Dear CSU Parents and Families

Welcome to Fall Semester!  It was wonderful to see so many new families during Ram Welcome and we enjoyed remaining connected to families of current CSU students during the summer!!  We at Parent & Family Programs are so excited to partner with you in supporting your students as they begin or continue their academic year.  Whether your student is starting their collegiate experience with CSU this fall for the first time, transferring from another institution, or continuing as an upper division student, we want to reinforce to all of you that Parent & Family Programs can be a great resource for you. 

For new first year and transfer student families, we recognize that your student and all of you, are undergoing a significant family transition.  We can only imagine the feelings of excitement, a sense of possibly feeling overwhelmed, and maybe even feeling anxious—are present.  Don’t hesitate to reach out to us for support.  Also, don’t forget great campus programs and resources for your students such as:

This newsletter is full of information so please don’t be overwhelmed!  This particular newsletter, as we begin the academic year, is meant to provide you with a lot of useful information as you support new and/or returning CSU students. 

For our parents and families of new students who attended Ram Welcome, we would appreciate it if you would take a few minutes to complete a short survey about your Ram Welcome experience. Thanks!

Don’t forget to consider interacting with our Colorado State Parents & Families Facebook Groups.  It’s a great resource for sharing parent and family perspectives that you might find helpful as you support your student(s) and/or to receive updates about what is happening around campus.  

Colorado State University Parents & Families (Facebook Group Page) 

Colorado State Parent & Family Programs (Facebook Fan Page) 


John Henderson, PhD | Assistant Dean of Students & Director of Parent & Family Programs 

Erin Hammersley, M.Ed. | Coordinator of Parent & Family Programs

Colin Watrin | Graduate Assistant of Parent and Family Programs

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Important Upcoming September Dates 

The fall semester is now in full swing! There are various events, workshops, and lectures throughout the month for your student to enjoy. Through the entire month of September The Institute for Learning and Teaching (TILT) will be hosting workshops that can help your student excel in time management, stress management, and even improve a variety of study skills.

If you are looking to plan a time to come and enjoy a football game at Hughes Stadium September 5th is the day to do it! It’s Ag Day! There will be barbecues, farm themed children's activities, and multiple tailgate celebrations! Kick off is at 2pm so make sure to purchase your ticket for the game and the delicious BBQ!

For your students, it is also important to remember that on September 7th there will be no classes due to the Labor Day Holiday. Make sure class schedules are set because coming up on September 9th, registration closes for most classes! This way you and your student avoid late registration fees! Also as a reminder, bills for the Fall 2015 semester are due September 10th. 

Encourage your students to show their Ram Pride for the Rocky Mountain Showdown Football Game! RAMS versus the BUFFS on September 19th in Denver!

Other Events and Dates to remember:

  • September 8th through 10th- Fall Involvement Expo 10am-3pm each day
  • September 10th Fall 2015 Payments are Due
  • September 15th- National Latino Heritage Month Begins- through October 15th, there will be a wide variety of on campus and community wide events which will be held to celebrate the lives/generations/and contributions of Latinos
  • September 16thFall Address and University Picnic 11:30am-1:30pm on the Oval, this event is held annually as President Tony Frank delivers the “State of the University” address to the community
  • September 17th- Grill the Buffs Pep Rally
  • September 22-23rd -  All-Campus Career Fair in the LSC Grand Ballroom from 10:30am – 3:30pm 

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Homecoming and Family Weekend | October 16-19

The weekend kicks off Friday, October 16, with a session focused on helping families explore students’ housing options, after their first year.  Whether your student is exploring on-campus or off-campus options, this presentation provides families with valuable information to support your student and family through this very important decision.  Visit the Parent & Family website to view last year’s presentation, but be sure to attend this year’s session to have the most up-to-date information about housing options. 

We also want to make you are aware of a new event specifically for parent and family members—the Parent & Family Breakfast.  The breakfast will be on Saturday, October 17 from 9am-10:30am.  Parents and family members in attendance have the unique opportunity to hear from campus leadership, enjoy a tasty breakfast, and connect with other members of the Ram Family. 

Following the breakfast, we also hope you'll join us that same day for the Homecoming & Family Weekend Tailgate, providing families an opportunity to connect and show your Ram Pride before the football game vs. Air Force.

Programming for Homecoming and 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 Homecoming and Family Weekend Events – check the Homecoming & Family Weekend website for updates.

