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April2012 Volume 6 | Issue 8

Dear CSU Parents and Families:

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April is an amazingly busy month, so don't be surprised if your student tells you the semester is flying by!  Within their academic schedule, your student may find class material becoming more detailed and more complex on a weekly basis.  This is the final lap to final exams (scheduled May 7-11, 2012) so continue to encourage your student to finish strong, talk to their faculty members about topics they don't understand, and to use resources such as The Institute for Learning and Teaching if they need help in a class.  In their co-curricular activities, April is awards season.  This is the chance for student organizations and offices across campus to celebrate student successes and recognize their hard work throughout the academic year.  There are two in particular we'd like to mention:

The Student Organization and Advisor Recognition (SOAR) Ceremony

SOAR honors and recognizes all Registered Student Organizations, officers, members, and advisors at CSU. During the ceremony we present awards and recognition for outstanding achievement in the following  areas: organizational performance, marketing, programming, leadership,  service, and advising. Within these categories, we honor both individuals and the organizations as a whole. SOAR is free to attend. All student organizations' members and advisors, as well as CSU students faculty, and staff whom support Registered Student Organizations are welcome to attend.

Celebration of Graduates

The Celebration of Graduates is a new tradition that reflects the collaborative efforts of Student Diversity Programs and Services and the Office of International Programs to honor graduating students for their contributions to diversity at Colorado State University.  Now in its fourth year, the spring semester event recognizes the achievements of our graduates, thanks the family, friends, and mentors who have supported their journey, and celebrates the richness of diversity that enriches the educational experience for all at Colorado State University.

Congratulations to you and your student if he/she is being recognized at one of the above events!  Student leaders are essential to a robust campus life, so kudos to your students for being engaged in their collegiate experience.

A few other items we'd like to note:

First, we have not yet received confirmation of Homecoming and Family Weekend dates for fall 2012.  As many of you know, we have to wait until the television schedule for the entire conference is set before we can announce a date and we believe the delay is being caused by CSU's affiliation with a new athletic conference.  We will send an email as soon as we receive the information to help families plan for the weekend's festivities.

Next, a few updates regarding President Frank.  We want to be sure you've seen a few announcements regarding the CSU budget and the proposed stadium on campus, but we also want to share we received a fantastic surprise from CSU students who chalked the back of the Administration Building to show their support for President Frank.  You can see the artwork here, but our favorite line is, "Go Beard or Go Home!" 

Lastly, with the crazy spring Colorado weather first encouraging students to be outside and active and now lazily snowing during the first week in April, we hope you're talking with your student about the end of the semester.  As mentioned above, April is a busy month and spring fever starts to set in for many of our students.  Academics come first at CSU, and, while we want students to have a reasonable amount of fun, we also want them to finish the semester as positively as they began classes back in January.  If you're coming for graduation or need services for storage units or hotels over the summer months, please consider using the RAMFAM Association Business Directory to meet your needs.

Thanks for all you do to support your student and Colorado State University.  We appreciate you!

take care,

Jody Donovan, Ph.D.
Dean of Students/Executive Director of Parent & Family Programs
jody.donovan@colostate.edu

Kacee Collard Jarnot, M.S.
Assistant Director of Parent & Family Programs
kacee.collard@colostate.edu

Parent and Family Programs
Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs
Colorado State University
201 Administration Building
Fort Collins, CO 80523
(970) 491-5312

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Faculty Insight: Working with Different Communication Styles

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Student Talking with Faculty Member

By Kacee Collard Jarnot, Instructor in the President's Leadership Program - A Call to Lead

Assertive communication can be one of the hardest skills for students to acquire in college.  Adjusting to living with new people and being in an unfamiliar environment (yes, this feeling still occurs this far into the academic year) can cause students to flounder, rather than ask for help.  Specifically, it’s crucial for students to initiate conversations with faculty members when they are struggling in the classroom. Unlike high school, faculty members do not seek out students who are doing poorly in their classes.  It is up to the student to reach out for help.

How many of you have heard one of the following phrases?

  • “My faculty member isn’t approachable.”
  • “I don’t think my faculty member likes me.”
  • “I can’t go talk to my faculty member – I’m doing really poorly in the class!”
  • “I don’t even know what questions to ask my teacher.  Why would I go to Office Hours?”
  • “I don’t understand my faculty member’s communication style.”

