Welcome from Parent & Family Programs 

Dear CSU Parents and Families,

The fall semester is flying by; we are just a short 3 weeks away from Fall Break!!  

Fall Break will provide a much needed pause in the busy academic schedule of your student.  Whether your student is headed home, traveling, visiting family and friends, or staying on campus for the break, Fall Break will be an important time to rest and rejuvenate as students prepare to make the final push to the end of the semester.   This month, we are intentionally highlighting important conversations to have with your student around taking care, well-being and involvement; we hope to provide you with information on resources to help them feel their best.  Now is a great time to send an encouraging and positive message – care packages or letters can make a world of difference for your student during these next few weeks as they get closer to final exams. 

This time of year is also a time of celebration, fall Commencement ceremonies and Commissionings are just around the corner.  Congratulations to all of the families of fall graduates!  If you are planning your visit to campus for a college ceremony, please use the CSU Commencement website for details. Enjoy this time of celebration.  The completion of a degree from CSU sets your student up for great success in the future! 

Just a few more important topics before moving on – first, for those able to attend Homecoming and Family Weekend, we hope you had a wonderful time with your student! We enjoyed meeting  many parents and family members at the Housing Options After the First Year presentation, at our first Parent and Family Breakfast, and at the Homecoming and Family Weekend Tailgate!  Additionally, we were so excited to see how many students, parents and family members came to our Parent and Family Breakfast – we hope to expand the event next year and capitalize on all we learned from our audience. 

We wanted to offer information, for those not able to attend, from our Housing Options After the First Year session (the presentation and important links found on our Hot Topics page).  Choices in housing options can be a bit daunting, please use the resources available through the link above to help navigate this important conversation.  Encourage your student to explore all options and make an informed decision. 

Additionally, we want to recognize the support of our RamFam Preferred Business Partners (many of whom helped welcome families at the Parent and Family Breakfast, hopefully you were able to meet them there!); our RamFam Preferred Business Partners are wonderful resources for you and your student:

Finally, we’ve been lucky enough to enjoy beautiful warm fall days throughout much of October, but as the days get colder and we start to prepare for the winter weather please remind your student to take care.  Whether it’s rain or snow, encourage your student to dress appropriately for the colder weather – staying warm and dry is an important part of their self-care.  If you’re thinking about a care package, sending a warm hat, gloves, or a scarf would be great this time of year! For those families of students that frequently ride their bike, the addition of a fender could be very helpful to avoid the mess on the roads being splashed up onto their backpacks and clothes! 

Thank you for all you do to support your student! We appreciate you!!

Best, Erin

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Important Upcoming November Dates 

By Destiny Story | Student Intern - Vice President for Student Affairs Office

Fall Recess is not too far away! It's crunch time for tests and finishing projects before break!  To help with all upcoming tests and assignments TILT is hosting multiple workshops throughout the month.  The workshops will include: support for test anxiety, presentation skills, overcoming procrastination and also motivation and goal setting!

November is also the beginning of basketball season! The women’s basketball team opens up their season against South Carolina on November 6th and the men’s basketball team follows up on November 7th against CSU Pueblo! Encourage your student to put on some "CSU Swag" and support our Rams at the opening games!

Fall season is definitely in full swing this month! CSU students have the opportunity to participate in Fall Clean Up on November 7th; students will be able to assist neighbors in need in getting ready for the winter season.

There are also multiple events this month celebrating a wide variety of cultures. It is Native American Heritage Month that begins with the 33rd Annual AISES Pow Wow on October 31st! Presentations will be presented throughout the month of November about Native Americans in higher education, guest speakers, concerts, and cultural dishes.

Other Event Dates:

World Unity Fair- November 7th at 3pm – Global celebration containing entertainment, activities, and food! 

