Thank you so much to those of you who were able to attend Homecoming & Family Weekend and then complete our survey! Your feedback really helps us assess what is going well and how we can improve future events. From your responses, we learned:
- All of those who completed the survey heard about Homecoming and Family Weekend through our e-newsletter! Other top answers include e-mail updates (49.15%) and our Parent & Family Programs website (45.76%). It is great to know our e-communications are effective.
- We were very happy to hear many of you used our RAMFAM Business Directory in planning your trip! Most of our Platinum and Gold businesses were represented.
- Over 86% of you felt registration was easy and accessible.
- The majority of you chose to visit CSU over Homecoming and Family Weekend to connect with your student.
- The football game was the top rated event of the weekend, followed by the parade & Friday Night Lights on the West Lawn
- More than 91% of you felt participating in Homecoming & Family Weekend helped you develop a positive relationship with CSU, and also feel knowledgeable about the resources offered to you by CSU
Based on your feedback, we will bring the following suggestions/comments to the Homecoming & Family Weekend Steering Committee:
- Be more clear about football tickets for families being in a different location than the student section
- Provide better maps of campus and Fort Collins
- Look into relaxed events parents and families can enjoy with their student that also connect them to campus
As always, you can click here to see our full assessment (with some use of wordle), but in closing, we wanted to share some comments from survey participants:
- "It was a fun time when other parents were around so my student wasn't as self-conscious about us being there"
- "Great weekend, very well organized. Lots of activities (the volleyball game was amazing). Had a great time, will definitely be back next year."
- "It was a little exhausted and felt like I was being pulled in too many directions for my personal liking."
- "Our weekend was filled with activities both with & without our student and on and of campus. We had a very relaxed weekend."
- "This was our fourth homecoming, and it was great fun as usual. Reassuring to hear from Tony Frank, Blanche Hughes, Jody Donovan and Kacee Collard Jarnot. Why is it that in this sometimes nutty world I always feel better after listening to them?"
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Campus Step Up--Celebrating 20 Years of Change-Making
By Niamh O’Shea, SLiCE Co-Curricular Leadership Graduate Coordinator
As application deadlines approach for Campus Step Up: A Social Justice Retreat, held from Jan. 16 to 18 in Estes Park, the aim is to not only look forward. Celebrating its 20th anniversary in January, the social justice and diversity program also looks back on what has been built over the past 20 years.
Emerging first in 1994 as the Multicultural Leadership Retreat through Housing and Dining Service, the program is now housed in the office of Student Leadership, Involvement & Community Engagement (SLiCE). Run the weekend prior to Martin Luther King Jr. Day each January, this three-day retreat provides students with a forum to expand their awareness of social justice, multicultural and global issues in a safe environment fostering growth through self-reflection and education.
Bobby Kunstman, Assistant Director for Leadership in the SLiCE Office, said the program’s ultimate goal is to support students in their process of becoming positive change agents within their communities and beyond.
Previous participants affirm Campus Step Up lives up to its goals. CSU alum Noah Sandoval sums up his Campus Step Up experience as “transformational.”
“It exposed to me just how important our actions are…just how much of an influence we can have on our environment." Sandoval added 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. 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 and feel safe.”
She asserts engaging in dialogues around identity, inclusivity, and equity has now become a part of her daily life.
While participants perceive change within themselves, retreat facilitators also see the impact of the program has on a broad scale. Sam Desta, a facilitator at last year’s Campus Step Up 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 with her co-facilitator Emily Ambrose, she noticed “after leaving Step Up, [students] picked up on things on campus, 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.”
Jennifer Nival, Coordinator for Diversity and Social Justice Programming in the Office of Campus Activities, agrees: “It was a privilege and honor to see students challenge themselves and challenge each other.” Facilitating Campus Step Up, she adds, allowed her to experience growth within herself as well.
As Campus Step Up prepares for its 2014 retreat, the program reflects back on years’ worth of testimonies and transformations. In 20 years, the CSU staple has been attended by hundreds of students, and its impacts felt in the Fort Collins community and beyond. As Campus Step Up alumni move on from CSU, they take their experiences with them. In turn, the retreat’s model has been adopted by other institutions such as the University of Vermont.
