Dear Parents and Families,
Wow – we are now in the third week of the semester. Honestly, it feels like we just congratulated last spring’s graduates (and their families!), had summer orientation, move-in, and Ram Welcome for this fall’s new students, and are now preparing for midterms/papers – all in the course of a few days!! Seriously, we are very excited that the semester is underway. We’d like to once again say, “Welcome” to our new CSU Families and “Welcome back” to our returning CSU families!
If you haven’t done so already, please take time to check-in with your student about academics. The first 3-4 weeks of classes are absolutely key (especially for new students) in terms of getting into a rhythm with one’s course and study schedule, connecting with professors and teaching assistants to understand expectations for the course (read each syllabus carefully AND stop by office hours for professors), connecting with tutoring services if a student is getting a sense that the assistance would be helpful, and ultimately, avoiding the mindset that if things don’t go well early in the semester, it will get figured out by the end. With the last point, while many students find ways to improve their academic performance as the semester progresses, if a student is really struggling at the beginning, and does not seek support, it can be a lot more difficult to work through the challenges later on in the school year.
For parents and family members of students living on campus, encourage your students to connect with their resident assistant (RA) and resident director (RD), who can provide support with questions related to academics, student involvement outside the classroom, ways to prioritize time, and the list goes on. For parents and family members of students living off campus, check-in with how well your student feels connected to the campus. If your student is experiencing challenges already, encourage them to seek out campus resources such as Off Campus Life, the Student Leadership, Involvement, and Community Engagement Office (SLICE), and take advantage of campus activities and programs (that are often free!).
Ultimately, please remember that your interest in and support of your student’s CSU experience – is essential! As we have shared with many of you, when students experience a challenge, they most often reach out to parents and family members first. With this in mind, if you ever need assistance/support, do not hesitate to contact our Parent and Family Programs staff. We are here to partner with you in supporting your student(s).
Parent and Family Programs Staff
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Hey there, Ram Family! My name is Jaelyn Coates and I am the new graduate assistant here in the Parent and Family Programs office. I recently graduated from my undergraduate university, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where I earned a bachelor’s degree in both Political Science and African, African American, and Diaspora Studies. Now, I’ve made my way out to the great state of Colorado, where I plan on furthering my education by earning a master’s degree in Student Affairs in Higher Education here at CSU!
I’m really looking forward to serving you and your students through my role with this office, as well as working on exciting new projects to keep you all informed about what is happening at CSU! Be sure to like us on Facebook or follow us on our new Instagram account (@csuparentsandfamilies) for information about current events and some fun photos of your students engaging on campus.
Thanks for making me a part of your ram family. And as always – GO RAMS!
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New to the Neighborhood: Here are some need-to-knows
By Emily Allen
This time of year is an incredibly exciting one for students and the Fort Collins community alike -- a time for celebration, school spirit and new beginnings. With the new year also come new responsibilities for your student.
Many returning students have moved out of the residence halls to off-campus residences and will be in charge of getting to know their neighbors -- which is beneficial for students and the community. Fort Collins has a 24-hour snow shoveling policy, which states that residents have 24 hours to shovel your sidewalk after the snow stops falling. If your student is on break and it snows, having neighbors to help shovel could save them from additional costs. Additionally, if they host a party and it gets too loud, neighbors are more likely to call their neighbor directly instead of the police if they have a relationship with them. This could save your student from receiving a $1,000+ noise citation.
Living off campus means students can responsibly host parties, but it also means they face the consequences if the party should get out of hand. Students and Fort Collins community members can register parties in the Lory Student Center room 274 through Off-Campus Life in order to decrease chances of getting a costly ticket -- 97.5 percent of people who have registered their parties since 2009 have avoided citations.
If your student does decide to throw a party, not only will noise violations be a concern, but Fort Collins has a new ordinance in effect as well, the Social Host Ordinance. The ordinance holds the host(s) responsible for providing a space in which underage possession or consumption of alcohol or marijuana is occurring. This is a civil infraction and can hold a fine of $100 or more.