CSU Veterans 5K Race - November 7th at 7:45am - Hosted by Adult Learners and Veteran Services Office 

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REFRAME Campaign 

By Monica Rivera | Women and Gender Advocacy Center Interim Director 

Earlier this semester Colorado State University launched the new campus-wide Reframe campaign. Reframe is aimed at getting the campus community to start thinking and acting differently to help end interpersonal violence. The campaign teaches consent, provides skills for intervening and ways to respond to problematic language and behaviors.

Here at Colorado State University, we believe that feeling safe is fundamental to the life and integrity of our campus. Unfortunately, CSU is not immune to the realities of interpersonal violence including sexual assault, stalking and relationship violence.

“Interpersonal violence is a critical issue in terms of Title IX and the retention of students. Our advocates work with 5-7 survivors a week… many who are forced to sit in the same classroom with their perpetrators, who are experiencing harassment or are struggling with victim-blaming language around them.” Women and Gender Advocacy Center Interim Director Monica Rivera said. “Unfortunately, as a result, we lose students each semester due to drop out or transfer. We are hopeful that Reframe can start to shift the culture on campus to allow for greater academic success for our primary and secondhand survivors.”

The campaign includes a series of posters, stickers, videos and an educational booklet. Each semester, a new reframe will be launched that tackles a commonly held myth about interpersonal violence. For example, “Reframe #7- Believe don’t blame.” teaches campus about B.E.S.T. which is an acronym for the best method for supporting survivors who disclose incidents of violence.

The Reframe booklet is available online and is a useful resource for parents and families looking to learn more about the issue of interpersonal violence on a college campus. We encourage you as family members to review these resources and consider talking with your students about the Reframe campaign. If you or your student/s have any questions or would like resources related to interpersonal violence, confidential advocates with the Victim Assistance Team (VAT) are available are available 24-hours a day at 970-492-4242.

“We know that the only person responsible for sexual assault is the person who commits it — and we know that everyone has a role in prevention,” Colorado State President Tony Frank said. “We also know that learning how to talk about and fully understand these issues and the dynamics around them can be difficult. The Reframe campaign is designed to empower all of us to get involved and help make our campus a safer place for everyone.”

For more information about Reframe, visit www.reframe.colostate.edu or watch this short informational REFRAME video

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True Grit

By Mellody Shapton | CSU Health Network 

Helping your student push through and move forward

Students are very familiar with stress. You might also have wondered why some of your peers on campus seem to handle their challenges relatively easily while others struggle to meet similar demands. That difference relates to resilience, or grit: the ability to overcome and draw strength from difficult situations. In recent years, researchers have identified protective factors and processes that help individuals cope and explored how those can be nurtured.

Why is resilience so important? 

“Resilience skills can help students not just get through college but actually thrive and flourish while doing it,” says Viviane Ephraimson-Abt, Coordinator of Resiliency and Well-Being at the CSU Health Network. “Resilience skills bring out the best qualities in a person and activate desirable behaviors. Resilient students can tolerate change, stress, uncertainty, and other types of adversity more effectively. They are less likely to experience setbacks and diminished work/school performance, ‘learned helplessness,’ and other problems.”

Is resilience born or made?

“Resilience has been very conclusively shown to be a bundle of skills that everyone can learn, develop, and practice. One of the leading researchers calls resilience ‘ordinary magic,’ because it doesn’t require anything fancy or sophisticated to build,” says Ephraimson-Abt. External supports matter too, including “the capacity of the institution to create opportunities for students to succeed,” says Ungar.

What builds resilience?
  • Hanging in through a challenge
  • Learning from experience
  • Building strong relationships
  • Seeing a challenging situation as a turning point
  • Relying on humor and realistic optimism
  • Utilizing supportive resources
7 ways to help your student build resilience

Encourage your student to:

1. Think of three good things

Positive experiences are opportunities to identify and build our inner strength.

2. Practice mindfulness

“The Mindfully Managing Stress program helps students find easy ways to manage stress and improve resilience and well-being,” says Ephraimson-Abt,.  CSU’s Mindfully Managing Stress program was based on evidence based mindfulness interventions, like Koru Mindfulness through Duke.  The program includes a four-week series for students, a weekly drop in practice group, a one hour outreach session, and an online practice app.

