Welcome to March! Before you know it we’ll be turning the clocks forward and students will be enjoying Spring Break (March 15-23). The weeks leading up to Spring Break can feel hectic, with papers, projects, and exams due en masse. You may hear students say time is “flying by” and they are looking forward to Spring Break as a much-needed resting point halfway through the semester. Whether they are coming home, headed up to the mountains to engage with some fresh powder, or are staying in Fort Collins, students like to use this time to rest their minds and rejuvenate away from the academic rigors of their day-to-day college life.
If your student plans to relax here, please note there have been some changes to the Residence Hall break structure. Selected halls will remain open for an additional fee for students who register in advance, but dining centers close (expect Parmelee) after lunch Friday, March 14. Residence Halls close on Friday, March 14 at 10 p.m. and re-open to students on Sunday, March 23 at 8 a.m. If your student stays on campus over break, he or she needs to register with Residence Life. To do so, students should visit the MyHousing Site at http://myhousing.colostate.edu and select “Break Housing Reservation” on or before Wednesday, March 12. Additionally, if students need some additional assistance due to their travel plans, they can apply for Late Departure to stay until 10 a.m. Saturday, March 15 or Early Return beginning at 12 p.m. Saturday, March 22 at no cost via the hall office.
After Spring Break, students turn their attention to the end of semester and planning for next semester. Final examinations will be here in the blink of an eye! For graduating students, graduation plans begin when they submit the Intent to Graduate form. Once that form is submitted, they will begin to receive graduation information for their specific college and program. Parents & families can find “all things graduation” on the CSU Commencement website and we hope you’ll use businesses listed in the RAMFAM Association Business Directory to play your visit to Fort Collins. For students who will be continuing at CSU, they can begin registering for summer 2014 classes on March 25 and for fall 2014 classes on April 4. Students should check their RAMweb accounts to learn the date/time they can individually register and should schedule an appointment with their academic advisor as soon as possible after Spring Break to plan out their course load for the summer and fall semesters.
We hope students have had a positive and fulfilling spring semester to date. If you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to contact me directly via phone (970-491-6680) or email (email@example.com). I appreciate you!
The Career Center offers an extensive list of career services to help students succeed. A strategy building tool used in many career counseling appointments guides students to “Explore, Experience, Enhance, Explain” (check-out the Career Center’s new Student Page on March 5 featuring this Student Success Model) their career planning path. Counselors partner with students to develop a customized pathway to help develop a strong strategic career plan.
The Career Center is preparing to launch a new and innovative tool, Personalized Career Resource Search before the end of the semester. This tool will compliment career counseling appoints by allowing students to personalize exploration based on selected demographic variables. Tools such as this are aimed at helping students Explore opportunities and connect them with career tools to help them develop a strong plan for the future.
One tool students will use to Explain their school work, employment and internship experience is their resume. The Career Center offers several workshops throughout the semester focused on resume building. Recently the Career Center launched their first resume web shop to help student learn tips and tricks to building a strong resume. Students can watch the web shop any time, any place. To help students put the final touches on their resume prior to applying for jobs or internships they are encouraged to visit the Career Center’s drop in office located in LSC West.
In addition to career exploration and tools to help students explain their experiences career counselors can assist students with developing a plan to gain Experience and Enhance their skills through working with students to define a strategic plan and assist in the graduate school application process. To complement the career counseling experience students have the opportunity to attend a variety of career –centered events throughout the semester. A few career events students should add to their calendars today are:
For a complete listing of Career Center events visit: www.career.colostate.edu
So whether students are in the process of career exploration or ready to begin their job search career counselors are here to help. To schedule an appointment call 970-491-5707. Visit the Career Center online at: www.career.colostate.edu.
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Assessment Results: Tips from Student Financial Services
By Eleni Beaty, Outreach and Phone Coordinator, Student Financial Services
We know that financial aid, scholarships and billing information can be quite a lot to handle for busy students, parents and families. Student Financial Services is here to provide guidance to help you and your student navigate these processes so students may focus on their education experience and all the wonderful things CSU has to offer. Here are a few items to keep in mind this semester, as well as this summer, to prepare for the 2014-2015 school year.
