Dear CSU Parents and Families
By Jody Donovan | Dean of Students & CSU Parent
Being stuck indoors for the past few weeks due to the cold and snow, I’ve had some time on my hands to reflect on the passage of time as our two sons (Matthew – a senior, majoring in Biology & Spanish, and Patrick – a freshman, majoring in Ecosystem Science and Sustainability) make progress on their educational journeys at Colorado State University. Matthew will be graduating this May and hopes to join the Peace Corps, while Patrick is completing his first year of college and hopes to spend the summer working outdoors doing something related to natural resources. Their father and I are very proud of them, as they actively apply the knowledge they’ve gained in the classroom to the world beyond. But, it hasn’t always been this smooth…
Both boys need to successfully get through this semester (including Spring Break!), right?! I’m sure there will be challenges, obstacles, choices, and mistakes along the way. I find myself asking our sons a lot of questions to get a handle on how they are coping, making decisions, and planning for the future. They understand our family values, beliefs, and expectations, and ultimately it is their lives.
For example, I wasn’t emotionally ready for Patrick’s decision to move off campus for his second year of college, and yet, he did a great job of being thoughtful, doing his research, utilizing Off-Campus Life and Student Legal Services, to select two quality roommates, obtain a great apartment, and sign an extensive apartment lease (with me as a co-signer, of course!). I’m hopeful he will continue to experience academic and personal success, and will access resources if he struggles. Early this semester, Matthew chose to give his two weeks’ notice for one of his on-campus jobs to focus more attention on completing his Honor’s Thesis. By asking him about how he planned to offset the decreasing income, he was able to share his very solid problem-solving and decision making. In both of these situations, I did wring my hands a bit with anxiety (hey, I am a Mom!), however, by being patient and trusting in their growing maturity, they were able to practice becoming interdependent, responsible adults. Stay tuned for future updates on how things work out….
In closing, I was asked to write this article focusing on some of the things I’ve learned as a parent of CSU students over the past four years. I could sum it up into a few lessons:
- Trust in all the parenting/supporting you’ve done over the years your students have been in your family. All that hard work will eventually pay off!
- Allow your students to practice making little decisions so when they have to make big decisions, they already know how to think about alternatives and consequences.
- Be patient when your students make a mistake or get into a messy situation. Let them first try to resolve it and only step in if it is life-threatening or has long-term consequences. And, if you do step in, be a consultant or guide rather than the “do-er.”
- Remember perspective. I frequently ask myself this question, “Will this really matter in 5 years?” This helps me calm down and actually focus on the 3 previous lessons!
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Important Upcoming March Dates
Spring Break is coming right around the corner and as usual there is a lot happening around campus.As a reminder if your student lives on campus, Residence Halls will close Friday March 13th at 10:00pm and reopen Sunday March 22nd at 8:00am.
Here are some important dates to remember:
Daylight savings time begins - March 8th
Spring Recess - March 14th – 22nd
End of Course Withdrawal Period – March 23rd
Repeat/Delete Requests Due for Spring – March 23rd
Summer Registration Begins – March 24th
-Parent and Family Programs
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Download your free copy of the 2015 CSU Parent & Family Guide
By Evanne Montoya | University Parent
For a limited time, the convenient Kindle version of the Winter 2015 guide will be available for free download at Amazon.com. Go to Amazon.com and download the book by the end of the day Saturday, March 7 to take advantage of the sale.
The guide contains top parent and family questions, a career checklist, ways for your student to get involved on campus, and more!
Amazon has an app available for those who would like to read Kindle books on other devices; you can access the app from the link above. If you miss the free offer, you may also view the guide at UniversityParent.com.
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Commencement Information: Celebrate your graduate!
If you have a student graduating in May … congratulations! This is a very exciting time for both you and your student. Since graduation will be here soon, we encourage you to talk with your student about ordering a cap and gown. The deadline to order is April 8, 2015.
Grad Pack prices start at $39 and include:
- Cap, gown, and tassel rental
- Alumni Association Annual Membership
- Diploma frame discount
To view additional Grad Pack options or to place an order, click here.
Give a gift your grad will love with a Life Membership to the Alumni Association! Life Member Grad Packs are $750 and include all items in the Annual Grad Pack, plus a Life Membership in lieu of the Annual Membership. The Alumni Association Membership is a great way for your graduate to stay connected to CSU through exclusive member benefits, professional development and career services, access to short-term major medical insurance and more. Click here to learn more.
Questions? Please contact the Alumni Association at (800) 286-2586.
