Dear CSU Parents and Families
We’ve just experienced incredible fall colors both on and off campus as the trees are saying goodbye to summer/fall and preparing for winter. Additionally, Homecoming & Family Weekend events and activities were a lot of fun, Cans Around the Oval generated support for the Larimer County Food Bank (thank you CSU students, staff, faculty, and Ft. Collins community members!), and our Women’s Volleyball and Football teams are doing extremely well. It’s great to be a Ram! With fall (November 22-November 30) and winter break (December 19 to January 15) fast approaching, Parent & Family Programs wants to share what we hope is helpful information.
First, consider sending your student a care package or handwritten card of encouragement. Exams and papers are often taken/submitted just before fall break and students appreciate the support! It’s always a good time to let your student know that you are thinking about them.
Secondly, have you talked with your student about obligations and expectations—if they’ll be home for fall and/or winter break? As students have been challenged academically, socially, and emotionally this semester, they may be hoping for an opportunity to sleep, eat home cooked meals, get laundry done, and just relax over the break. Are you on the same page? Or are there obligations you are expecting of your student during this time? For first year students in particular it’s important to remember they have been “on their own” for the last few months, so a newfound independence might be an adjustment for both of you over the breaks. Starting the conversation now and being open to compromise can help you and your student make the most of the breaks. Some of the talking points we recommend are as follows:
- What do you envision their contribution to family life will be? Chores? Family dinners?
- What are their expectations?
- How will you negotiate family gathering expectations and your student's need for some down time after midterms or finals?
- Will they need time to do homework over the fall break?
- What are the curfew expectations?
- How much time will they spend reconnecting with high school friends and/or visiting new friends?
With all of that said, the November edition provides information re: fall and winter break residence hall closures, important information regarding academic advising, assessment results from Ram Welcome and Homecoming & Family Weekend, information on the Call-a-Ram Program and the Parents Fund, and much more!
On a final note, we realize that several campus alerts have gone out in the past few weeks. As we at CSU consider parent and family members to be important partners as we work together to support students, we notify you of the alerts in hopes that between our efforts and your efforts, we can reach all of our students. Campus alerts are truly about promoting student and broader campus community safety and we appreciate your support in communicating with your students. If you ever have questions or concerns regarding a campus alert, please contact our office!
John and Erin
John Henderson, Ph.D.
Assistant Dean of Students/Director of Parent & Family Programs
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Academic Advising & Registration Self Advocacy
By: Kendra Allen, Director of Academic and Administrative Operations, Design and Merchandising
During the Fall and Spring terms, your student should meet with their Academic Advisor or Academic Support Coordinator (ASC) at least once to help plan classes for their upcoming semester. Often times students are just feeling settled in their day-to-day routine and just getting over mid-term exams and papers when peak advising begins. Seeking out their advisor can feel like one more item on their never ending to-do list. Encouraging your student to see their Advisor or ASC early is an excellent way for them to be prepared for their assigned registration day and access time. One of the best resources for your student during this process is the folder they received at RAM Orientation over the Summer. Most students store their notes and handouts from registration in this folder and may find many of the answers there to help them get started. As a parent, we appreciate your sincere interest in helping your student with the Peak Advising process
Great conversations to have with your student are:
1. Does your student know who their Advisor or ASC is and where their office is located?
Most departments provide the name of a student’s advisor or ASC on RAMWeb. Have your student check their RAMWeb account for this information if they are unsure. Once they know who their Advisor or ASC is, they can search for the office location on the CSU website.
2. Has your student made an appointment to see their Advisor or ASC to discuss their Spring schedule?
Advisors and ASCs each have different methods for making appointments for advising. Some use a web-site to make appointments, some have an assistant who will make the appointment, while others use the traditional method of signing up for a time out a sheet posted outside of their office. Hopefully your student knows which method is preferred by their advisor.
3. For their appointment, encourage your student to bring their 4-year major plan with them. This is also called a check-sheet or program of study. Advisors and ASCs are appreciative of students who have a general idea of their degree requirements.
Four-year plans (check-sheets or program of study) are available on department websites. This information is also found in the general catalog.
4. Is your student an undeclared student who is ready to declare and settle on a major but unsure how to do so?
Many major specific courses require students to be declared in an undergraduate major therefore registering can present challenges if your student is undeclared but trying to take classes in a specific program area. Encourage your student to talk with their Undeclared Advisor or ASC about the protocol for declaring the major they are interested in.
Outside of the Peak Advising time frame, we hope you are encouraging your student to see their advisor for conversations about other important connections on campus such as academic resources, seeking out career planning information, possible options for study abroad, and ways to stay connected during the Summer months.