- Simplified Billing Information is now available in FAMweb and RAMweb. Same information-easier to navigate. Login to FAMweb to view the changes.
- 1098-T Tax Reporting forms for 2013 are now accessible to eligible students on their RAMweb under the Tax Information link. Students who have not given electronic consent also received the 1098-T form at their current mailing address. Students can also grant 1098-T access to parents or other trusted individuals via FAMweb.
- It’s time to apply for financial aid for 2014-2015 by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) which is an annual process. While the priority FAFSA submission date was March 1, we recommend that you submit your FAFSA as soon as possible after your taxes are filed. Please be sure your student takes care of all financial aid requirements before they leave for the semester in May.
- Monitor financial aid status in RAMweb/FAMweb encourage your student to check their @rams email throughout the summer
- Helpful resources:
- If your student is interested in working during the 2014-2015 school year, March is the time to request a work-study award. On-Campus employment has a positive effect on student retention and GPA. Have your student stop by our office in Centennial Hall or give us a call at 970-491-6321 if they are interested in requesting a work-study award
- Summer Financial Aid-visit our website for eligibility criteria and the application process
We encourage you and your student to visit Student Financial Services for future planning and support such as:
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Learning Outcome: Supporting Students' Academic Endeavors by Celebrating Exploring New Interests
By Jody Donovan, Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students
This month’s learning outcome for parents and families is “Support students’ academic endeavors by celebrating exploring new interest areas, engaging in conversations about learning, and pursuing lifelong learning.” I recently spoke with a CSU first year student’s parent who told me she resented these e-newsletters focused on learning how to support college students. She explained she already knew how to parent her daughter and she didn’t need our help.
A university education is an investment and there is significant evidence documenting the importance of the family’s role in supporting students’ academic endeavors. Students report being more motivated when they know education is an important family value. Students tell us they like it when their family inquires (gently) about what they are learning at Colorado State University. There is so much to learn both in and out of the classroom, it can be overwhelming! Responding to open-ended questions about learning can help students distil information into bite-sized chunks as they discuss new knowledge with family members. Listening for passion and excitement can give students and families cues for areas of special interest and focus for potential careers.
Students often begin their college experience either undecided about a major or, prematurely selecting a major based on limited exposure to the world of work. About 80% of students in the U.S. change their major at some point during college, and on average, students change their major at least three times during their college tenure, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Parker Palmer and Arthur Zajonc wrote a fabulous book titled, The Heart of Higher Education: Transforming the Academy through Collegial Conversations. The authors encourage integration of heart and head, blending meaning and purpose with intellect and action. Ask your students questions to help them discover their purpose, make meaning of their learning, and take action toward fulfilling in-and-out-of-work-lives.
Lastly, reinforce the concept of lifelong learning at home. You can do this through role modeling reading rather than watching television, discussing current events over meals, taking a class at a local 2 or 4-year university, and supporting your students’ interest in pursuing additional education in the future. You are an important part of your students’ educational journey whether you have a college education or not. Your emotional support and genuine interest is crucial for students’ success. Thank you for all you do to celebrate exploring new interest areas, engaging in conversations about learning and pursuing lifelong learning!
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Spring Safety Reminders
By Dell Rae Ciaravola, Senior Public Relations Coordinator, CSU Police Department Public Information Office
It’s been a long winter here in Fort Collins and we’re sure that your students are looking forward to warmer weather and Spring Break.
With Spring Break and temperature changes come different safety concerns for students on campus. We notice an increase in certain types of behavior from both students and others in the community.
In particular, reports of students who are having a difficult time tend to go up after Spring Break. The demands of the final push of the semester—and academic year – pile up and pressure to perform well increases. Spring also may trigger stress and sadness in your students about leaving campus and their friends and studies. Please consider reminding your student to take care of him or herself and their friends. If you or your student is worried about themselves or someone else, 970-491-1530 is always available for a confidential referral to support.
Each spring, our police see an increase in numbers of bike and pedestrian accidents on campus and around the community. Anyone riding a bike on campus is required to obey all traffic laws, just as they would if driving a car. Please talk to your student about watching for pedestrians in crosswalks and, if they are walking, to not assume that cars or bikes will stop if they are in the crosswalk. It’s important that each student take responsibility for his or her own safety and look around before stepping in front of traffic. Finally, if your student likes to ride a skateboard, please remind him or her to use caution and remember to only ride on designated walk ways or sidewalks, and not on the road in bike lanes.