Another challenge to address heading into the new school year is transportation. Many students find themselves living too far from campus to walk, but don’t want to pay for a parking pass. Fort Collins offers many options for transportation such as safe and consistent bike lanes and many bus options. A student’s CSU ID acts as a bus pass and allows students to use the bus system for free. If your student chooses to bike, don’t forget to have them register their bike in order to park it on campus. You can also find more bus information for Fort Collins at http://www.ridetransfort.com/.
Off-Campus Life is incredibly excited to see your student’s transition from being an on-campus to an off-campus student. This move can provide many exciting opportunities to show the community how great CSU students are.
Need more information about living off-campus? Visit Off-Campus Life in the LSC Rm. 274, call (970) 491-2248 or email us at email@example.com.
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Joining the Family: Navigating CSU as a Transfer and Out-of-State Student
By Jaelyn Coates
We get it – CSU is a big place! And coming to join our Ram Family from outside of Colorado or from a different institution can bring about many feelings. Whether you’re over the moon with excitement, feeling a little apprehensive, or somewhere in between, we want you to know that we care about your students’ transitions. Choosing CSU was a big decision to make, and we feel honored that you and your students invited us to be a part of the journey.
Being a transfer or an out-of-state student is a special experience. At times, you or your student may feel overwhelmed when it comes to getting involved; it can sometimes seem like everyone from Colorado already knows each other! That comfort of only being an hour or two from home is a luxury your students may not get to feel. Let’s face it, the temptation for your students to keep to themselves will creep into their minds – don’t let it! CSU has an abundance of opportunities and resources for you and your students to help them navigate this new place. Whether your student is looking for ways to discover their passions, or just need a little assistance with their housing, our offices and staff have got you covered. Check out the information below for some of the many opportunities CSU provides that may make your students’ transition and journey a little easier.
- Off-Campus Life Student Handbook – a handbook that not only gives information on renting in Fort Collins, but also about transportation, city ordinances, on and off-campus community building events, and community resources.
- Getting Around Fort Collins – for those without a car, a site that gives an overview of alternatives – using Transfort, RideShare, Zipcar, and renting or purchasing bikes.
- Biking On and Off Campus – connection to bike regulations, safety, bike parking locations, maps, and more.
- What’s Happening in FoCo (have your student log with their CSU eID and password to see options) – links to programs and events going on both on campus and in Fort Collins.
- Involvement Expo dates: Sept. 7 & 8, 10am-3pm on the LSC Plaza (excellent opportunity to connect with student organizations and non-profit agencies to find community)
- Involvement Advising: Sign up to meet with a SLiCE student involvement coach to explore ways to get involved at CSU. Visit: http://lsc.colostate.edu/slice/student-involvement/
- SDPS Connection Info: Colorado State University is proud of its efforts to enhance, appreciate, and support diversity and multiculturalism, as part of its mission as a land-grant institution of higher education. 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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Learning to Live Together: New Roommates
By Liz Mentor
It’s September, which means your student is likely settling in to life at Colorado State University, working hard in class, becoming involved on campus, and finding their rhythm with a new roommate. Sometimes roommates get along perfectly and end their year together as lifelong friends, but it is rare for roommates to avoid any sort of conflict for their entire time together.
Conflicts often arise when individuals have incompatible (or seemingly incompatible) needs and desires. One student may want the temperature of the room to be 65 degrees, the other wants it to be 78. One student wants to stay up late, one wants the lights out and silence by 10 PM. The experience of living with a roommate is rife with opportunity for disputes, but with the right mindset, this can be also be a time of learning and growth.
You can provide support for your student by encouraging them to address conflict proactively. Let them know it can be helpful to:
- Start the year with an open conversation on the expectations and desires regarding cleaning, food sharing, noise, guests and other topics. This can help avoid misunderstanding and frustrations down the line.
- If your student is living in a Residence Hall, they can use their Resident Assistant as a resource! Resident Assistants can help set up a roommate agreement and facilitate a conversation between your student and their roommate.
- Be honest in communications. We sometimes want to avoid conflicts in the hope that they will blow over. However, some conflicts don’t blow over and sometimes people don’t realize we’re upset until we tell them. Encouraging your student to communicate with their roommate when issues arise will help them resolve these issues before they turn into a bigger deal.