Kunstman notes that while Campus Step Up has been successful in engaging many on the CSU campus in transformative change, there is still much that needs to be done to build an inclusive and social justice-oriented global community. Here’s to looking forward to see what Campus Step Up will achieve in its next 20 years.
Participant applications for the 2014 Campus Step Up, which will be held Jan. 16 through 18 in Estes Park, are available on RamLink until Nov. 6.
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Call-A-Ram Students Are Calling You!
Call-A-Ram students are well into their efforts to talk to you! Beginning last week, Colorado State University students have been, and will continue to be calling you, our CSU parents and families. The Call-A-Ram students provide great insight into CSU from a student
perspective and will help you find resources for many of the issues your student may be facing.
They are also calling to fundraise for the Parents Fund. The Parents Fund gives parents and families the opportunity to enrich the lives of all undergraduate students by funding university-wide programs to support leadership, diversity, service and learning. In cooperation with the Parents Fund Committee, the Vice President for Student Affairs determines where the need is greatest for use of Parents Fund gifts. In past years, this fund has contributed to everything from the annual Hunger Banquet, which exposes students to poverty issues, to the President's Leadership Program, which teaches students leadership skills to help them engage in social change.
In addition, Parent & Family Programs is funded solely through the Parents Fund: all of the publications, the RAMFAM Association, Family Weekend and other parent and family events, services, programs, and staffing are possible through your contributions. When these students call, give them a chance to help you connect to CSU. We know families of college students have many expenses, but this is an opportunity to enhance your student's education outside of the classroom. This fund is sustained on donations from numerous families and we appreciate the support you can provide!
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Celebrate your Graduate with a CSU Alumni Grad Pack!
By Tonya Malik-Carson, Assistant Director of Marketing, Colorado State University Alumni Association
If you have a student graduating in December…congratulations! You deserve kudos for supporting your graduate over the years and we thank you for allowing us to be a part of this journey. As your graduate makes the transition from student to alumnus, we encourage you to check into the services and programs available through the Alumni Association, including career services, networking opportunities across the country, and many ways to stay in touch with CSU.
Alumni Association Grad Packs make a great graduation gift which include essentials such as cap, gown, and tassel rental.
Grad Pack Options:
Annual Grad Pack $39
Colorado Grad Pack $125
Life Member Grad Pack
$750 ($1,205 value)
-Alumni Association Annual Membership
-Cap, gown, & tassel rental
-Alumni license plate frame
-10% off diploma frames
-All items listed in the Annual Grad Pack
-Colorado State University license plate certificate
-All items listed in Annual Grad Pack
-Life Membership in lieu of Annual Membership
The Alumni Association also offers access to short-term major medical insurance, pet insurance, networking opportunities, career assistance, and more. Visit the Alumni Association website for details.
For more information on Fall Commencement ceremonies & logistics, please check out the Commencement website.
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Student Employment Leads to Student and University Success
By Jody Donovan, Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students
Colorado State University relies on student employment to keep programs running, offices open, and services delivered. On-campus student employment benefits both students and the university.
Students gain so much more than an hourly wage working on campus. Our research demonstrates that working 10-15 hours per week at an on-campus job actually improves students' grade point averages. How can that be? An on-campus job is convenient because students can fit their work schedule around their course schedule, CSU supervisors understand the academic calendar and support academic success as priority number one, and, these supervisors know resources on campus to support students. University supervisors can be mentors and advisors for student employees, looking out for their longterm success and growth. Many offices take a holistic approach with their student employees, highlighting the CSU Health Network if their student employees come to work sick or exhibiting signs of deteriorating mental health. Supervisors offer career and life advice, pointing students to the Career Center and academic advisors for additional guidance. Many on-campus positions can be directly related to students' majors as they practice their future careers in a closely supervised setting. Students cannot count on these same things to be true at off-campus jobs.
Additional benefits to working on campus include the time management and structure jobs provide students. If students have too much time on their hands, they tend to waste this extra time instead of using it efficiently. Unfortunately sometimes students work too many hours, which detracts from the main mission of academic success. If students have a typical 15 credit class schedule and work schedule of no more than 15 hours per week, they quickly learn to maximize their free time to study, complete homework, exercise, sleep, and socialize. Time management is an important post-college life skill. Other life skills gained through student employment include professionalism, team work, customer service, self-advocacy, problem-solving, decision making, timeliness, navigating office politics, interpersonal skills, and interdependence. Student employment can be an extension of the classroom in terms of the important learning fostered in the workplace.