In the spring, students may also want to leave their room or home windows open, walk to a restaurant or gatherings at night and engage in other warm-weather activities. Sometimes, that also increases opportunities for people to take advantage of their behavior.
Please ask your student to keep the following information in mind:
- Be aware of your surroundings. Keep doors and windows locked when away from home or at night. Let a friend know where you are and who you are with at all times.
- Do not walk home alone from dinner out, a party or bar, and do not accept a ride from someone you do not know well and trust, and don’t let drunk friends leave a party or bar with someone they do not know.
- Protect your drinks at gatherings - this applies to alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. Do not leave them unattended. Do not accepted drinks from individuals you do not know well and trust.
- If you are of legal age and choose to drink alcohol, drink in moderation and designate a sober person to be with you.
- Don't have sex with someone unless that person is fully awake, sober and has given clear consent. Statements like "let's slow down" or "maybe we should wait" should all be interpreted as "No" and not as consent. If you or a friend need support, do not hesitate to contact the Women and Gender Advocacy Center at 970-491-6384.
For more information about safety at CSU, parents can visit safety.colostate.edu – this site serves as the main website safety alerts and information. You also can receive information by following the Public Safety Team and CSU Police Department on Twitter at @CSUPoliceSafety or like the Public Safety Team and CSU Police Department on Facebook.
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Meet the Staff: Student Legal Services
By Rob Lowrey, Staff Attorney, Student Legal Services
Why would a CSU student ever need a campus lawyer?
Well, you would be surprised. Students might need Student Legal Services if they are ever going to ride a bike, use a credit card, walk their dog, download a song, sign a lease, get a job, exercise their rights, open a bank account, buy, sell, or drive a car, go out on the town, have a roommate, study abroad, be a teacher, start a business, have friends over, apply to grad school, go camping, take a road trip, or have an RA or police officer knock on their door…
CSU Student Legal Services is one of the oldest SLS offices in the country. We were created by student referendum in 1971 to provide free legal advice to students on civil, criminal, domestic, consumer, traffic, and many other issues. About the only things we don’t do are taxes, worker’s compensation, and immigration.
CSU Student Legal Services has three licensed attorneys with over 50 years of combined legal experience. We are on campus with one purpose: to help CSU students. The office was awarded 2013 Most Outstanding Student Legal Services Office by the University Student Legal Services Association, US Western Region.
Director Kathy Harward has undergraduate and Law degrees from the University of Nebraska and law licenses in Colorado, Nebraska, and California. I graduated from the University of Massachusetts and the University of Colorado Law, and am also licensed in Connecticut and Alaska. Forrest Orswell is a graduate of The University of Northern Colorado and Wyoming Law with fourteen years private practice experience.
We have four student employees, plus Valerie McIntyre, our award-winning Office Manager, who will soon celebrate twenty-four years of service to CSU!
Here are some lessons for your student:
- Don’t sign a tanning contract. They are over-priced, and you can’t cancel.
- Don’t think you’ll be excused by police for minor offenses. A criminal record, even for petty crimes, stays with you harming your chances in the workplace. Very few criminal convictions can be sealed or wiped from your record.
- Fake IDs are a crime. Several crimes in fact.
- Don’t drive after ANY drinking! It’s illegal for drivers under 21 to drive with a BAC of .02; over 21 it is .05. You should consider that zero tolerance. Choose a safe ride home: Ram Ride 970-491-3333, or an alcohol-free friend. (The designated driver is NOT just the one who has had the least to drink.)
- Beware of scams! If it sounds too good, it is. Don’t fall for the person who “mistakenly” sends you a check that’s too big, and asks you to deposit it. The check is fake! Never withdraw money without absolute proof from your bank that the funds are soundly sitting in your account.
- If you don’t have the money, don’t buy it! It’s hard enough to deal with student loans, you don’t need credit card debt, too.
- Looking for a summer job? Watch out for the franchisors that show up on campus in the fall. Don’t sign any franchise agreement until you’ve met with us.