It can be tough for students to start the conversation around academic success, especially if the student deems that faculty member as particularly prickly.  While it is true that some faculty members are more approachable than others, I cannot overstate the importance of working to create relationships with faculty members.  As stated in a recent College Parents of America article, “Students and their professors have the same goal: the student’s success.  This involves a shared responsibility.  A conversation with the instructor is a good way to explore the problem and begin to formulate a solution.  Most difficulties only get worse when they are ignored or when there is no communication.”

Because the communication needs to occur between students and faculty members, it may be difficult to “sit on the sidelines” as a parent or family member.  Here are a few tips adapted from College Parents of America to share with your students if/when they need to approach a faculty member with an academic issue:

  • First and foremost, encourage your student to go in to speak with the professor.  Even if the conversation starts with, “I’m having trouble in your class,” it will open the door to conversation and supplemental instruction.
  • Encourage your student to take a few minutes to determine what he/she needs from the meeting.  Gather tests, papers, notes & the syllabus.
  • When possible, students should be specific in pinpointing the problem.  Is it difficulty understanding the material?  Getting notes down in class?  Does your student think he/she understands the material but doesn’t do well on tests?  Is it difficulty understanding assignments?  Understanding the textbook?  The more specific students can be in describing their problem, the more the professor can help to address the problem.
  • Students should be honest and not lie about problems or study time or doing assignments.  If they want help with problems, the instructor needs to understand the real problems.
  • Encourage your student to flat out ask for the professor’s advice on how to move forward.  The point of a meeting with the professor should be to address the problem and discuss options.  Discuss options available: Is tutoring available and recommended?  Can the professor suggest a study group?  Are lectures or PowerPoint slides available on line?  Will the professor accept an early draft of a paper for review?
  • Ask for clarification of anything confusing.  Encourage students to be sure they understand what the professor is suggesting and write it down.
  • Students should leave with an action plan, whether it’s finding a tutor, attending a TILT workshop to help them read the text differently, or doing an extra assignment.

If at first they don’t succeed, encourage them to try again.  Communication is often the key to academic success.

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Assessment Results:  CSU Health Network Unveils New Website

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CSU Health Network Website GraphicBy Marie Allen, CSU Health Network Marketing Coordinator

The Colorado State University Health Network is proud to introduce its newly updated webpage. The new site offers convenient information for students on medical services, making appointments, and where to turn in an emergency.

The site includes health tools and resources for a variety of topics. Students can connect with online assessments to determine their emotional, physical and social health and learn how to seek help if needed. The site provides information about healthy lifestyles, learning assistance, substance abuse and a special section to help parents and families adapt to the changing relationship with their college student.

“There are so many ways for students to get involved with the Health Network. Now we have a great resource where students can learn about our services and programs,” said Anne Hudgens, executive director of the CSU Health Network.

The CSU Health Network which offers on-campus medical services, counseling services, and health education services is proud to be a reliable, convenient source of medical information for CSU students.

“We know that navigating healthcare can be a challenging new experience for young people and we want to make sure that no questions go unanswered.  The new webpage will help us reach this goal,” said Hudgens.

The website seeks to answer common student questions about what student health fees, which are included in their tuition, cover and what services are offered. Some students may be surprised by the variety of care they can get with no additional cost. “We want students to know that there are very few things that we can’t provide at the CSU Health Network –from dental and optometry services to consultations and counseling—for low or no additional cost. If something comes up, we are happy to help students find the services they need,” said Hudgens.

There are more changes on the way for the website, too. The CSU Health Network website will soon include provider biographies that allow students to get information about healthcare providers before they make an appointment. 

Visit the new website at health.colostate.edu and please feel free to leave feedback to help improve the ever-evolving site.

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Why Would a CSU Student Ever Need a Campus Lawyer?

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SLS Staff, taken from their website:  sls.colostate.edu

 

By Rob Lowrey, Staff Attorney, Student Legal Services

Well, you would be surprised. Students might need Student Legal Services if they are ever going to ride a bike, use a credit card, walk their dog, download a song, sign a lease, get a job, wonder about their rights, open a bank account, buy, sell, or drive a car, go out on the town, have a roommate, study abroad, become a teacher, start a business, have friends over, apply to grad school, go camping, take a road trip, or have an RA or police officer knock on their door…

CSU Student Legal Services is one of the oldest SLS offices in the country. We were created by student referendum in 1971 to provide free legal advice to students on civil, criminal, domestic, consumer, traffic, and many other issues. About the only things we don’t do are taxes, worker’s compensation, and immigration.

CSU Student Legal Services has three licensed attorneys with over 50 years of combined legal experience. We are on campus with one purpose:  to help CSU students.