For more information about student employment, go to the Student Employment Services website. Students can search for jobs using the Job Listings link from their RAMweb account, or can check here for additional places to search for on-campus jobs.
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A Student Perspective on Employment
By Janisa Garcia, Parent & Family Programs Student Intern in the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs
As a second year student, I can finally look back and recognize the things that helped me conquer my freshman year. College was a lot different than I thought it was going to be, and ended up being a really difficult adjustment. Moving away from home, having to find new friends, and learning I had to be independent in going to class and completing my work were all tasks I was not used to balancing alone. However, I can honestly look back at my first year and confidently say without my work-study job, I wouldn’t be nearly as successful as I am today. This success came through the mentors I found at work every day. Every single person in my office was an advocate for my success, and went out of their way to teach, or help me find ways to grow and find community at CSU. Even during the times when my questions might not have been as important as the work they were doing, my needs were always met, and I always felt better about my worries when I left work. As a first year student, my questions were abundant, from my confusion about financial aid to who could help when I was getting sick all the time from living in such close quarters in the residence halls, there was always someone who knew the answer.
I remember how difficult it was to find a job at the beginning of my first year—it seemed like it was going to be impossible. Few employers are willing to work around the random hours students have class. This is how I knew a work-study was for me—they stressed they could work around my schedule, and allowed me to give them my availability. Rather than having to go to work for a strict amount of hours, my job allows me to leave before the hour to get to class on time, and break up my shifts so I can go to class, then return and finish up my tasks for the day. As if this isn’t helpful enough, during finals week, my schedule is completely up to me. My supervisors ask me when I am available, and from there I can choose to work as little or as many hours as I see fit for this stressful week. An additional advantage would be breaks. When classes are not in session, there is less of a demand for student workers, which means there is no hassle trying to get any holidays or breaks off. These breaks are essential to a college student’s success—being able to go home and spend time with family is just the way to recover from a stressful semester!
I have immersed myself in many different areas on campus and wouldn’t have had the resources to get involved in these things without the help of my work-study. My job wasn’t a place I came to just to get paid, but instead is a place where I could go for guidance and support. The other students I worked with became some of my closest friends, and everyone else in the office became mentors I will have for the rest of my time here. All of these things made my job that much more enjoyable. I highly encourage any student looking for work to consider a work study, it has helped me grow, and find my place at CSU.
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Meet the Staff: Conflict Resolution and Student Conduct Services
By Samantha Sickbert, Graduate Assistant
The office of Conflict Resolution and Student Conduct Services (CRSCS) is a part of the Division of Student Affairs at CSU. The purpose of our work with students is shown through the mission of our office, which reads:
- Support students as they overcome mistakes.
- Engage in character development with an emphasis on ethical decision-making and integrity.
- Resolve conflict at the lowest level possible through education, facilitation and support.
- Foster a safe and welcoming community.
Students commonly visit our office for one of two reasons: conflict resolution services or violations against CSU’s Student Conduct Code. While navigating their college career, students can face conflicts with roommates, faculty, employers, or within their student organization. Whether the conflict is personal or academic in nature, we encourage them to contact our office. We provide a safe place for students to share their concerns and can explain university policies, provide information and advice, suggest referrals, and advocate for a fair process. Students may also visit our office when involved in a conduct incident, occurring on or off campus which requires them to participate in a discipline hearing.
CRSCS is staffed by five full-time Administrative Professionals, three State Classified Administrative Assistants, one half time special appointment, and one Graduate Assistant. The descriptions are brief introductions to some of our staff and the roles they perform.
Craig Chesson, Assistant Dean of Students & Director of CRSCS, is responsible for supervision of the staff, serving as a hearing officer for high-level conduct cases and other University responsibilities as needed to represent CRSCS.
Kelly Humphrey, Associate Director for Student Conduct Services, has primary responsibility for hearing cases for residential students charged with alleged violations of University policies. She also supervises the Residential staff in their role as University Hearing Officers.