We at the formerly Conflict Resolution and Student Conduct Services) are here to help your student manage conflicts if they arise. We want to listen to your student, find answers, provide information, and assist in creating a resolution. Here are some highlights of the comprehensive services we offer:
- Conflict Coaching: We can meet one-on-one with your student to talk through any conflict, brainstorm solutions, and provide coaching on helpful conflict resolution skills to empower students to solve the conflict on their own.
- Grade Appeals: We are happy to explain policies and procedures and provide guidance if your student files a grade appeal.
- Mediation and Facilitation: As neutral third-party mediators, we can help individuals in conflict have a constructive conversation and reach mutually agreed upon solutions.
Whatever the conflict your student is experiencing, we are here to help work toward a resolution. Encourage your student to call 970-491-7165 or go to http://resolutioncenter.colostate.edu/ to set up an appointment or learn more about our services.
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Helping your student get a hold of anxiety
Adapted from 101
Is your student feeling stressed or overwhelmed? They are not alone. For most students, feeling overwhelmed or burdened by worry from time-to-time is common. But if your student is experiencing persistent, overwhelming anxiety, and dreads everyday situations, it’s time for them to take action.
How do you know if your student is struggling? Here are a few signs to look for:
- Reports fear of being judged by classmates/peers and refuses to interact with new people.
- Reports intense and irrational fears of things that really aren’t that dangerous or harmful.
- Frequent feelings of panic and inability to catch their breath even after the initial triggering event.
- Frequent physical problems such as headaches, stomach aches, dizziness, and shortness of breath that are otherwise unexplained.
- Refuses or is unable to attend classes or activities that otherwise they would benefit from or be required to do.
- Generally not taking care of themselves, not eating, not sleeping, etc.
- Withdrawal and isolation from friends and support persons, yourself included.
- No longer enjoys the things they used to enjoy.
- Reports few if any coping skills to deal with stress or anxiety.
The good news is that your student can learn new ways of coping with their stress and anxiety. Facing the problem head-on can be scary and uncomfortable in the short-term, but the long-term payoff is that your student can reclaim their life and well-being.
How you can support your student? Consider the following tips:
- Ask how they are coping. They may be struggling but ultimately coping pretty well.
- Encourage coping strategies that don’t rely on simply avoiding triggers.
- Try to normalize their experience while at the same time not minimize the severity of their anxiety symptoms.
- Encourage your student to maintain a healthy lifestyle, including a nutritious diet, enough sleep, and exercise.
- Help your student identify the nature of their anxiety, its triggers, and appropriate strategies for alleviating it.
- Help your student see how they can change their situation by taking active steps to improve their coping strategies.
- Encourage your student to seek support from personal or professional contacts.
The CSU Health Network is committed to the care of body and mind to help students maximize their college experience. There are many free services and resources available for students to help them manage stress, build resiliency, and overcome anxiety and other personal challenges.
For more information on the services available to your student through the CSU Health Network, visit health.colostate.edu or call (970) 491-7121.
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Homecoming and Family Weekend: October 6th-8th, 2016
By Erin Hammersley
The weekend kicks off Friday, October 7th, with informational sessions focused on helping families explore students’ housing options after their first year and an additional session focused on providing resources to support your student in an educational experience abroad. Based on feedback from parents and family members, we are offering a new session this year, “Experiential Learning Opportunities – Alternative Breaks, Education Abroad and other International Education Experiences,” where representatives from the Office of International Programs: Education Abroad and the Student Leadership, Involvement and Community Engagement (SLiCE) Office will share information about the many ways your student can engage in educational experiences all over the world. From spending a Spring Break engaging in service-learning, to an entire semester attending an institution abroad – there are many options for your students to participate! This presentation will be held on Friday, Oct. 7th from 11:30am-12:30pm in the Lory Student Center Theatre – no RSVP required!