Director Kathy Harward has undergraduate and Law degrees from the University of Nebraska and law licenses in Colorado, Nebraska, and California. I graduated from the University of Massachusetts and the University of Colorado Law, and am also licensed in Connecticut and Alaska. Forrest Orswell is a graduate of The University of Northern Colorado and Wyoming Law with fourteen years private practice experience.

We have four student employees, plus Valerie McIntyre, our award-winning Office Manager, who will soon celebrate twenty-two years of service to CSU!

Here are some lessons for your student:

  • Don’t sign a tanning contract. They are over-priced, and you can’t cancel.
  • Don’t think you’ll be excused by police for minor offenses. A criminal record, even for petty crimes, stays with you harming your chances in the workplace. Very few criminal convictions can be sealed or wiped from your record.
  • Fake ID’s are a crime. Several crimes in fact.
  • Don’t drive after ANY drinking! It’s illegal for drivers under 21 to drive with a BAC of .02; over 21 it is .05. You should consider that zero tolerance. Choose a safe ride home: Ram Ride 970-491-3333, or an alcohol-free friend. (The designated driver is NOT just the one who has had the least to drink.)
  • Beware of scams! If it sounds too good, it is. Don’t fall for the person who “mistakenly” sends you a check that’s too big, and asks you to deposit it. The check is fake! Never withdraw money without absolute proof from your bank that the funds are soundly sitting in your account.
  • If you don’t have the money, don’t buy it! It’s hard enough to deal with student loans, you don’t need credit card debt, too.
  • Looking for a summer job? Watch out for the franchisors that show up on campus in the fall. Don’t sign any franchise agreement until you’ve met with us.

No mistake is ever too small or too embarrassing. Student Legal Services is 100% confidential and covered by student fees.  Encourage your student to come see us in Room 182 of the Lory Student Center before things get out of hand.

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Supporting Seniors and Commencement Information

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CSU Commencement Ceremony

By Lindsay Sell, Assistant Director of Student Advancement Programs, Office of CSU Events and Constituent Engagement

Graduating students often face a new set of opportunities and challenges as they consider their next steps post-graduation and make meaning of the time they’ve spent at Colorado State University. As parent and family members, supporting students as they logistically manage the conclusion of their college experience and emotionally manage the transition into the next phase of their lives can be difficult.

As students consider their participation in commencement, and as parents and families make plans to honor their students’ graduation, CSU has developed an online resource that provides key information about the commencement process. CSU utilizes a de-centralized commencement schedule during which students have the opportunity to participate in a commencement ceremony specific to their college or graduate school. Information about spring commencement ceremonies and frequently asked questions about the process can easily be found on this webpage.

In addition, the Alumni Association looks forward to remaining connected to students after graduation. As graduates move on from CSU, they have the opportunity to remain connected to the University through Ram Networks and by attending alumni events in their area. The Alumni Association has created a page to detail the ways in which graduates may remain connected to CSU. In the coming weeks, this page will continue to be updated with important resources for seniors as they consider the next steps in their life. In general, the Alumni Association can act as resources to new graduates in accessing alumni services and remaining connected with and informed about CSU.

Students may also utilize the Career Center throughout their college experience, but pay special attention to these important services as they prepare for graduation. The Career Center has developed a special page for parents and families as they support students in their preparation for life after CSU.

As graduating students enjoy their final few weeks at CSU and look to their future, CSU hopes to support them every step of the way. Parents and family members can help connect these students with the services and information they need as they wrap up their college career.

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Graduating Student?  Consider a Grad Pack!

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Grad Pack PhotoBy Tonya Malik-Carson, Assistant Director of Marketing, Colorado State University Alumni Association

If you have a student graduating in May…Congratulations! You deserve kudos for supporting your graduate over the years, and we thank you for allowing us to be a part of this journey. As your graduate makes the transition from student to alumnus, we encourage you to check into the services and programs available through the Alumni Association.

Alumni Association Grad Packs are one-stop shopping options with graduation essentials such as cap, gown, and tassel rental.

Grad Pack Options:

     Annual Grad Pack      $37 ($48 value)

   Colorado Grad Pack     $125 ($148 value)

Life Member Grad Pack $750 ($1,025 value)

  • Alumni Association Annual Membership
  • Cap, gown, & tassel rental
  • Alumni license plate frame
  • 10% off diploma frames
  • All items listed in Annual Grad Pack PLUS
  • Colorado State University license plate certificate
  • All items listed in Annual Grad Pack PLUS
  • Life Membership in lieu of Annual Membership

 

The Alumni Association also offers access to short-term major medical insurance, pet insurance, networking opportunities, career assistance, and more. Visit the Alumni Association website for details.

