Dear CSU Parents and Families
Dear CSU Parents and Families:
Fall is truly here and our Lory Student Center is almost fully revitalized! This time of year, CSU students can have feelings ranging anywhere along the continuum from extreme excitement to experiencing some anxious moments. Bottom line, our campus wants to partner with you to continue encouraging students to take care of themselves and look out for one another. For students who are doing well, we encourage them to reach out to others who might be struggling with academic and or out of classroom experiences. At the same time, for students who are experiencing some challenges, please remind them that they are not alone and the campus has lots of resources available to help each student succeed. We are a united Ram community!
Two areas of central focus for this newsletter are campus involvement and Homecoming & Family Weekend. With the Lory Student Center (LSC) almost fully on-line, students are highly encouraged to capitalize on all that’s available. From Student Diversity Programs and Services (SDPS) to Student Leadership, Involvement and Community Engagement (SLiCE) to the Career Center, the Lory Student Center has so much to offer as it relates to student involvement, engagement, and support. It’s literally the heart of the campus and a key, daily destination for students, faculty, staff, and community members.
Homecoming and Family Weekend are just around the corner (October 16-19). We are excited to welcome you back to the campus-if you are planning to be here. It’s a great time to connect with your student(s) and find out how they are doing, how they are making connections with their professors and campus activities, meet their friends, be a part of the CSU and the list goes on. If you are unable to attend, we encourage you to reach out to your student(s)—send them a hand written note of encouragement, a favorite home cooked meal recipe with some of the ingredients, etc. Please feel free to contact us for additional ideas or join our Facebook Group and note what other parents and family members suggest.
In addition to information re: campus involvement and Homecoming & Family Weekend, this edition also provides articles on student wellness, academic advising, undergraduate research opportunities, and the list goes on. We strongly encourage you to look at our student voice article, by Janisa Garcia, re: academic success.
Thanks so much for your continued support of your students and CSU!
John and Erin
John Henderson, Ph.D.
Assistant Dean of Students/Director of Parent & Family Programs
note: pictured above, snapshots of the Lory Student Center, courtesy Erin Hammersley
back to top
Homecoming and Family Weekend - Please Join us in October!
Register for Homecoming & Family Weekend by Monday, October 13!
Homecoming & Family Weekend 2014 is just around the corner! Parent and family programming kicks off Friday, October 17, with a session focused on helping families explore students’ housing options for the following year. Visit the Parent & Family Program's website for handouts from past Housing Options After the First Year sessions, but be sure to attend this year’s session on October 17 to have the most up-to-date information about living options for next year.
We’ve also added an opportunity for parents and families to connect by region and then tour the newly renovated (and pretty amazing) Lory Student Center (LSC). By attending the RAMFAM & Housing Options event, including the tour of the LSC, you'll receive a nametag and lanyard identifying parents and family members. This lanyard will entitle you to receive a no-cost membership to the Campus Recreation Center, Friday through Sunday (signed waiver and picture ID required to use Campus Recreation Center).
Additionally, we also hope you'll join us on Saturday for the Homecoming & Family Weekend Tailgate, providing families an opportunity to connect with one another and show your Ram Pride before the football game vs. Utah State.
Programming for Family Weekend ends after the Homecoming Football game. We hope you'll enjoy Saturday evening and Sunday morning with your student in Fort Collins! Here is a tentative list of all the Family Weekend Events – check the Homecoming & Family Weekend website for updates.
Register here for all Homecoming and Family Weekend events.
Homecoming and Family Weekend events:
Friday, October 17, 2013
- RAMFAM & Housing Options After the First Year
- Festival on the Oval
- Homecoming Parade
- Pep Rally, Bonfire, Lighting of the A
- Music: Men's and University Choruses Concert
- Theatre: The Glass Menagerie, by Tennessee Williams
Saturday, October 18, 2013
- 5K Race
- The Official Homecoming & Family Weekend Tailgate
- Homecoming Football Game (CSU vs. Utah State)
- Theatre: The Glass Menagerie, by Tennessee Williams
back to top
October is Conflict Resolution Month?
By Samantha Sickbert, Graduate Assistant Conflict Resolution & Student Conduct Services
Did you know that October is Conflict Resolution Month? Did you know that CSU has an office specifically designed to offer conflict resolution services to students? Well, if not, let us introduce ourselves.
We at the Office of Conflict Resolution and Student Conduct Services (CRSCS) are interested in increasing public awareness about conflict resolution and its many benefits. CRSCS has a mission to:
- Support students as they overcome mistakes.
- Engage in character development with an emphasis on ethical decision-making and integrity.
- Resolve conflicts at the lowest level possible through education, facilitation, and support.
- Foster a safe and welcoming community.