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What's Next? Assessment Results
By Erin Hammersley, Coordinator, Parent and Family Programs
As we head into fall break, with the semester end just around the corner, we wanted to take a moment to thank each of you for the warm welcome that the new Parent and Family Program staff is experiencing. With our major programing for fall complete, we look back fondly on Ram Orientation in the summer, Ram Welcome and Homecoming and Family Weekend. As each parent and family question or concern comes to the office, whether by phone, email, or even in person we learn more each day and are excited to connect with each one of you. Now, we hope to focus on spring programming and take time to reflect on the wonderful feedback from parents and families that attended our summer and fall events, then make adjustments as needed. Thank you for taking the time to provide feedback on Ram Welcome and our presentation, Housing Options after the First Year, during Homecoming and Family Weekend. We will utilize the feedback to continue to improve our programming and services to all parents and family members.
As so many of you participated in our surveys, we wanted to highlight how the feedback from Ram Welcome will be used in the future. We are just about to begin planning for those students that will arrive in August next year! We pulled a lot of great information from your responses, which we will bring with us to planning meetings for next year’s events.
In general, most of you reported being pleased with the Ram Welcome Experience, with over 92% responding that you were “satisfied” or “very satisfied” with this experience. Many of you had great things to say about the Greek-affiliated students that helped with move-in, and we will pass this information on to them! The majority of parents and family members described how Ram Welcome assisted their CSU family by providing helpful information, made the family feel at ease leaving the student at CSU, helped connect the family to other CSU parents and families and CSU faculty and/or staff.
There were still, however, some things we can continue to improve and your comments were helpful. Some of you mentioned parking troubles/the need for a parking map (while others were very satisfied), uncertainty about food options on move-in day, and lack of clarity about what your students would be doing during their part of Ram Welcome. We will use this information to help shape our planning for upcoming Ram Welcome experiences.
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Homecoming & Family Weekend Housing Options Session and Lory Student Center Tours
For those who attended the Housing Options After the First Year session and Lory Student Center (LSC) Tour—we hope you enjoyed these programs. For those who were unable to attend, please note this link to the Housing Options After the First Year presentation. Great information was provided about students choosing to either live on or off campus after their first year at CSU. Please note that it’s a myth that living on campus is only for first year students. Our residence halls and campus apartments are a great place for upper division students to live for a variety of reasons.
Nevertheless, if your student chooses to live off campus, be prepared to ask yourself the question, “Do you think your student really understands what it’s like to live in an apartment or house in terms of lease requirements, how to treat neighbors, etc.? The Off Campus Life Office can provide your student with lots of guidance re: what they should know/consider when living off campus.
The LSC Tours were an effort to showcase the newly revitalized spaces in the LSC. Please feel free to take the following video and virtual tours: The revitalization effort is meant to achieve the following:
- Celebrate the purpose & mission of the LSC.
- Expand capacity in venues.
- Improve programming opportunities by creating unique & flexible environments.
- Clarify circulation in the LSC.
- Upgrade building infrastructure to be sustainable & supportive of next generation technology.
- Develop a phased implementation strategy.
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Is it necessary for your student to have a car at CSU?
By: Dell Rae Ciaravola , External Relations
Have you discussed if it is necessary for your student to have a car while attending CSU? CSU offers significant transportation options to your student, which helps ease the decision to bring a car to campus. We can get your student home and help them travel around Fort Collins and the Front Range – without a vehicle.
There are obvious financial savings if your student doesn’t have a car and there also are academic benefits. University research shows that students who spend more time on campus do better in their classes and adjusting to college life than do students who are not on campus as much. And, many students who work while attending CSU find jobs on campus or close to campus, within walking distance or easily accessible by bicycle or public transit.
Getting your student to class, stores and around Fort Collins
- Transfort and MAX: Your student’s CSU ID allows them to ride the city’s bus system (Transfort and MAX) for free. MAX is the city’s new rapid transit system that runs north and south through five miles of Fort Collins. Both Transfort and MAX have stations on campus. www.ridetransfort.com.
- Bike: Fort Collins ranks third in the nation as a Bicycle Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclists. Campus is connected to miles of city bike trails. These trails also run through beautiful parks and rural open spaces surrounding the city. www.fcgov.come/bicycling; www.bikeleague.org.
- Around the Horn: This free campus shuttle runs every ten minutes to 14 stops on campus with year-round service. It connects to MAX and Transfort stations. www.ridetransfort.