Register here for all Homecoming and Family Weekend events, to get your tickets to the Homecoming and Family Weekend Tailgate and the football game use the ticket office website. Go Rams! 

Detail of Homecoming and Family Weekend events:

Friday, October 16, 2015

  • Housing Options After the First Year, 1:30pm
  • Festival on the Oval, 3:30pm
  • Homecoming Parade, 4:30pm
  • Friday Night Lights (Pep Rally, Bonfire, Fireworks, and Lighting of the “A”), 6:00pm

Saturday, October 17, 2015

  • 5K Race, 8:00am
  • Parent and Family Breakfast, 9:00am (program begins at approximately 9:30am)
  • Homecoming & Family Weekend Tailgate, begins at 10:30am
  • Homecoming Football Game (CSU vs. Air Force), 1:30pm

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RamFam Ambassadors | Parent and Family Volunteer Opportunities 

The staff in Parent and Family Programs has started exciting new initiatives around building a nationwide CSU Parent and Family Volunteer Network. Our RamFam Ambassador program aims to connect parents and family members of CSU students interested in partnering with Parent & Family Programs to support the student and family experience. 

We recognize that as family members of CSU students you all bring a unique perspective to the “CSU experience” – and it’s those experiences we hope you share with other parents and family members as you support each other in the various transitions that occur throughout your student’s time at CSU.

Volunteering as a RamFam Ambassador could be something like:

  • Hosting a parent/family event in your home town with other CSU families
  • Connecting with other parents/families in your area over coffee
  • Hosting get-togethers in your hometown to build care packages for your CSU students
  • Calling admitted students’ parents/families to congratulate them and answer questions
  • Contributing an article to our monthly Parent and Family e-newsletter
  • Helping us with events on campus like Ram Welcome and Homecoming and Family Weekend

We had a blast hosting twelve wonderful volunteers at Ram Welcome / Move-In to help answer questions and provide their perspective for new CSU families.

If you are interested in getting involved with CSU, please click here and let us know your areas of interest! We have RamFam Ambassadors throughout the United States and rely on them to create supportive communities in their areas. Feel free to contact our office if you have any questions about getting involved as a RamFam Ambassador. 

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Getting to Know our Housing Staff 

By Lew Sutphin | Director, Operations Management

Welcome to CSU. At many institutions, the people who maintain and clean the buildings are expected to blend into the background. They are supposed to complete their tasks when needed, but generally fly beneath the radar. Here in Housing & Dining Services we have a different philosophy. Our cleaners and fixers are an important part of the living and learning environment. Their role in providing clean, safe, and functioning facilities is accompanied by their responsibility to provide a welcoming, comforting, and friendly presence. 

I am grateful for the opportunity to provide a little information regarding some of the services we provide, together with a little peak behind the scenes regarding our employees.

Safety & Security. More than 10 years ago we began a system of providing 3 layers of security in each Residence Hall, mostly through electronic controls. The levels are the floor, the hallway, and finally the room. The electronic access portion of these levels, always the first two, and in some cases all three, provides an individual record of comings and goings, and restricts access to only authorized residents.

Green Cleaning. All of our Environmental Services (cleaning) employees go through a Green Cleaning Certification Training Program. The training not only includes the use of environmentally friendly cleaning chemicals, but energy and water conservation techniques.

Suite Bathroom Cleaning. Practically unheard of on other campuses, we provide weekly bathroom cleaning in all of our suite halls. We just ask that residents move their personal items from areas to be cleaned on the date/time their bathroom is scheduled. This is one of the most popular services we offer. All other bathrooms are cleaned daily.

Student Employment. As you can imagine, cleaning and maintaining over 2 million square feet of residence halls, dining centers, offices and meeting/study spaces takes a lot of employees. Our employees are a mix of full-time a part-time. Part-time works well to help balance work and other life commitments…including studying for school. Yes, we offer employment opportunities for students and try to be as flexible as we can with schedule work. We love student employees, they bring such great energy to the work environment and helps us build stronger connections.

Many of our employees have been with us for several years, and some still receive birthday and other special occasion cards from students who lived with us. We have a strong international community with employees from Europe, Asia, the Middle East, North, South, and Central America. They bring a variety of educational, cultural, and work experiences that they are encouraged to share. They bring a positive attitude and can sometimes be seen dancing with the vacuum cleaners and other fun ways to perform their daily tasks. Each of our employees embrace a professional attitude towards their jobs, while understanding their role in helping students adapt to living away from home for the first time. They receive training on the various stages of adjustments, particularly the stressful times around holidays and exams when student may act out a little. They are very familiar with the campus, and can be a great resource when students need information or help.