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Off-Campus Living: Life in Fort Collins
By Emily Allen | 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 the importance of selecting roommates. In this article, we are bringing you some of the 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 for which the city is known:
- 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 unit 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 person, per day. Don’t forget that visitors who spend the night more than thirty days in a calendar year are considered occupants. There are places around the city that allow for more tenants and Off-Campus Life’s website has a list of properties that have been granted extra-occupancy.
- Unreasonable Noise – While it can be fun to host a party, noise is a top complaint in Fort Collins and can carry up to a $2,650 fine, a criminal misdemeanor charge, with the possibility of jail time or community service hours. 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.
- Nuisance Gathering Ordinance – This ordinance holds party hosts accountable for any damage to neighboring properties as a result of a gathering. Examples of these damages include trash and litter, public urination, and vandalism. A conviction carries up to a $2650 fine (in addition to the cost of repairs), a criminal misdemeanor charge, with the possibility of jail time or community service hours.
- 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 while in Fort Collins.
- 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 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. Check out the Student Handbook (which arrived in your first year student’s campus mailbox late-February or a virtual copy located on the Off-Campus Life website) for a sample budget spreadsheet or have your student visit Student Financial Services in the Student Services Building 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. We are located in Room 274 of the Lory Student Center, www.ocl.colostate.edu or call (970) 491-2248!
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Establishing a Nightly Routine
By Janelle Patrias | MSW, Manager of Mental Health Initiatives
Your student may be tempted, with a jam-packed schedule and many responsibilities, to sacrifice sleep in favor of studying or socializing. But sleep is strongly linked to learning, memory, and well-being.
There are many reasons why students need sleep. First, it recharges their batteries. If students are falling asleep in class or losing concentration by 3 p.m., they’re not getting enough sleep. While a power nap of 10-20 minutes can help them feel refreshed, naps aren’t a replacement for consistent nighttime sleep. Also, sleep improves cognitive functioning. Studies manipulating people’s amount of sleep have shown that sleep-deprived students experience reduced learning capacity while those getting an optimal amount perform better academically.
According to the 2013 CSU National College Health Assessment, 90 percent of students reported that they didn’t get enough sleep to feel rested upon waking on one or more times over the past seven days. More than 93 percent of students experienced sleepiness during the day within the last week. And sleep difficulties affected 22 percent of students’ academic performance.
Like many parents, you probably had a bedtime routine for your son or daughter when they were little. But bedtime routines aren’t just for little kids. A consistent routine can enhance your son or daughter’s ability to get satisfying slumber. Devoting just 20 minutes to unwind with a before-bed routine can really help your student fall asleep faster, sleep better and wake up refreshed.
Support your student
- Encourage your student to wind down and bid the day farewell with a relaxing routine, listening to relaxing music, stretching, dimming the lights, and reading for pleasure (not a textbook).
- Suggest that your student power down and turn off the tech at least an hour before bedtime. Exposure to light, especially bluish light or short wavelength light (in electronics) suppresses melatonin – the hormone that tells your body it’s time to go to bed.
- Help your student get comfortable. Shared living spaces don’t always provide the quiet and darkness that a sleepy body needs. Send your student a care package including a small fan, a sound machine, earplugs, dark curtains or those with light-blocking layers, or even an eye mask to block out distractions.
- Encourage your student to communicate. Establish quiet hours with their roommates and set boundaries on social activities and visitors
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Faculty Highlight: Ethnic Studies
Name: Dr. Albert Bimper
Department: Ethnic Studies
College: Liberal Arts
Years teaching: 2 years at CSU
Undergraduate Classes Taught: ETST377:African Americans in Sports; Additional courses taught as part of the Denver Broncos Sports Management Institute – Inclusive Sport Organizations and Foundations in Sports Management
1. What advice would you give students who want to be successful at Colorado State University?
One necessity for success is being present in class, but being present goes beyond just “showing up." In order for students to be successful they must go to class with intention and purpose – be present in the moment and engaged in the discussion. Engagement does not always have to mean raising a hand to participate, but approaching a professor or peer after class to reflect on the lecture, or writing down a question for self-reflection, could quickly lead to a much more meaningful learning experience. The more meaningful and engaging the experience, the more success students will find in their courses.
Further, the most successful students I have observed have found ways to be curious. Students should look at each day as an opportunity to inspire curiosity. Often our curiosity leads to our passions; it is our passions that spur growth and learning. Through active involvement both in the classroom and on-campus, students thrive in the university environment.
Students should try to make the most of each moment. Embrace the challenges, even in the difficult classes, for being “present” could spark an interest in an area that leads to a bit of an unexpected, but very successful and exciting future.