Importantly—and sometimes overlooked—CRSCS is not only interested in holding conduct hearings. We also offer many services and programs to help your student work through conflicts between other students, faculty, staff, student organizations, neighbors, roommates and more. Here is a brief highlight of some of the services we offer:
- Conflict Coaching: Our staff can meet with a student one-on-one to talk through a conflict they are having. During this meeting we can coach students on key conflict resolution skills in order to empower students to solve the conflict on their own. Whether the conflict is with a friend, roommate, faculty member, or supervisor, we can help brainstorm solutions.
- Grade Appeals: One role our office plays on campus is to help explain policies and procedures to students. Students often come to our office with help in the grade appeal process.
- Mediation/Facilitation: CRSCS provides confidential mediation services. A neutral third party mediator will facilitate a dialogue between parties in conflict and help them to reach a mutually agreeable solution. Our staff will mediate small group disputes or large-scale discussions involving multiple parties.
- Restorative Justice: Through our trained facilitators, we are able to bring together individuals or communities who are most impacted by a crime or conflict to decide together what harm has been done (whether it be physical/material, emotional or communal) and how that harm may be repaired.
If your student is experiencing any type of conflict, consider referring them to our office. To set up an appointment with our office your student can call, 970-491-7165 or request an appointment online at http://www.conflictresolution.colostate.edu/request-a-conflict-resolution-appointment. They may also learn more about our services through our website at www.conflictresolution.colostate.edu
back to top
Involvement in Research
By Stephanie Moreira, Institute for Learning & Teaching
There are several ways for students to get involved at CSU. Undergraduate research is just one way to connect what students are learning in the classroom to real world impacts. It can also be a confirming experience for many students; they can confirm that their major is the right field for them to be in… or not. If students are interested in investigating what the possibilities of getting involved in research are, they should contact the Office for Undergraduate Research and Artistry (OURA) for a meeting. The Associate Director, Stephanie “Mo” Moreira, will meet with each student to describe the various programs and how they can get involved.
The following are some examples of students who are participating in our research programs:
Lauren Rice is a second-year Biomedical Sciences major. She got involved in our Honors Undergraduate Research Scholars (HURS) program her first year and found a home in a Microbiology lab.
Lauren decided to get involved in research because she, “wanted to take an active approach to learning at CSU.” Because of her involvement in a research lab, she has found her lab courses a bit easier to handle. Lauren is more familiar with standard scientific vocabulary and techniques. Lauren is mentored by Dr. Torsten Eckstein who researches the bacterial lipidome and developing diagnostic tools for diseases.
Alex Hughes is planning on graduating in May of 2015 with a Biomedical Sciences degree. Because of his research experience, he’s been awarded College Honors for his poster presentation at Celebrate Undergraduate Research and Creativity (CURC) showcase. Recently, he has an opportunity to be published on a collaborative project with a post-doc from the University of Colorado Medical Campus. Alex is mentored by Dr. Shane Hentges who studies amino acids in neurons in the hypothalamus and brainstem.
Get involved! Talk to as many people as you can, ask questions, and figure out if there are any labs that really spark your interest. Research has become such a fundamental part of my undergraduate studies, and I am so happy that I decided to get involved.
Get in early, ask a lot of questions, and demonstrate that you have a strong work ethic. Persistence and patience are necessary qualities in research and it starts the moment you start trying to get into a lab. When you are accepted into a lab don’t expect to be paid right away, that’s something that you have to work for and that’s where showing interest by asking questions and having a strong work ethic come into play.
The most important advice I can give though, is to make sure you find a lab or a field that you are really interested in. Lab work can be monotonous and repetitive, but if you are really into the subject matter all that work becomes fun and exciting.
Interested in learning more about research opportunities? Schedule an appointment with Mo (Stephanie.Moreira@colostate.edu).
back to top
Acting on Academics
By: Paige Jacobson, CASA
Aaron, currently in his second year at CSU, sat in my office today reflecting on his newly defined academic practices. He is finally going to class regularly. He is living with roommates who are focused on their academic goals instead of their game consoles. He is recognizing the connection between good grades and graduation. He has found the right-fit major. Because of these factors he’s finding studying to be…well, easier. As you might suspect, Aaron is doing much better on exams. A roommate, recently quizzing him for an exam, declared, “Man, you actually know this stuff!” Aaron claims the reaction is a commentary on his lack of preparedness for study sessions last year.
Aaron needed to launch a dramatic change in his academic habits. He was trying to apply his high school norms to college-level courses. Obviously, that wasn’t working for him. At this point in the semester your student has been through one round of exams. If you hear things like, “I studied for the exam but still did poorly”, “I was really anxious sitting down for the exam and just blanked out” or “I didn’t understand the lecture material”, it is high time to utilize resources. Many students struggle to understand how to change their academic practices, or even neglect to realize that some habits need to change. On the flip side, your student may simply wish to move from earning exam grades of B to earning exam grades of A. Wherever your student may be on the spectrum of academic skills there is always room for maturity and improvement.