No mistake is ever too small or too embarrassing. Student Legal Services is 100% confidential and covered by student fees. Encourage your student to come see us in Room 182 of the Lory Student Center before things get out of hand.
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Living Off Campus: City Ordinances
By Emily Allen, Community Liaison, Off-Campus Life
All of us at Off-Campus Life would like to thank you for supporting your students as they make the transition to life in the Fort Collins community. In the previous newsletters we have discussed everything from living on campus, to living off campus down to the importance of selecting roommates. In this article, we are bringing you some nitty gritty items that are vital to successful off campus living. As students transition into the community, below are some of the unique ordinances specific to Fort Collins that are designed to maintain the high quality of life which the city is known.
Common City Ordinance Violations:
- Occupancy (U+2) – The City has an occupancy limit, which limits the occupants of a home to no more than three unrelated people or a family plus one. If a violation is found, the residents and/or property owner may be issued a citation for each day the property is over occupied. Fines are up to $1,000 per day. Don’t forget that visitors who spend the night more than thirty days in a calendar year are considered occupants. There are place around the city that allow for more tenants and Off-Campus Life’s website has a list that have been granted extra-occupancy.
- Noise Violations – While it can be fun to host a party, noise is a top complaint in Fort Collins and can carry a $1,000 fine and a criminal misdemeanor charge. Your students can register their Friday and Saturday night parties through Off-Campus life to potentially get a 20 minute warning in order to break things up before police are needed.
- Snow Shoveling – Residents are required to shovel sidewalks within 24 hours after snow has stopped falling. Students tend to get caught off guard when they leave for breaks and forget to find someone to help shovel their walks. Remind your student that it’s super important to build relationships with their neighbors early, so that they can ask for the snow shoveling help later!
- Outdoor Storage – No furniture intended for indoor use may be placed outside or on an unenclosed patio. While the couch on the porch may seem cozy, it’s a no-no.
- Parking – It is illegal to park backwards on a city street, block a driveway, park on any part of your lawn or unimproved surface, or remain parked on the street for more than 48 hours in the same place.
- Yard Maintenance – Grass and weeds should not grow over 6 inches. Remind your student to check their lease and find out whether the landlord will be maintaining the lawn or if it is their responsibility.
- Rental Habitability – There is protection for renters! If issues with water and heat are not resolved quickly by the landlord residents can call the City at (970) 416-2305 to schedule a rental habitability inspection and receive assistance in resolving the problem.
- Avoid Renting a Lemon – Prior to renting a place, your student can check the history of the property to see if it has a record of code violations. If a home has had tickets for noise, animal disturbances, parking on yards, over-occupancy, etc. it may be in jeopardy of becoming a “public nuisance property.” The Public Nuisance Ordinance follows the residence, not the tenants. When looking to rent, your student should check to see if the rental has a history of violations. The Neighborhood Services office, (970) 224-6046 can provide this information.
Other Helpful Reminders:
- Managing a Budget – Before your student decides to move off of campus, it’s important to explain to them just how expensive this process will be. Those living off campus for the first time often report that they were not prepared for the expenses they incurred. Checkout the Student Handbook (which arrived in your first year student’s campus mailbox late-February) for a sample budget spreadsheet or have your student visit Student Financial Services for more budgeting advice!
- Renters Insurance – Strongly consider purchasing renters insurance; or check out your home owner’s policy to see if your student is covered under your plan. It’s inexpensive (about $125 for an entire year) and will protect your student’s belongings from damage or theft. It will protect them, more importantly, from paying thousands in accidental damage from water or fire.
Remember, Off-Campus Life is here to help your student successfully live in the great City of Fort Collins: www.ocl.colostate.edu or call (970) 491-2248!
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The President's Leadership Program is Accepting Applications!
By Emily Ambrose, Program Coordinator and Instructor, President's Leadership Program
The President’s Leadership Program (PLP) is currently accepting applications for the 2014-2015 academic year. If your student is looking to develop their leadership ability or wants to explore what it means to be a leader, encourage them to apply (students can click HERE for the application, due April 9).
What is the President’s Leadership Program?