2. What advice would you give parents and families of college students?
Be engaging and encouraging! Like a faculty member, parents and family members can help facilitate learning in and out of the classroom. Instead of asking, “How are classes going?”, family members can engage more intentionally by asking, “What was the most interesting thing you learned this week? This semester so far? What is coming up in class that you’re most excited about?” or, “What did you learn in class today that made you curious? Semi-open ended questions, with purpose and intentionality, will spark more discussion and excitement from your student.
Not only are these types of questions a great way to have students reflect on their learning, but parents and family members will be informed of the changes, interests and challenges their student is going through. Often these types of conversations help to see who the student is becoming and what interests they are developing – in and out of the classroom. Challenging your student to think and reflect on their learning experiences encourages progress and growth, but it also offers parents and family members the opportunity to be involved in a different way.
Support and engagement in the process is a huge factor to student success, asking more intrusive questions can lead to more than just a great conversation.
3. As a faculty member in Ethnic Studies, what can you share about this area of study? And, why is it important?
Ethnic Studies encompasses a breadth of issues, but more importantly the curriculum explores all of these issues in depth. Ethnic studies explores the intricacies of individual communities and how the collective bonds of our broader society are shaped to influence all of our lives. Courses in Ethnic Studies celebrate differences in each community and create discussion around how these differences help enrich our lives. Having an understanding of how society functions, can elevate and enrich our experiences across industries – from the corporate world to the ivory towers of higher education to the grasslands of Colorado– having this knowledge can help to add value to who we are and how we show up in the work place and in our community.
Ethnic Studies courses also help to develop critical thinking skills, and provide experiences in addressing and solving problems amongst a group. Courses in this area offer students the opportunity to engage in discussions that provide language to address difficult issues across all disciplines. Encourage your student to explore the many communities that are studied through the department.
4. How do you connect with students?
I make myself available to students by having an “open door policy,” but more importantly when meeting with students I ensure I am present in that moment. The same expectation I have for my students, to be present in class, I have of myself when meeting with them.
I also make efforts to go where the students are in order to be visible outside of the classroom and my office – understanding that students also take on many responsibilities outside the traditional classroom experience, I want to be sure I do not encroach on their time. Being available and participating in the student experience helps students to feel I am approachable, by making this effort I hope to connect with more students outside of the classroom.
Further, taking the time to let students know that I care is an important part of my work. As the saying goes…”They don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.” I ask questions that let students know I care about their learning. I care about where they are now and where they would like to go. When I was an undergraduate (also here at CSU), a mentor asked me, “Where do you want to go to graduate school?” He did not ask me, how I would get there or question my determination, but instead cared enough about me as an individual to be invested in the process. My mentor pushed me to think beyond my doubts and helped me to begin the process of reaching my goals. It is these types of experiences I hope to provide for my students.
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Beware of Job Scams: A Message from The Career Center
By Katie Flint | Career Center
During this busy time of year as students prepare for their post-graduation and summer work plans, we know your student is using a variety of resources to find their job or internship. Unfortunately, we continue to see a number of employment scams college students are encountering. Some of these crop up in more obvious places such as Craigslist and sometimes a few even make it past our screening processes onto CSU job boards. Most recently, these scam artists have been directly emailing students about their supposed opportunities. Unfortunately, a few students have fallen prey to these 'jobs,' losing hundreds of dollars of their own money.
The Career Center has continued to tighten our screening process to prevent these scams from being posted on our job/internship boards and we’ve put some language on our home page, cautioning students regarding what to look out for. Students can also flag suspicious jobs in our system for us to follow-up on. Here are the most common indicators you can educate your student about:
- The business name is not easily identifiable and no clear business website is listed. Or, if there is a website, there is no substance to the content.
- The email address of the ‘recruiter’ doesn’t point to a business website and/or is a gmail, yahoo, aol, etc. address. Another indicator is if their email domain name doesn’t match the business they claim to be working for.
- The employer offers to send a check to the student to deposit into their own account. The student is told to keep a percentage of it for their own pay but is then asked to withdraw cash, using it to pay for various items that they ship to 'clients.' Or they are asked to immediately transfer funds from their account to the ‘employer's’ business account. After the check clears (which can take a few days to a few weeks), they are discovered to be fraudulent.
- The job is advertised as high-paying, no experience necessary, work your own hours, work at home and so on – if it’s too good to be true, it probably is!
- The job duties described are vague and/or the language is poor and full of grammatical errors.
- Commonly the job duties entail clerical work at home, typing, shipping packages, and personal assistant/shopping duties. Oftentimes the employer is out of the country and never actually interviews or meets the student face-to-face.
- The employer requires the student to pay money or a ‘membership fee’ in order to access opportunities.