3. Be NUMB to negative thoughts

The NUMB Technique, a four-step process for redirecting one’s thoughts, was developed by Dr. Ilena Boniwell, professor of Applied Positive Psychology at Anglia Ruskin University in the UK.  

Notice the negative thought. Keep an elastic band around your wrist and flick it each time.

Understand it. Why is this thought occurring?

Manage it, using the acronym ACT:

  • Active intervention: Walk around the block or run up and down stairs.
  • Calm intervention: Take a few minutes to meditate or refocus.
  • Talking intervention:  Involve a friend or therapist.

Build on the positive emotions.

4. Nourish happy experiences

Our experiences drive our brain development.

5. Identify and apply strengths

  • Recall past experiences (good and bad).
  • Focus on the strengths that brought that positive experience or helped to overcome that challenge. 
  • When experiencing difficult situations in the future, think about how to use those strengths to handle challenging situations.

6. Find a growth mindset

To build grit, develop a “growth mindset.” Find ways to remind yourself regularly of the following:

  • The ability to learn is not fixed. It can change. 
  • Failure and setbacks are not permanent and can be overcome.

7. Nurture close relationships

Social connectedness is key to protecting us from stress. Helping friends or family members, and volunteering, can help improve self-confidence, self-worth, and resilience.

Parent Perspective - Coming Home for Breaks 

Re-entry Protocols for College Students

By Tammy Lynn Guns | CSU Parent

As parents of college age students, we all share a common desire for our children to obtain and exhibit the necessary skills to be successful in the college environment.  We want them to be self-sufficient and self-disciplined.  We want them to go to class, do their homework, write their term papers and study for exams - all without any day-to-day oversight from us.  Let’s face it, they need these skills if they are going to be successful, not only in college, but in life as well.  When we drop off our kids and kiss them good-bye before their first week of classes, we leave with great hope in our hearts for their success.  And then…

And then they come home for their first long break from school.  We are so proud that they have learned great skills to be able to master their environments and act like true adults.  However, those same skills that made them successful in the classroom are now at odds with us as parents when they come home.  I remember when my oldest child came home from school for his first long break.  I was thrilled to see him on a more regular basis; however, I wasn’t completely thrilled with his newly acquired ways of conducting his daily affairs.  When Brandon lived at home fulltime before going off to college, he would ask me if he could stay over at a friend’s house and he would report back to me his whereabouts at all times.  He would inform me if he or his friends would be joining us for dinner.  But, because at college, his freedom included setting his own schedule and not checking in with me, these family skills had to be “reenlisted.”  My son was so used to acting and behaving on his own, that he forgot how to check back in with me.

Now I won’t say that as a returning college student that he had to ask me if he could go out or go over to someone’s house; rather, I just wanted to know if he was going to be home.  I needed to plan for dinners and I needed to know if I should worry if he doesn’t show up.  All those nights he was at college, I certainly had no direct knowledge of his exact whereabouts at all times, so I didn’t worry about him.  However, once he was back home at my house, I needed to know whether or not he was at a friend’s house or if I indeed needed to worry why he wasn’t home.

I must say we quickly set down some rules and understanding, as a matter of courtesy to all involved.  It gave me more peace of mind and it still allowed my son the freedom that he had become accustomed to at college.  Re-entry protocols are a good thing, and should not come as a surprise when we were all back again together as a family.  I suggest you have these important conversations with your son or daughter when they return home.  Setting expectations early on will be better for everyone.

On-Campus Housing Options for Fall Break 

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 & snow boarding items, and other important belongings because they will not be allowed back into the room/hall over break.  For the upcoming Fall Break halls close on Friday, November 20 at 10:00 p.m. The residence halls open for returning students again on Sunday, November 29 at 8:00 a.m.  If your student has traveling conflicts, they should speak with staff in their hall for details on Late Departure and/or Early Return.  Additional information about Late Departure and/or Early Return is below.