PLP is a comprehensive leadership development experience comprised of three year-long academic and experiential courses focused on developing active, informed citizens who practice service-oriented leadership. PLP offers distinct academic experiences - meaning students can apply for and be selected to participate into different courses each year at CSU. PLP also offers a minor in leadership studies with successful completion of all 6 core courses and an additional 4 credits of research, internship, or advanced practicum. No minimum GPA or SAT are required; selection is based on a student’s appreciation for learning, intellectual curiosity, HS experiences and potential contributions to peer learning.
Meet Our Students:
Elise Eppard, senior at Colorado State University and representative for the President’s Leadership Program, is a Communication Studies major and Business Administration minor. She decided to apply the spring semester of her freshman year of college after acclimating for a semester in the environment.
- “Leaders can really be anyone. By being in PLP, you’re not just gaining a leadership experience; you’re gaining a sense of self which is going to benefit your leadership.”
Javier Lopez, first-year student and representative of the President’s Leadership Program, left a gang when he was in high school. Javier excelled his senior year of high school, he becoming student body president and was the master of ceremonies at his graduation.
- “I saw PLP as a way to figure out my leadership philosophy. Life doesn’t wait. It’s up to you to be the change you want to see in the world. For me, President’s Leadership Program gives me the tools and resources to be that change.”
To learn more about the President’s Leadership Program, email the Program Coordinator: Emily.Ambrose@colostate.edu or visit www.PLP.colostate.edu.
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Options for Storage at the End of the Semester
By Michael Shelhamer, Owner of College Student Storage, a RAMFAM Association Business Directory Partner
At the end of the school year, students living on campus have to move out of the residence halls. Many parents and families help their student with the move out process. For out of state students, many parents and families fly or drive in to help. This can be very expensive. Here are some of the costs out of state parents and families will incur
- Fly or drive to Colorado, so airfare or gas money and/or car rentals
- Hotel cost and meals
- Time off work, or you have to use vacation days
- Buying moving supplies
- Renting a storage unit, and buying a lock
- Moving items out of residence halls and to a storage unit
- Doing the whole process again in August when school starts back up
You can see how this process is expensive and exhausting for parents and families. Also, moving out of the residence halls is very stressful on your student during finals even if they have their own vehicle and are going to do it themselves.
Here are 2 main storage options for out of state parents and families to choose from for your student when they move out of their residence hall at the end of the school year.
- Renting a Storage Unit. Yes this seems like a cheap option, but there are many things to be made aware of. You still have to buy packing supplies and rent a storage unit ahead of time and move out of the residence hall. There is a ton of effort in just getting the items to the storage unit. Then repeat the moving process again when school starts up in August. Think of all the time, cost and work this takes? It adds up. Many storage unit places give you no insurance on your unit or you have to pay a third party company a costly premium. These insurance policies have numerous clauses so they don’t have to pay out if damages/ losses incur. Be aware of out door storage units! They often have loose doors and a lot of dirt and dust gets into the unit and all over your items (this happens often). Most storage units are not climate controlled and in the summer reach temps over 120 degrees daily. Finally, students may rent a storage unit together to save money. This is a bad idea especially if more than 2 students go in on a unit. What happens if items come up missing or get broken? The more people involved usually means more problems. (Numerous issues with sharing a storage unit happens more often than you think).
- You hire a moving and storage company. This can be your easiest option for sure for both your student and for parents and families living out of state. It may seem that this option is more expensive, but if you add everything up and the time and effort that goes into the moving process from move out in May to move back in August into a storage unit, you might be surprised. Be aware though, there are many varieties of moving companies and you should research who you choose. There are moving and storage companies that cater directly to college students! Like College Student Storage, which includes packing materials delivered ahead of time, storage packages, and insurance all included for one rate. CSS also offers numerous other services like shipping, car storage, straight moving, freighting and much more for students. Many moving and storage companies don’t directly deal with students and charge moving and storage rates more in tune with customers who have full apartments or houses of items. They also charge you a moving rate minimum. Most do 2 hours (on each end), even though to move your student it may take less than 30 minutes.
Hopefully this sheds some light on storage options and some insight into the moving and storage process at the end of the school year.
*Note: CSU parents and families have recommended two storage companies. Be sure to check out the RAMFAM Association Business Directory for more information!
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