Ultimately, the best place for your student to find employment is through CareerRam, Student Employment Services, or other reputable job/internship sites, which we are happy to help your student with! Also, check out this great resource from Student Employment Services regarding job scams. If you or your student is in doubt about an opportunity, don’t hesitate to contact The Career Center at 970-491-5707.
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Rams Leading Rams
By Therese Lask | Alumni Relations Office
Are you ready for work? The transition from college to today’s work environment can be overwhelming. CSU alumni are here to help!
Rams Leading Rams: A Professional Development Symposium will explore topics to help students navigate today’s work environment. This free, half-day conference provides you the opportunity to hear CSU alumni share helpful insights about the transition from college to career. Based on schedule, students can register to attend specific breakout sessions, exploring a variety of topics. The end of the program is a student/alumni meet and greet, where students can connect with alumni. Plus, a photographer will be available for a free professional photo for LinkedIn profiles. Although this symposium is designed specifically for juniors and seniors, all students are welcome to attend. For more information and to register, visit the Rams Leading Rams webpage.
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President's Leadership Program
By Andre Foltz | Presentation and Outreach Coordinator for Student Leadership, Involvement & Community Engagement (SLiCE)
The President’s Leadership Program: Accepting Applications for 2015-2016.
The President’s Leadership Program (PLP) is currently accepting applications for the 2015-2016 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 (click HERE for the application, due April 6 for current CSU students).
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 in 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 to the campus 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, becoming student body president and 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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Multi-Faith and Belief Resources at CSU
By Viviane Ephraimson-Abt | Harthshorn Health Services
Students at CSU have many wonderful opportunities to access resources and gain support for their spiritual life. This article will describe some of the resources on CSU’s campus as well as in the community.
The Fort Collins community has many groups who are willing to serve students. Some of these groups have specific young adult or college age programs. CSU’s Vice President of Student Affairs office has a Multi-Faith Partners Coordinating Team, that meets with community leaders on a regular basis. During these meetings we build relationships, address concerns, and also have opportunities to develop collaborations to serve students.
One of these collaborations was the Faith and Belief Fair at Ram Welcome in August 2014. This event was enthusiastically attended by 300 new students during the 90 minute fair. With over 40 diverse groups represented (including Christian, Jewish, Islamic, Buddhist, Hindu, Humanist, Mormon, Atheist, and Interfaith groups), the room was packed! This event has traditionally been held two weeks into the semester, but Ram Welcome leaders had given feedback that new students were asking for faith and belief resources during the first few days of arrival on campus. So CSU responded to the students’ request. CSU will have a similar fair, sponsored by ASCSU, in March 2015 and another one at Ram Welcome in August 2015.
From fall 2013 to fall 2014, another collaboration to serve students was a listening program, called the Listening Post. Responding to a rise in students’ mental health concerns, the Multi-Faith partners offered their counseling skills by sitting at a table in the LSC to listen to students. It has been wonderful to have the Multi-Faith Partners’ support for students in this way for the past three semesters.
CSU will be participating in national benchmarking research to better understand student encounters with religious, spiritual, and worldview diversity on campus. The Interfaith Diversity Experiences & Attitudes Longitudinal Survey (IDEALS) will be administered to first year students in fall 2015 and then again at the end of their first year and in 2019. CSU is truly fortunate to be one of 120 campuses chosen to participate in this research as it will inform our campus on what is most important to students and this will help us define our future plans to support our campus.
CSU students also have the opportunity to form their own student organizations. We have almost 50 student groups that have formed around a religious, spiritual or belief focus. Student groups are easily able to book space on campus to meet and also able to access funds from the Associated Students at Colorado State University. With this access to resources, students can hold programs, invite speakers and travel to conferences with the support of campus resources.
This article covers only a small part of the faith, spiritual and belief resources that are available to students. Your student can connect with even more through one of the community or student groups. We know that finding purpose and meaning is important in life and for many of our students, connecting to a spiritual, faith or belief based group is an important part of this discovery. For questions about how to contact groups, Ram Link is one place to begin. Many groups have websites too. Finally, the Vice President for Student Affairs office has information about the community partners.
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Rams Against Hunger
By Tony Frank | CSU President
The face of hunger is not always what it seems, often shrouded behind walls of shame and fear. The face can appear in our daily lives without our knowing: an acquaintance, a coworker, a student.
Imagine attending college unsure of when your next meal will be and struggling with the basic necessities of life. One in ten Colorado State University students experience food insecurity, a number that mirrors those struggling with hunger in Larimer County.