- Walk: With more than 300 days of sunshine a year in Coloradoan, our great local trail system and CSU’s close proximity to stores, restaurants and historic Old Town, walking is the most inexpensive way to get around. CSU police also offer Safe Walk, a safe escort from dusk until dawn from campus to anywhere on campus or within a three block radius.
Getting your student home:
- FLEX: CSU students can ride local and regional transportation for free with their student ID. MAX connects to FLEX, a regional bus route that serves Fort Collins, Loveland, Berthoud and Longmont, and connects in Longmont to RTD routes to Denver and Boulder.
- Airport shuttle: Shuttle services will pick up your student on campus and drive him or her to DIA. www.greenrideco.com; www.supershuttle.com; www.shuttlefare.com.
- Greyhound: The Fort Collins station is about 4 miles east of campus on Mulberry Street. www.greyhound.com.
- Zipcar: Car rentals are available from campus 24/7 for students 18 years old and older. This inexpensive alternative for short, regional trips features pay-as-you-go plans or monthly memberships, which include gas, insurance and 180 free miles per day. www.zipcar.com/colostate.
- Rental car: Major companies with local service will deliver to campus or your student’s residence.
- Carpool: CSU will match your student with other students traveling to the same area, including taking trips to state parks, ski resorts and other destinations. www.pts.colostat.edu.
For more information about campus parking permits, contact Parking and Transportation Services at 970-491-7600 or visit www.pts.colostate.edu.
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Relaxation at the Recreation Center
By: Brittany Heiring White, Campus Recreation
The holiday season can be a stressful time for many people, with all the errands to run, traveling, and more. Students, however, have an added pressure in the form of finals week. Stress and tension swell among students this time of the year and it becomes even more important to stay physically and mentally fit, and find ways to maintain a healthy, balanced lifestyle. Fortunately, Campus Recreation offers programing opportunities and the perfect environment to accomplish these important goals!
Students are always welcome to drop by the Recreation Center and use any of our facilities. Swimming in the pool, relaxing in the sauna, climbing the rock wall, working up a sweat on an elliptical, or spending time lifting in the fitness center are all great ways to stay active and relieve stress. Students who are not quite sure where or how to get started can join others for a Group Fitness, Cycling, or Mind/Body class. Beginner yoga classes are always free to students, and single class passes to the more advanced yoga classes, as well as to cycle classes can be purchased for $4.00. If students are looking for a little more one-on-one time to discuss a workout regimen and personal goals, and receive the motivation needed for personal achievement, the Campus Recreation Personal Training program may be a perfect fit.
The Campus Recreation Massage Therapy Program also offers the perfect atmosphere to relax and unwind at the end of a stressful semester. Our skilled, registered massage therapists offer a variety of massage types, ranging from Swedish and deep tissue, to reflexology and acupressure. Prices are incredibly affordable, with a 30-minute massage at $27, a 60-minute massage at $45, and a 90-minute massage at $65. Parents and families are welcome to purchase a massage as a gift to their student by calling the Service Center at (970) 491-6359 (press 9 when prompted).
It is very important for all of us to support students during this time of the year. You can help by simply encouraging them to come to the Recreation Center where they can take advantage of the facility or participate in any of the Group Fitness classes free of charge. Additionally you can purchase Cycling or Mind/Body passes that they can use at their convenience or purchase and schedule Massages and Personal Training sessions for them! For general information on all that Campus Recreation has to offer check out our website.
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Call-A-Ram Students Are Calling You!
Call-A-Ram students are well into their efforts to talk to you! 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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On-Campus Housing Over Breaks
By: John Malsam, Assistant Director of Residence Life
At each of the University Break periods (Fall, Winter, Spring), most of our residence halls close. Students must remember to take their plane tickets, medicine, ski and snow boarding items, and other important belongings because they will not be allowed back into the room/hall over break. Halls close on Friday, November 21 at 10:00 p.m. The residence halls open for returning students again on Sunday, November 30 at 8:00 a.m. If your student has traveling conflicts, he or she must speak with the Residence Director in his or her hall to request Late Departure and/or Early Return.
Fall Break 2014
Halls that will be OPEN: Braiden, Durward, Edwards, Laurel Village-Alpine, Newsom, Parmelee, Westfall
Halls that will be CLOSED: Allison, Academic Village, Corbett, LV-Piñon, Summit
Students who wish to stay for break housing are required to complete an on-line registration which can be found via the Residence Life Fall Break Info page at http://housing.colostate.edu/fallbreak. Break Housing is accompanied by a $35/night charge which includes $15 RamCash per day for use anywhere RamCash is accepted. Durrell Express will be open 11:00am-7:00pm daily, including University holidays. For students in a building that will be closed who want to remain on campus for Break Housing, temporary housing will be set in Break Halls, space is limited but we will work with all students in need of housing. On-line Break Housing registration is currently open. Additional details about closing and registration have been sent to students via email and communication from hall staff.