Consider suggesting resources like the Academic and Study Skills Workshops through TILT, which present great tools for the academic tool belt. You might encourage your student to attend the Reading Skills workshop in October, focused on digging into how to best approach reading for comprehension and retention. November’s workshops will focus on Test Anxiety, Motivation & Goal Setting, and Overcoming Procrastination.
Other helpful resources presented by the TILT Learning Center include:
- U-Turn – an event hosting a variety of campus resources that can help your student achieve academic success
- Arts and Sciences Tutoring
- The Writing Center, where writing consultants will provide feedback on drafts and offer guidance on writing and research strategies
What if your student is feeling unsure of his major? October is the time when students should be scheduling appointments with their advisors to discuss spring registration. Considering courses for next semester may cause lingering doubts of "major-fit" to surface. Aaron’s questioning led him to find a major better suited to his skills and interests. Sometimes a student’s doubt is related to one difficult course he may be taking for his major. After reflection, this student may determine he is excited about his major but just needs to get through that particularly challenging course. Students can seek out staff and faculty members for guidance and direction. In addition, any student is welcome to schedule an Exploring Majors appointment with an Academic Support Coordinator at the Center for Advising and Student Achievement.
Like Aaron, many students find they can benefit greatly from an adjustment in academic direction and/or habits. Intentional conversation from you can spur-on reflection related to major-fit and the development of academic skills.
back to top
Cans Around the Oval, a CSU Tradition
By Alina Osika, Graduate Marketing Coordinator, Student Leadership, Involvement & Community Engagement (SLiCE) office at Colorado State University
Going into its 28th year, Cans Around the Oval remains the largest one-day food drive in Northern Colorado that focuses on raising awareness about the issue of hunger and raising monetary and food donations for the Food Bank for Larimer County. The Office of Student Leadership, Involvement & Community Engagement (SLiCE) at Colorado State University is very excited to host Cans Around the Oval because it has truly become a campus- and community-wide tradition.
T’hani Holt-Middleton, a seasoned SLiCE student staff member for Cans Around the Oval says, “Cans Around the Oval is cool not only because of the impact it has on our community, but also because of how many individuals contribute to Cans Around the Oval. It truly is a community event – K-12 students, local business and community members, in addition to our students, alumni, and faculty all help to make Cans Around the Oval happen.”
The idea for Cans Around the Oval was born in 1986 when a journalism student proposed the idea to the Office of Community Services (which was later renamed as the SLiCE office) in the form of a two-page assignment. Since then, Cans partnered with the Food Bank for Larimer County and in 2013, donated $49,260 and 63,713 pounds of food with help from CSU students, faculty, staff, and Northern Colorado community members.
The Food Bank for Larimer County has served Larimer County since 1983 - last year alone it distributed 8.7 million pounds of food to approximately 36,000 individuals. The Food Bank encompasses a Food Share program, which provides a fresh food pantry to Fort Collins and Loveland community members, a Child Nutrition program, which addresses children’s food insecurity issues, and Food Link, which participates with 80 other non-profit organizations.
The SLiCE office offers many ways for the community to get involved with Cans Around the Oval:
CANstruction has quickly become a campus-favorite activity located on the Lory Student Center Plaza. Student group participants create large structures out of donated cans – anything from peace signs to “Cans Around the Oval” to a large boat structure – and students vote for structures that receive first, second, and third place. What can-sculpture contest wouldn’t be completed without a life-size can-replica of a T-Rex, King Kong, and the Empire State Building, you ask? We completely agree! Stop by the Plaza on October 15 from 10:00am-2:00pm to take pictures with Can-Kong and the Can-pire State Building, participate in our #DresstheRex photo-op, and see some mind-blowing can-creations!
SLiCE is proud to host the Cans Around the Oval Collection Day on October 22, 2014 from 10:00am-4:00pm on the Colorado State University Oval. Volunteers will be present on the Oval to collect food and monetary donations and to ceremoniously line the cans up around the oval.
After 27 amazing years, the Office of Student Leadership, Involvement & Community Engagement (SLiCE) is proud to host Cans Around the Oval yet again. For more information, please contact the Cans Around the Oval Director, Jenn Rieskamp at Jenn.Rieskamp@colostate.edu or the Graduate Marketing Coordinator, Alina Osika at email@example.com.
back to top
By Janelle Patrias, MSW, Manager of Mental Health Initiatives
As the semester unfolds, students are eager to get involved on campus. New opportunities, new friends and a thirst for new adventures often result in maxed out schedules. Once they begin to settle into a predictable routine with classes, intramural sports teams, club meetings, student organization involvement and part-time jobs, it is not uncommon for some students to suddenly realize they may be spread too thin.