Every one of the more than 2,800 CSU students who experience food insecurity at CSU has their own unique story of hardship. Not all of them will be heard, but many have spoken about their challenges:
“Growing up, my family never had the amount of money we needed. My family lost our house when I was in high school. Since then, I have found it my duty to pay for my own education, and thus I have found myself not having enough money to simply get by when it comes to food.”
“If at least one meal a day was made available at no cost, I wouldn’t starve. I could focus and be more productive at school, and not have to worry or think about hunger pangs.”
“I have spent the last few years struggling with meals and being able to eat all that I need in a day or week. I have skipped all three meals in a day, waited until nighttime to have my one meal, and honestly find it too embarrassing to reach out for help. There are times when I make myself some rice and need to make sure it lasts for two weeks until my next paycheck.”
Rams Against Hunger aims to alleviate stress for students experiencing food insecurity and help them find the support they need to become healthier and thrive. Qualifying students receive five nutritious meals a week from the CSU dining halls, accessible via a “swipe” of their CSU ID card. Rams Against Hunger shows that CSU cares about the success of students, regardless of economic background, and that everyone is a part of the Colorado State University family.
CSU is not isolated from the larger societal problems that cause hunger, but you can help. A gift of $32.50 can help feed a student for a week. A gift of $130 can help feed a student for a month. Please consider donating to the Rams Against Hunger fund today. Every gift helps students succeed. Please visit http://supporting.colostate.edu/rams-against-hunger/ to learn more about this initiative and to make your gift online.
“Hunger is a reality that impacts people across every community, including college campuses. Our students take the lead each year in supporting the Food Bank for Larimer County to combat hunger and food insecurity in Fort Collins. This pilot program is a recognition that some of our low-income students also need help. We’re proud to partner with the Food Bank and donors on an innovative approach to ensure all members of the CSU community have access to the nutrition and sustenance they need to succeed.”
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Alternative Spring Break Trips
By Jen Johnson | Assistant Director of the Office for Student Leadership, Involvement, and Community Engagement (SLiCE)
Approximately 200 students participate in one of 16 service-learning trips through the Alternative Spring Break program at Colorado State University every year. Students participating in alternative spring break travel to locations as diverse as New York City, New York, and Catalina Island, California, to perform volunteer service and learn about social issues facing their host communities. Their efforts result in over 8,000 hours of volunteer service to government, nonprofit, and community agencies across the country and world. Students encounter diverse and challenging issues from disaster relief in New Orleans to environmental injustice in Portland. From the rainforest of Achiote, Panama to the deserts of the southwest, students find the true meaning of service-learning.
As the alternative spring break coordinator, one of the best days of my year is the Wednesday before spring break in March. During our final pre-trip meeting of the year, I have the honor of writing and reading a motivational send off to that season’s 30+ alternative spring break student trip leaders. I’ve been doing this job for almost ten years, and I’ll be honest, I almost never make it through the send-off without tears.
Alternative spring break is truly magical in the ways that it impacts students and community, and I think the program is a great representation of the “best of CSU.” Every year I am touched by the stories the students share upon their return, stories about gaining a better understanding of the complexities of issues like immigration or homelessness, about finding their “CSU family” in their group of peers, and about making authentic and meaningful connections with community partners across significant differences in background and identity.
It’s with these stories in mind that tears come to my eyes as I issue the annual alternative break send off. “It is a privilege and honor to find ourselves in the role of creators of life changing experiences,” I’ll say. “Create something memorable. Create something meaningful. Create alternative break.”
And with that, 200 CSU students will launch into a week of service, community, learning, self-discovery, and meaning. And I’ll be at home, waiting for this year’s stories of meaning and impact to roll in.
For more information about ways your student can get involved with Alternative Spring Break, please visit the SLiCE website.
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Spring Break 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 for 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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Thank YOU Parents and Families!
Thanks to the generous donation of parents and family members the Parents Fund was able to sponsor the following up coming events.
Enslaved is in its third year at CSU and is an event hosted by No More Injustice, a student organization at Colorado State University. It is a modern-day slavery simulation that aims to bring awareness to the injustice of human trafficking. Participants will move through the simulation rooms and may experience what it is like to be in the "the experience" of a modern day slave, as well as witnessing the helplessness and isolation that many trafficked people may feel. The event is free and will be hosted in the Lory Student Center April 2nd and 3rd from 10am to 4 pm. Due to the graphic nature of the event, only individuals who are 16+ years of age will be permitted to attend.
Each month we will share where your donations to the Parents Fund are used. Please remember that without your support we could not contribute to these events - every bit counts! Please consider a donation to the Parents Fund as we continue to support CSU students and the broader campus community.
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