Fall Break 2015

Halls that will be OPEN: Allison, Braiden, Durward, Edwards, Laurel Village-Alpine, Parmelee, Westfall

Halls that will be CLOSED: Academic Village, Corbett, Ingersoll, LV-Piñon, Newsom, 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 21 for travel or other appropriate reasons. Students can be approved for Early Return beginning at 12:00pm, Saturday, November 28.  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 18. There is no cost for Late Departure or Early Return.

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Get connected with families in your area

By Carolann Meagher 

Beginning in August of every year, millions of young adults will head off to college to start their Freshman year.   Little did I know, this rite of passage for my daughter in 2013 would be an enormous challenge for me, as the wings I so diligently nurtured and she so happily embraced, carried her nearly 2,000 miles from home. 

Hearing CSU President Tony Frank remind us all during Convocation that our Freshman students were not college students, but rather, High School Students learning to become college students, gave me some comfort. Attending a transitions session hosted by the Office of Parent and Family Programs gave me even more comfort.  The three things that stood out for me the most (perhaps the most important) after I left that session were: 1) They were instrumental in helping me to understand the student experience, 2) I felt confident I had a partner and resource to help me to help my student, and 3) they were there to help us, the parents and families of the students, to become involved and connected with our students, the University and other CSU families.  

As year-one progressed, and I chose to reach out to them for some assistance, I quickly realized they nailed #1 and #2.  It wasn’t until this year, our 3rd year in, that I contacted them to see if there was a RamFam Club in my area, as I was interested in hosting a Rocky Mountain Showdown party in my hometown.  I quickly found out that there wasn’t one in my area, but that no RamFam Club was no problem!  In just a couple of e-mails and a few minutes of my time, our Office of Parent and Family Programs was in the process of contacting more than 30 other CSU families on my behalf.  #3, nailed!

It was a success, and we had a wonderful time sharing stories about CSU and Fort Collins, travel tips, our student’s experiences so far, and of course, watching our Rams….  as one big RamFam!   I look forward to another meet up sometime in the New Year, and would highly encourage anyone who has ever thought about meeting up with other Ram families to do it.   You can easily start the process by completing the RamFam Ambassador volunteer interest form online; it cannot be easier!

Thank you everyone at the Parent and Family Program office for all of your assistance over the last couple of years, and helping to make my hometown event a success!   

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International Student Perspective 

By Amber Hoefer | Orientation & Transition Programs 

Increasing global diversity on the Colorado State University campus allows current and prospective students to experience a widened perspective on cultures from across the globe. Our campus community honors different perspectives and life experiences from over 2,000 international students and scholars that represent over 90 countries from around the world. These students experience transition not only to CSU, but to the culture within the United States of America.  The international student community is comprised of a variety of different students ranging from first-year students, transfer students and graduate students. Every student that enters CSU brings a vast amount of knowledge, experiences and enthusiasm to our campus community. 

Upon arriving to campus, some of the biggest challenges for international students include language barriers, access to financial services, immigration information, identifying a social circle and more. Students are not only navigating a new campus but learning how to interact within the American culture. To provide a perspective on the transitional process of an international student, we sought out information from a China partnership student who transferred from Hunan University in Changsaha City, Hunan Province, China. Her name is Arwen and she is currently a junior at CSU studying Business Finance. 

Growing up just outside of Beijing, Arwen had dreamt about travelling to the United States to explore the vibrant culture and meet individuals from around the world. Arwen recalled her process of learning the English language beginning in middle school stating, “We learned random words like ‘apple’ and used names of characters like ‘Jenny’ and ‘Denny’ but we never practiced our English outside of school.” She continued by discussing her love for American movies and using movies, such as Rudy, as a platform to learn the English language. 