Being involved on campus offers students many advantages. Most students who are active on campus excel academically. In addition, they get to meet new people, gain new experiences, develop new interests and simply have fun.
Involvement can also positively impact students’ well-being. Psychologist Martin Seligman, often considered the “Father of Positive Psychology,” identified five important domains of well-being and happiness, which he refers to as PERMA: Positive emotions, Engagement, Relationships, Meaning and Achievement. Campus involvement touches all five. It feels good to be part of a team. It’s satisfying to be completely absorbed in an activity. It’s rewarding to be authentically connected to others. It matters to deeply explore one’s purpose and meaning. And it’s gratifying to have a sense of accomplishment and success.
While campus involvement can positively impact students, it can also have some unintended consequences. Students are notorious for finding themselves overcommitted by their enthusiasm to get involved. Developmentally they are still honing their decision-making skills. Unmanaged over-involvement can result in stress, anxiety and poor academic performance. When students bite off more than they can chew, time management and prioritization take on a whole new dimension, and they many need a helping hand.
Tips for Parents
Finding that sweet spot – that place of balance– is the key to your student’s success.
- Encourage your student to weigh the pros and cons of his involvement choices and help him reflect on which activities will contribute to his quest to find purpose and connection to Colorado State University versus focusing on what will look good on his resume a few years down the road.
- Urge your student to re-evaluate all the activities that take up her time. Then help her prioritize “needs” and “wants.”
- Remind your student to plan ahead for big projects like research papers. He may think he has time now, but he needs to keep the big picture in mind.
- Empower your student to say no to things that she cannot commit to or does not have time to do. Help her let go of guilt and know it is okay to say no.
CSU Health Network offers a wide range of resources to help your student navigate the stresses of college life. From individual and group counseling to workshops and stress-reduction sessions, there are tools to help. Learn more at health.colostate.edu.
back to top
Student Voice: Finding My Purpose at CSU
By Janisa Garcia, Student Intern Vice President for Student Affairs Office, Presidential Ambassador, VP Alpha Delta Chi Sorority, President's Leadership Program
Now that it’s October and we are in the midst of the first set of tests and papers; this time can be stressful and overwhelming, especially as a first year student. As if living with someone you’ve never met, being miles away from home, and trying to find new friends isn’t hard enough; now there is the added stress of entirely revamping study strategies and time management skills in order to meet the demands of a college curriculum. This can be a lot to handle, especially on your own. I credit my success in my academics and college life thus far to my involvement on campus. Not only did my involvement help me through my first semester at CSU, but every semester since.
By finding something I was passionate about and getting involved in it, I found that opportunities just kept arising. Through these organizations, I would meet people with similar passions, and it would motivate me to become involved in different areas of campus. At first I was involved in, what I thought was, many individual organizations, and then I saw the bigger picture and the community of people that was now invested in my CSU experience. I finally felt like more than just a number at CSU. It is incredible the impact that finding a community had, my life was no longer about finding friends and a support system anymore; it was about expanding it. Suddenly life at CSU became easier. I began to recognize faces in my classes. The hardships I was facing in school were much easier to manage when I had someone to vent to and an already formed study group. The more I was involved, the better I managed my time. I learned to function on a more structured study schedule and this helped me stay on top of my work. Not only did I gain of sense of community amongst my peers, I also started gaining community with the adults at CSU. With this support system behind me, I feel even if I stumble trying to reach my goals, there are people around me helping to pick me back up again.
I am grateful for all the experiences I have gained, the most meaningful has been my work as a Presidential Ambassador. It is an amazing opportunity to meet the people that pour their hearts into making sure each CSU student has the best experience possible. Each time I interact with these individuals, I am humbled by how much they care about the 27,000 students that walk campus each day. I always leave these interactions so inspired to take advantage of all the opportunities I am given, as a college student. These feelings and realizations are what makes being involved on campus so important and special - it gives meaning to our experiences as a CSU student.
Through my involvement, in both work and student organizations, CSU has become my home away from home, getting involved is the first step to creating the best experience at Colorado State University.
back to top
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 September and October:
- Hispanic Heritage Month - Community celebration hosted by El Centro, designed to engage the CSU and Fort Collins community by promoting and celebrating the heritage that many CSU students represent.
- Homecoming Breakfast - Celebration of alumni, current students, and parents and families hosted by the Black/African American Cultural Center. A time for alumni, students, and families to connect with B/AACC and the CSU community.
- Veterans' Symposium - This symposium is a collaboration between the Adult Learner and Veterans Services office, New Start for Student Veterans office, and Veteran Education Benefits Office. CSU is committed to help our country's veterans achieve their educational and personal goals; this event provides an opportunity to explore the value of veterans to our communities.
Each month we will 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.
back to top
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.
back to top