. 

Campus Recreation also offers a variety of other activities and programs, including private swim lessons, fitness events (the Fitness Explosion will be held on February 25), Drop-in recreation, personal trainer certification courses, and Sport Clubs. For information on all of the activities mentioned, we encourage you to visit our website or call (970) 491-6359. 

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CSU and the Fort Collins Community - Partners in Your Student's Success

While attending CSU, your student is also part of the broader Fort Collins community.  Many students at CSU choose to engage with organizations and groups located off-campus--within the local community.  These experiences often add value and meaning to a student's classroom experience.  This month, in the spirit of community, we wanted to highlight a few organizations that have been wonderful partners to our students - and equally value student and community involvement. Though students can become connected with these organizations in a variety of ways, the SLiCE office is the main source for volunteer opportunities at CSU.  SLiCE works to connect volunteers with community agencies and organizations in need.  While these are just a few, of the many, valuable local organizations with whom your students may become involved, it's a wonderful reminder to encourage your student to take advantage of all the opportunities that are part of their collegiate experiences - including being an active member of the Fort Collins community. It's also important to acknowledge that many of these organizations welcome parent and family participation as well and could potentially have a broader national focus that allows for participation outside of the Fort Collins community. 

Respite Care, Inc. 

Respite Care, Inc. is a nonprofit childcare organization in Fort Collins providing specialized care for children who have developmental disabilities. We are open 24 hours, 7 days a week providing opportunities for children, giving respite to their families, and enhancing the quality of life for the entire family. Respite Care is fortunate to have been a part of the Fort Collins community for 32 years, including having an ongoing relationship with Colorado State University. Respite Care volunteers from CSU include TGIF and SLiCE for our annual prom, Pre-OT, Mechanical and Electrical Engineering Departments, Music Department, Nutrition Department, various sports teams, Key Service Communities, Community Cakes, HDFS SOUL, and several sororities and fraternities, among many others! These volunteers provide meaningful social engagement with the children at Respite Care by participating in various events and activities. For example, Pi Kappa Phi takes the children on bowling or park trips every week. Respite Care is also extremely grateful to have individual volunteers, staff, and interns in various CSU programs. We are so thankful to have so much support and friendship within the CSU community. - Lauren Whynott, Development Associate, Respite Care Inc. 

SAVA Center

The Sexual Assault Victim Advocate (SAVA) Center’s mission is to provide crisis intervention, advocacy and counseling for all those affected by sexual violence and provide prevention programs through community outreach and education. We envision a culture change that results in the end of sexual violence.  SAVA began as a rape crisis hotline in 1976 under the Larimer Center for Mental Health and, in 2003, became an independent nonprofit agency. In October 2010, SAVA expanded its services to include neighboring Weld County. SAVA now serves as the only rape crisis center in Larimer and Weld Counties dedicated exclusively to serving the needs of sexual assault survivors.

SAVA works to advance its mission in through a two-pronged approach of direct service and prevention programming.  The SAVA Center's services include free and sliding-scale therapy in English and Spanish, free support groups, experiential therapy healing groups, a toll-free bilingual 24/7 rape crisis hotline, peer-led prevention education, school-based prevention groups, free community education, and prevention-based youth mentoring and theatre performances.  Each year, SAVA provides confidential support to over 600 victims of sexual assault and provides education to over 1,000 community members and 4,000 students. SAVA is a member of Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN), the Colorado Organization of Victim’s Assistance (COVA), and the Colorado Coalition Against Sexual Assault (CCASA). - Katie Ashby, Prevention Education and Outreach Director, SAVA Center

The Center for Family Outreach

The Center for Family Outreach (The Center) is a local nonprofit organization that works with Larimer County youth and their families. At the Center, we understand that parenting is both challenging and rewarding! The Center offers free information and support to parents of adolescents. On Mondays, we offer a free support group from 5:30-6:30 pm, giving parents/guardians of adolescents a safe place to find support and strength. On Tuesdays, we offer a free lunch series from 12-1 pm, each week featuring a different special-interest topic about the care of adolescents and young adults. For more information, please contact Brooke Jostad at (970) 495-0084 or - Brooke Jostad, Bilingual Case Manager and Fort Collins Family Advocate, The Center for Family Outreach


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Event Profile: Campus Step Up - A Social Justice Retreat 

By Alina Osika| Graduate Marketing Coordinator & Niamh O’Shea| Co-Curricular Leadership Graduate Coordinator, SLiCE

Campus Step Up is a free three-day retreat that provides Colorado State University students the opportunity to expand their awareness of social justice, multicultural, and global issues in a safe environment that fosters growth through self-reflection and education. The retreat will be held at the YMCA Center in Estes Park, CO January 15-17, 2015.

Campus Step Up was established in 1994 as the Multicultural Leadership Retreat through Housing and Dining Services and is now housed in the Student Leadership, Involvement & Community Engagement (SLiCE) Office on campus. The retreat occurs the week before spring classes in January every year and involves around seventy CSU students and facilitators. Because the event is funded by student-fees, transportation, food, and lodging are covered for those accepted into the program.

CSU alum, Noah Sandoval said of Campus Step Up 2014, “It exposed me to just how important our actions are… [and] just how much of an influence we can have on our environment.” Sandoval adds that the retreat was an opportunity that “truly altered the lens in which I view the world.”

Sandoval’s perspective is echoed by Kira Jane Davis, a Languages, Literature, and Cultures major who attended Campus Step Up during her first year at CSU. When Davis arrived at the retreat, she “hardly knew anything about social justice,” but the experience was a catalyst for engagement with social justice and her current community involvement, which includes peer mentoring and volunteering with the INTO program.

“I changed my language, then I would try to get others to change their language… I started working in all these positions that help people understand one another and feel safe.” She asserts that engaging in dialogues around identity, inclusivity and equity has now become a part of her daily life.

Sam Desta, a facilitator at Campus Step Up 2013 and Coordinator for the Key Service and Health Professions communities, understands the retreat as beginning a dialogue about social justice that continues long after the weekend ends. Continuing to meet with her group once every month following the retreat, she noticed that “after leaving Step Up, [students] picked up on things on campus, in the Fort Collins community and in their personal lives that they did not notice before. It’s incredibly inspiring to see students wanting to start their social justice journey and learn how to make effective change.”

For more information, please contact the Campus Step Up Coordinator, Niamh O’Shea at O'shea,Niamh or the Graduate Marketing Coordinator, Alina Osika at

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In This Issue

CSU Acronyms

Poll Results

Last month, we asked what the topics you and your student discussed most frequently throughout the semester. The top response with 68% of the votes was discussions about grades and academics. Next with 13% was health and safety. We hope you continue these important conversations over the break while your students are home. Don't forget to stop by our page and take this month's poll as well!   


FAMweb allows CSU students to grant access for parents, family members, or trusted individuals to selected areas of their educational record.  Please see the FAMweb FAQs page for more details regarding the FAMweb Policy and Procedures.  Parents and family members, once granted access, can log into FAMweb though the link on the Parents and Family webpage.


Major:Soil and Crop Sciences


Student Involvement: Campus Step Up: Video

RAMFAM Association Business Directory 

Be sure to check out our featured Platinum and Gold Partners:

RE/MAX Advanced, Inc.



Fort Collins Marriott

Colorado State University Bookstore

Quality Inn

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Garbanzo Mediterranean Grill

Connecting With Us On Social Media

As many of you know, Parent & Family Programs is on Facebook! If you like our page using the image below, you will be kept up to date with happenings around campus, and important information regarding campus emergencies. You can also connect with other parents and families in this group! Thanks for partnering with us to help your student succeed at CSU!

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