Arwen left her family for the first time when she decided to pursue a college degree at Hunan University. The university was a seventeen hour train ride from her home and she reflected on experiencing feelings of homesickness and loneliness as a first-year student. In her first year, she attended an event that was hosting leaders from CSU and was initially exposed to the possibility of studying abroad. She met various CSU representatives, listened to student testimonies, and was excited when she met President Tony Frank on one of his visits. Arwen said, “Having a person to explain life in Fort Collins and all of the amazing things about CSU made me want to apply right away.”

After applying for admissions, completing all of the required documentation and packing her bags, Arwen began her journey to Fort Collins, Colorado. During her first day in the town, she went to the store by herself and was completely impressed by the welcoming nature of all of the people she encountered. “People always smiled at me and were so friendly. If I smiled and waved at people I didn’t know in China they would see me as a weirdo.” She reflected on her nervous feelings of interacting with domestic students because she wasn’t confident in speaking English at that time.  After not receiving the first on-campus job she applied for, she knew she wanted to challenge herself to speak up and practice her English with other students. She discussed the liberating feeling of domestic students getting to know her when she began to feel more confidence in her communication skills.

Currently, Arwen has become incredibly involved throughout the CSU campus community. She is not only a student leader within multiple campus offices, but she has an infectious passion for the institution. Arwen is just one of many CSU international students that is seeking adventure and wants to become an active member within the CSU community. Our international student population is continuing to grow at CSU, allowing our community to become more globally diverse and extending our Ram family around the world. 



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Student Diversity Programs and Services Spotlight

Colorado State University (CSU) is proud of its efforts to enhance, appreciate and support diversity and multi-culturalism as part of its mission as a land-grant institution of higher education.

This month we are pleased to feature student organizations and resources connected with the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Questioning Resource Center. 

  • Coming Out Group- The group meets for about 10 weeks and offers participants opportunities to develop deeper self-awareness about themselves and LGBTQ communities.  Topics include coming out, talking with families, healthy relationships, wellness, religion and spirituality, and more.
  • COLORS – The purpose is to provide an open, diverse, and inclusive space for students of color who identify within the GLBTQ+ community with an aim to educate and bring awareness of intersectionality and multiculturalism.

A more complete list of student organizations and activities associated with Student Diversity Programs and Services offices can be found here. While each office listed may emphasize a specific segment of the student body, services and programs are available to benefit all students at CSU.

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Call A Ram

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. 

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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Parents Fund Update  

Thanks to the generous donation of parents and family members - the Parents Fund was able to sponsor the following events in the first part of the Fall Semester

Be True to You  

This new campaign provided new CSU students with the information they need to make good choices when considering groups and organizations to join and associate with.

Read more about Be True to You here.

National Hazing Prevention Week 

In late September CSU sponsored National Hazing Prevention Week featuring programs and events to raise awareness. The Keynote Address of the week provided by Cornell University’s Dean of Students, Travis Apgar, was made possible through contributions to the Parents Fund.

Throughout the year we share where your donations to the Parents Fund are used.  Remember, 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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In This Issue

College Parents Matter - An Online Resource


RAMmobile (can be used to access FAMweb) 


Hot Topics for Families


Update your email or address

CSU Acronyms

TILT - The Institute for Teaching and Learning 

This month TILT is hosting workshops on overcoming procrastination and developing presentation skills

Poll Results

Last month we asked families about the favorite Homecoming and Family Weekend traditions. With 47% of the votes the Homecoming Football Game was by far the most popular, followed by the Bonfire and Fireworks show at 30%. Don't forget to stop by our page and take this month's poll as well!  



Student Involvement: Fall Clean Up 

RamFam Association Business Directory 

Be sure to check out our featured Preferred Business Partners:


SuperShuttle Airport Shuttle


Quality Inn

Quality Inn


Cooper Auto Body 


Candlewood Suites 

Candlewood Suites






Connecting With Us On Social Media

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

Facebook Parents Group

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