Thank you for giving me this opportunity to share a few insights into Housing Operations Management. I hope you learned something useful. I welcome your feedback, input, and suggestions.

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Guiding Your Student to take Action on their Job or Internship Search

By Summer S Shaffer | CSU Career Center

Job searching is not likely to appear on many people’s list of “favorite things to do”, however the process of job searching can be much more engaging than searching and applying to "help wanted" ads.  The Career Center offers students tools and events to help them land a job or internship and September is a great time to begin taking action. 

Every year the Career Center offers an array of opportunities for students and alumni to take an active approach in their job/internship search process.  Encourage your student to begin by using the Career Center’s expansive online tools such as Ram Career Ready (online career training offered around the clock) or Ram Career Tools (a personalized career resource search).  Ram Career Ready and Ram Career Tools combined with Handshake, our job, internship and interview posting site, offers students opportunities to expand their career knowledge, explore their options, outline a plan for the future and look for jobs and internships, all available at Additionally the Career Center offers resume and cover letter critiques via our drop-in services as well as major and career exploration, and graduate school application guidance--offered by our Career Education team. 

The Career Center also hosts the All-Campus Career Fair on September 22 – 23, in the LSC Grand Ballroom from 10:30 am – 3:30pm.  Each day offers students the opportunity to visit with employers interested in hiring majors defined by industry focus areas.  Career fairs are an excellent way for students to make meaningful connections with hundreds of employers, through networking as well as asking about available opportunities.  Katie Flint, Senior Associate Director of Employer Relations for the CSU Career Center offers, “Employers come to our career fair because they want to hire a Ram, which is why it’s so important for our students to take advantage of these events. When else in their lives will they have employers actively seeking them out?” 

It is important that students begin to prepare themselves prior to the career fair.  The Career Center offers Resume Rush September 16-18 & 21, 10 am – 3 pm to provide students an opportunity to have their resume critiqued by a Resume and Job Search Specialist or an employer. “Because we have thousands of students coming out to the career fair, it’s very important that students are prepared and know what to expect before they come to the main event. That’s why we strongly encourage students to take advantage of the career fair preparation workshops and resume critiques that are happening before the fairs. The more prepared a student is, the more an employer will take notice of them”, commented Flint. 

Beyond prepping their resume, encourage your student to actively research organizations they are interested in by using the CSU Career Fair App available for free in both the Apple App Store and via Google Play.  Flint shares, “Research! Research! Research! It is vital for a student to do their research ahead of time so they can determine which employers they want to visit with and know something about the employer and the opportunities they have to offer. The worst thing a student can do is approach an employer and ask “What does your organization do?” Employers hate that question and often use it as a way to separate out which students they are interested in”.

For more information on Career Center services, events or Career Fairs visit us at:

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Cold and Flu Prevention  

By Lisa Olsen, RN | CSU Health Network & Proud Parent of two CSU Students 

As a parent you have taken care of your child’s health care needs for their entire lives.  You’ve always been able to comfort and care for your child when they were ill, that’s what parents do best!  As you launch your now young adult off to college, you can help give them the tools and information they need to take care of themselves while at CSU.  No doubt you have already helped them with books, bedding, towels, clothing and more.  Now you need to arm them with some basic health information as well as a care package with Tylenol & Ibuprofen, cold medicine and hand sanitizer!

I am a nurse at CSU and the mother of a CSU Sophomore and Senior.  Working at the Hartshorn Health Center for the past ten years, I have had the privilege of taking care of many fabulous CSU Students!  My first recommendation to you is that parents can support their students by encouraging healthy habits while at school in addition to knowing about their own health history, as well as how to prevent and take care of themselves for minor illnesses.

In many ways success in college can be tied to a student’s health and some of the important new variables for your student are how to best manage their diet, sleep and exercise.  All three are important factors in our health.  While the occasional late night pizza is expected, maintaining healthy, balanced, dietary choices that include grains, fruits, vegetables, protein and dairy (all in moderation), can boost their immunity and help maintain their overall health.  Adding exercise to a college student’s busy schedule can be challenging, but also very beneficial.  Even a few minutes of exercise between classes and during free time can improve mental sharpness and energy levels as well as overall emotional and physical health.  Help your student with task and time management so that they can avoid frequent late night studying and the infamous “all nighters” as lack of sleep can increase their risk for illness.