Melissa Emerson, the Associate Director for Conflict Resolution, works to develop strategies and programs related to conflict prevention, education, coaching, problem solving, mediation, and facilitation. She also coordinates the restorative justice program and oversees educational workshops offered by CRSCS.
Mike Katz, Assistant Director for Student Conduct Services, is the primary hearing officer for alleged violations occurring off campus. He coordinates and organizes the detox tent for home football games, as well as assists with first-year housing appeals. Mike is also part of the Back on TRAC program for students in need of treatment for substance abuse.
Lindy Cartrite, the “Bridge” Assistant Director for Student Conduct Services, investigates and adjudicates alleged misconduct which occurs both on and off campus. She’s the primary hearing officer for alleged undergraduate academic misconduct cases and advises the All University Hearing Board (AUHB) which hears cases from the Greek community, student organizations, and club sports.
Elaine Green, Assistant Director of CRSCS & Director of Academic Integrity through TILT (The Institute for Learning & Teaching), has primarily responsibility in overseeing our academic integrity program which deals with issues such as cheating, plagiarism, and academic dishonesty.
Samantha Sickbert, Graduate Assistant, has a position which includes duties in both Conflict Resolution and Student Conduct. This position assists with facilitating educational workshops, the restorative justice program, and other conflict resolution projects. She is also trained to conduct discipline cases.
Our office hopes to partner with parents and families in order to do our work more effectively. Please visit the CRSCS website or contact our office by phone at 970-491-7165 if you have any questions regarding the services or resources we provide. Encourage students to request an appointment on website if they are interested in setting up a meeting. We recognize that as parents, the support you provide your student is critical in much of the work we do and we are pleased to partner with you.
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Staying Healthy on Campus: Campus Recreation
By Brittany Heiring White, Communications Manager, Campus Recreation
It seems easy to stay fit in a state like Colorado, where there is an abundance of sports and activities and the general community attitude is one of health and wellness. But what do students do in the winter months to stay active if hitting the slopes isn’t their forte? How can they relieve stress and keep mentally sound during hectic times like exams? Luckily there are plenty of options available through the Campus Recreation department.
The department of Campus Recreation has seven program areas including Intramural Sports, Fitness, Outdoor Program, Sport Clubs, Aquatics, the Challenge Course, and most visibly, the Student Recreation Center (SRC). Students who enroll full-time (6 credits or more) automatically receive a membership through their student activity fees.
For students needing an avenue for healthy stress relief during exams, yoga is a fantastic option! Beginner level yoga classes are free for members, and the more advanced classes are offered through the Mind/Body Pass, which can be purchased for the semester, or on a day-to-day basis. Parents and families can purchase these passes for their students, and are a popular gift.
Group Fitness classes are offered every single day, and are included with an SRC membership. Classes range from Cardio Step to Zumba. The Fitness program also includes cycling classes, water aerobics, dance and martial arts classes, a personal trainer program, and personal training fitness camps, all for affordable costs and led by certified instructors.
Campus Recreation offers extensive Massage Therapy services by certified massage therapists. Massage styles range from Swedish massage and Shiatsu/Acupressure to Reflexology, all offering a different relaxation experience. Massages are very popular during exam time, and make a fantastic gift. Prices are $27 for a 30-minute massage, $45 for a 60-minute massage, and $65 for a 90-minute massage (and they don’t have to leave campus!).
Another popular option for students is the Aquatics program. With 4 lap lanes, a volleyball and basketball area, climbing wall, and the ever-popular current channel (aka a lazy river) there are a variety of pool activities to choose from. The facility also offers a 40-person spa, steam room, or sauna, all open to students wanting to relax and rejuvenate.
Does your student want to try something new? The Outdoor Program plans several exciting trips and classes throughout the year. Introductory classes for rock climbing, backcountry camping, snowshoeing, and more are offered to students for affordable prices that include all necessary equipment, transportation, and meals. Larger trips, like a backpacking trip to the Rainbow Bridge in Utah, are also offered and provide a great way for students to meet new people while going on new adventures. These trips range in cost depending on the destination, and include all transportation, food, equipment, guides, and permits.
For more information on all these programs and offerings, or to purchase a massage, Outdoor Program class or trip, or a fitness pass for your student, please call our Service Center at (970) 491-6359, or visit the Campus Recreation website.