Students can also be approved for Late Departure until 10:00am, Saturday, November 22 for travel or other appropriate reasons. Students can be approved for Early Return beginning at 12:00pm, Saturday, November 29. Late Departure/Early Return Request/Agreements are currently available at the hall desks and must be submitted to the RD via the hall office by 12:00pm, Wednesday, November 19. There is no cost for Late Departure or Early Return.
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Student Employment: Opportunities and Benefits
By Frank Martinez, Assistant Director of Student Employment Services
Student Employment Services assists Colorado State University students in securing part-time employment while they are in school. Employment provides students with the opportunity to gain valuable work experience as well as a practical means to contribute to the costs of their education. On average, 1,600 work-study and 6,450 hourly employees are employed each year on and off-campus in a wide variety of employment positions, earning an average of $3,600. Some students may be employed in community service jobs, such as Literacy/Math Tutors in nearby elementary schools; as Staff Assistants at the local museum; as Lab Assistants in research projects; as Administrative Assistants in various departments on-campus; as Dining Services Workers in the Lory Student Center or residence halls; as Customer Service Representatives for Admissions or Student Financial Services, assisting parents and students with the financial aid, billing, student employment, admissions and tuition classification questions. Student Employment Services is also responsible for managing Federal, State and Institutional Work-Study programs, totaling more than $3.1 million annually.
How do Students Benefit from Working?
A common myth among incoming freshmen and their parents is the idea that working part-time while attending college is somehow detrimental to academic performance and focus. In reality, employment offers many benefits, most of which directly enhance academic performance and time management skills. Other than the obvious financial benefits that come with part-time work, research consistently shows that students working part-time (less than 20 hours/week) tend to do better academically and have a higher probability of persisting with their academic plans. Student workers also benefit from connections established with other students (as coworkers or helpers) and the inherent opportunities to develop the beginnings of meaningful mentorships with supervisors/faculty & staff. As a parent of a college senior, I can appreciate this informal support system surrounding my student, while also offering a tangible connection to the larger CSU campus/family.
Where Can Students Find Jobs?
The best way for students to find jobs is to search through the job list on JobX. JobX is accessed by selecting the Student Job Listing link on RAMweb. Most employers list their open positions on JobX, and all listings are reviewed by our office for compliance with federal/state labor law and Office of Equal Opportunity requirements before being released for student view. Every listing contains a job title, pay rate, required work hours, job description, contact person, and how to apply. Students may also subscribe to JobMail in JobX to have emails sent whenever a posted job meets specific criteria set by the student. The next best option for students, and one that is not well known, is for the student to approach an employer directly to inquire about potential openings. This strategy can be intimidating, for freshmen especially, but often results in securing employment. Of course, students are encouraged to contact our office for help and/or to request work-study funds.
How Can Students Interact With Student Employment Services?
Students may call us at 970-491-5714, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit us in Centennial Hall. We also have many resources located on our website, ses.colostate.edu. Our website contains many guidelines for both employers and students, offering many answers to common questions related to student employment, as well as important dates and contact information. We also offer individual assistance for students having difficulty locating employment opportunities, and offer a listening ear and helpful strategies when students find themselves dealing with employment-related issues.
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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 events in October and November:
- United Women of Color Week: An annual week long celebration hosted by the United Women of Color. The Parents Fund was used to co-sponsor the event's closing concert with a musical performance by Melanie Fiona.
- Taste of Africa: In its second year this event, hosted by the Africans United Club, brings together campus community members with a shared interest in African culture. The event is an opportunity for students and staff to share their heritage through the sharing of food and cultural traditions.
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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Commencement Information: Celebrate your graduate!
If you have a student graduating in December …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 November 12, 2014.
Grad Pack prices start at $39 and include:
- Cap, gown, and tassel rental
- Alumni Association Annual Membership
- Diploma frame discount
Order your Grad Pack today!
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 about the benefits.
Questions? Please contact the Alumni Association at (800) 286-2586.
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FAMweb Questions and Information Updates
FAMweb is one of the best tools you have as a parent or family member to connect to your students experience at CSU. We have had some recent questions about FAMweb accounts and updating information. Please visit the following helpful step by step guide to creating a FAMweb account and also how to update important information on your account. In particular we want to suggest all parents and families confirm or enter a current mailing address in the FAMweb system. If ever encounter troubles with FAMweb or have questions please call the FAMweb help desk at 970-491-7276 ex. 3.