Likely the most important health advice you can give your student is to stress hand washing, hand washing, HAND WASHING!!!  This simple step continues to be the number one tool to stop the spread of germs that lead to many illnesses from the sniffles to diarrhea and everything in between (and beyond).  This is a good time to remind our students of this easy and quick way to help protect their health. 

While to parents this seems to be common sense, it’s often surprising how many students do not know some basic healthcare steps when they do become ill.  Encourage your students to increase their rest, drink plenty of fluids and try some over the counter medications to relieve their symptoms.  Tylenol and Ibuprofen can help them with fevers, pain as well as the general discomfort that accompany colds, but encourage them to read the labels and don’t exceed the dosing instructions!

Your college student is no doubt enjoying or wrestling with their new found independence as the semester gets underway!  While they get to make most of their decisions by themselves from their academics to their health and personal needs, it’s still important to help your student make the best health choices for them.  So please take this time to inform them about diet, exercise, sleep and some minor health care items to help them succeed at CSU!


For other resources on student health be sure to check out the Parent and Family version of CSU Student Health 101, a monthly publication that promotes living healthfully and developing skills needed for succeeding in school and beyond.  

The CSU Heath Network also hosts a series of workshops for students to help them learn new ways to manage stress, improve study skills, communicate more effectively, and enhance interpersonal relationships.  Themed groups are also available, along with various workshops related to alcohol and other drugs. See the Workshop Schedule for more details. 

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Taking Stock 

By Teresa Metzger | Assistant Director for Residence Life '

Retention research has shown that by the 4thweek of classes, students can predict how they are doing in their classes and how they are transitioning to college life. Taking Stock, an academic initiative, has been developed by Residence Life and the Center for Academic Success and Achievement (CASA) to support the academic needs of CSU students. On Friday, September 13th, all students living in the residence halls will be invited to take a survey as part of the Taking Stock initiative. This survey, the Student Success Inventory, is intended to measure how well each student is transitioning to college life. Before students agree to take the survey, they consent to have the results released to the Residence Life Staff and Academic Success Coordinators. Students will receive feedback regarding their results, describing how they are doing academically and personally. Research has shown that peer to peer interventions are one of the most successful practices. Therefore, your student’s RA will be contacting them to have a conversation regarding their transition to CSU in areas of residence hall experience, classes, academic resources & policies, campus resources, & support services.

In addition to the Taking Stock program, the Early Grade Feedback program is an additional academic initiative that collaborates with faculty members who volunteer to report either an “S” (satisfactory) or “U” (Unsatisfactory) grade for students early on in the semester, based on test scores, assignment grades, and/or class attendance. Students will receive an e-mail informing them of their “U” status and hall staff within the residence halls will reach out to students with one or more “U” grades to guide them towards helpful campus resources. It is recommended that students meet with faculty about their grades. They are also invited to receive guidance from Academic Support Coordinators and Residence Directors to take action to improve their grades.

We want to help all CSU students’ transition well to campus. Please be sure to ask your student if they have taken the Taking Stock survey. Parents are a very important part of this process. If you or your student has any questions or concerns call the Office of Residence Life at (970) 491-4705.

Be True to You – Choose Your Group at CSU

By John Henderson | Assistant Dean of Students & Director of Parent and Family Programs

The following resource was provided to new first-year and transfer CSU students.  Be True to You – Find Your Group at CSU encourages students to be aware of the potential characteristics of both safe and unsafe groups to consider joining while a student at CSU.  As parents and family members, you can act as a key mentor in checking in with your student(s) about the groups they are thinking about joining, have joined, etc.  Please see this as a helpful resource for you when talking to your student.

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In This Issue

Ram Welcome Convocation Video 


Off to College - A Guide for Parents  (Article) 


Back to School Tips for Incoming Freshmen (Article) 


CSU Acronyms

CSUHN - Colorado State University Health Network


Poll Results

Ove the summer months we asked how your students would be spending their time. A strong number of folks, 38% indicated their students would be continuing to take classes over the summer. 43% said their student was working in a job or internship, and 9% said they were traveling or doing service work. Don't forget to stop by our page and take this month's poll as well!  


  • Class registration closes September 9th
  • Fall 2015 Bills are due September 10th


Student Involvement: Ram's Game Day Experience 

RAMFAM Association Business Directory 

Be sure to check out our featured Platinum and Gold 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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