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April 2012 RAMFAM Association Meeting

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RAMFAM GraphicThe RAMFAM Association is taking it “on the road” this month to experience downtown Denver and engage with all of our Denver area families!  This month's RAMFAM meeting aims to gather a new set of RAMFAM participates, so come and enjoy a beautiful space in downtown Denver where we’ll mingle, enjoy some coffee and light breakfast appetizers, and talk about the academic year. 

We’ll discuss themes we saw over the academic year, give families a chance to connect and share your students’ stories, and will leave you with tips on helping your student be productive over the summer months.  This meeting will not be webcast live, but the video will be posted on the Parent & Family website for viewing afterward.  Our Denver-area families should have received an invitation to participate (if not, please let Kacee Collard Jarnot know), but here are the details:

Who:  All Parents and Families of CSU Students
When:  Saturday, April 21, 2012
Time:  10:00 – 11:30 am, Mountain Standard Time
Where:  CSU Denver Center (directions provided upon RSVP to Karen Rewinkel)
Cost:  FREE!!

Tentative Agenda:

  • Welcome, Mingling and Eating
  • Reflections on the Year
  • Tips for Encouraging a Productive Summer

For those unable to attend in person, look for the video in our archived site about a week after the event.

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Associated Students of CSU Elections

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Regina & Joe and Dietrick & Muller, courtesy of Colorado State University's Flickr accountBy Jake Pappas, Sophomore, President's Leadership Program Intern with Parent & Family Programs

Along with the new wave of spring colors and fresh air, the first week of April brings student body elections for the Associated Students of Colorado State University, or ASCSU. Our University’s student government oversees the allocation of student fees for athletics, campus programming, and a wide variety of services such as RamRide, Transport, media publication, and much more. The elected representatives of ASCSU advocate for CSU students on campus and at the local, state, and national levels of government. For the past two weeks students have been campaigning for the Student Body President and Vice President positions in ASCSU. The Plaza and majority of campus has been riddled with signs promoting our two tickets for candidacy this year: “Regina & Joe”, “Dietrick & Muller.”

With two jam-packed weeks of intense campaigning for both teams, political platforms and stances become prevalent in the increased dialogue among students who choose to vote between April 2nd and April 4th, via their RAMweb accounts. Regina & Joe and Dietrick & Muller have spent the past couple of weeks reaching out to students through their organizations, as well as open forums and even debates to spark interest in our student government.

Regina Martel and Joe Eden are both juniors at the University, majoring in political science with a strong background in working with ASCSU in their previous years. Martel currently holds the Deputy Chief of Staff role for the 11-12 administration, while Eden represents the student body in his ASCSU senator position. Their platforms are wholly focused on accurately representing the student voice at CSU. They hope to act as a catalyst for student opinion on topics surrounding the syllabi sharing website, future campus construction, outreach to student organizations, and “Green, Greener and Greenest Event Planning.”  Regina & Joe's website outlines more of these platforms in-depth. “The two are both Colorado natives and resonate with the ‘small-town atmosphere’ and ‘sense of home’ they’ve felt during their careers at the university” (Rocky Mountain Collegian, March 28, 2012).

Junior ASCSU presidential hopeful John Dietrick and sophomore vice presidential Max “Moose” Muller are also vying for the privilege to represent the Colorado State community as the next student body administration. Their goals in the student government aim to cut taxes on textbooks, move club sports to Hughes Stadium, and optimize benefits for every student dollar, highlighting a few on their impressive list. Dietrick & Muller's website also gives a further insight to some of their initiatives. Although neither candidate has previous experience in the ASCSU office, “both men’s considerable activity in fraternities, Muller’s former jobs working around campus and Dietrick’s vocational calling and desire to fill a role protecting others wedges them into several corners of CSU life” (Rocky Mountain Collegian, March 27, 2012).

With all the collegiate activism that is thrust into the laps of thousands of undergraduates at Colorado State, it’s hard to believe that only 22.8% of the student body voted in last year’s election – an increase over the year before (Rocky Mountain Collegian, March 8, 2012). Voting takes thirty seconds via ramweb.colostate.edu on April 2nd, 3rd, and 4th, where students can easily select their choice for the next administration of ASCSU, as well as the handful of senator positions and next year’s Forever Green T-Shirt. Encourage your students to voice their educated opinion for the student government candidates – two important positions in a body that ultimately allocates over $40 million in student fees.

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101 Things to do Before your Student Leaves CSU

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By Lisa Camino, CSU Parent

Have you seen the 101 Things to do Before You Leave CSU list for students?  Please join us in creating a similar list for parents and families of CSU students.  Whether you are the parent or family member of a freshman, a senior, or an alumni we want to hear from you!  Think of your CSU experiences that were the most memorable, joyful, poignant or inspiring.  Have you attended a Homecoming & Family Weekend football game?  Maybe you took a picture with the bronze ram outside of Moby Arena during your student’s graduation?  These are the types of items we’re looking to include in the list.  Send your ideas to me, Lisa Camino, by May 1, 2012, if you’d like to participate.  We will compile a list to put in a future newsletter.  Thanks for your participation!

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16 Years of CSUnity

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CSUnity GraphicBy Tina De Giso, Graduate Marketing Coordinator, SLiCE

This year, on Saturday April 21st, thousands of Colorado State University (CSU) students, alumni, and friends will be demonstrating their commitment to their community by participating in CSUnity, a CSU national day of service.

The Mission of CSUnity is to strengthen the relationships between CSU and the Fort Collins community as well as the relationships among CSU students, faculty and staff.  It is modeled on COOL’s (Campus Outreach Opportunity League) “Into the Streets” one-day service plunge. The idea is to take these different groups of individuals and having them bond over active service while at the same time benefiting the community.

CSUnity began in the fall of 1996, when conversations started on how to get CSU students, faculty and staff “plunge” into the community. These diverse groups came together with one goal in mind: creating an opportunity to engage CSU in active service throughout the Fort Collins Community. This theme carried over into the spring of 1997, when the first CSUnity with its 85 participants occurred, kicking off what is now a 16 year tradition.

“CSUnity is a great opportunity for CSU students to show that they care about Fort Collins and Larimer County,” said Brett Rundle, coordinator for CSU’s Student Leadership, Involvement, and Community Engagement (SLiCE) office. “It gives them an opportunity to learn about community issues and organizations while serving with local businesses, organizations and residents.”

Fast forward to 2012 and this event has now grown to recruit over 2,300 volunteers and over 200 projects. This is a great achievement and CSUnity looks forward to growing even more in the future.

A few of the projects this year include:

  • Cleanup and maintenance projects at various community agencies
  • Yard work/grounds work at Fort Collins parks 
  • Decorating for a Prom for TGIF
  • Putting on a pancake breakfast for seniors at the Chilson Senior Center

More information regarding CSUnity and the projects offered can be found on the Student Leadership, Involvement and Community Engagement Office website, or by contacting Brett Rundle via email or at (970) 481-3579.

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National Dining Survey Shows CSU Above National Average on Every Factor

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Dining, courtesy of Microsoft Office imagesBy Tonie Miyamoto, Communication Director, Housing & Dining Services

Colorado State University Dining Services recently participated in the annual NACUFS (National Association of College and University Food Services) 2011 Customer Satisfaction Benchmarking Survey. This survey is based on 137,433 responses from 103 institutions.  The results for CSU are based on 2,220 student responses.  The mean score is based on a Likert Scale in which 1 = very dissatisfied and 5 = very satisfied.

CSU students are consistently more satisfied with their dining services when compared to the entire sample of 103 institutions. CSU’s mean score has also improved significantly in the past six years.

“In general, how satisfied or dissatisfied are you with the dining services provided by your college/university?”

  2006 Mean 2007 Mean 2008 Mean 2009 Mean 2010* Mean 2011 Mean
Colorado State University 3.83 3.94 4.09 4.16 4.14 4.18
National Average 3.65 3.73 3.79 3.84 3.82 3.87

* Environmental Stewardship/Sustainability was added in 2010 causing the national average and individual institution mean to drop.

The results also indicate that CSU students are more satisfied with their dining services on every individual factor in the survey compared to all other participating schools.

Satisfaction with: 2011 CSU National Average
Food 3.94 3.72
Menu 3.94 3.70
Service 4.29 4.10
Cleanliness 4.34 4.19
Dining Environment 4.38 4.19
Environmental Stewardship/Sustainability 4.20 4.02

 

Residential Dining Services strives to provide a wide range of options and an excellent environment in each of CSU’s award-winning dining facilities. These survey results are a testament to the consistent quality that Dining Services maintains in its operations and services provided.


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