If your student is eager to seek out information about housing options available both on or off-campus, we recommend attending the “Housing Options After the First Year” session. During this presentation, parents and family members will learn valuable information to support your student and family through this very important decision. This presentation will be held on Friday, Oct. 7th from 1:30-2:30pm in the Lory Student Center Theatre – no RSVP required! Visit the Parent & Family Program’s website to view last year’s presentation and be sure to attend this year’s session to have the most up-to-date information about housing options.
We also want to make sure you are aware of the Parent & Family Breakfast. The breakfast will be on Saturday, October 8th from 9am-10:30am in the LSC Theatre. Parents and family members in attendance have the unique opportunity to hear from campus leadership and Parent and Family Programs staff, 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. Utah State.
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 for the Homecoming and Family Weekend Tailgate and the football game, use the ticket office website. Go Rams!
Details of Homecoming and Family Weekend events:
Friday, October 7, 2016
- Experiential Learning Opportunities – Alternative Breaks, Education Abroad and other International Education Experiences, 11:30am
- 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 (Registration Required)
- Homecoming & Family Weekend Tailgate, begins at 4:00pm
- Homecoming Football Game (CSU vs. Utah State), begins at 8:00pm
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First 50 Days
By Allie Fitz
Now that orientation is over, move-in has occurred, all the new Rams have been welcomed to campus, and classes are in session, we want to highlight the First 50 Days initiative. First 50 Days includes programs that new students should attend their first 8 weeks on campus. These are large-scale common experiences open to all new students that help them connect to the university community as a whole and continue to learn what it means to be a CSU Ram. By attending and participating in these experiences, your student will have the ability to learn about involvement opportunities on campus, engage in community-wide events, take part in campus traditions, and enhance their connection to being a CSU Ram! First 50 Days begins with the Ram Welcome experience and concludes with the Homecoming experience. All new students receive email communication promoting the First 50 Days events. More information on First 50 days can be found here: http://otp.colostate.edu/first-50-days.aspx
This year First 50 Days includes the following initiatives and programs:
- Ram Welcome
- CAM-Unity Block Party
- Fraternity and Sorority Welcome Back Block Party
- Women's Soccer vs. Northern Colorado
- CSU Volleyball vs. North Dakota State
- RamFest 2016 featuring The Head and the Heart
- CSU Volleyball and Rams After Dark
- President’s Fall Address and University Picnic
- Grill the Buffs!
- Rocky Mountain Showdown
- Cinema Under The Stars ft. FERRIS BUELLER’S DAY OFF
- Involvement Expo
Wed.-Thurs., September 7, 2016- September 8, 2016
- Cinema Under The Stars ft. FINDING DORY
- Rams Game Day Experience
- CSU Meet and Greet (For Students Living in the Residence Halls)
- Taking Stock
- Education Abroad Fair
- Cinema Under The Stars ft. SECRET LIFE OF PETS
- Cans Around The Oval
- Homecoming and Family Weekend
New Student Networks
Connecting with others who share in the experience of being new to college or new to CSU is an important way for new students to feel a sense of belonging at CSU! Orientation and Transition Programs offers a way for students to make an immediate connection with their peers through the New Student Networks. Networks are made up of a Network Leader or Transfer Transition Leader and a small group (approximately 5-25) of first-year or transfer students. Networks meet regularly throughout the fall semester and are based upon an interest, passion or identity to help build small communities for new students as they begin their CSU experience. Network Leaders, for the First Year Student Networks and Transfer Transition Leaders, for the Transfer Student Networks, are current CSU students who have gone through extensive training and work to develop a great schedule of events and activities for their particular network. We offer 16 different Networks for first-year students and 4 networks for transfer students. Certain Networks are co-sponsored by campus partners, including the Black African American Cultural Center, the Pride Resource, the Asian Pacific American Cultural Center, the Outdoor Program, the CSU Rec Center, the Office of Off-Campus Life, and the Warner College of Natural Resources, to name a few. Co-sponsored Networks also work with a faculty or staff member from the respective office. Students can sign up for a Network online. For more information on First Year Student Networks, please visit http://otp.colostate.edu/first-year-student-networks.aspx and for more information on Transfer Student Networks please visit http://otp.colostate.edu/csu-transfer-networks.aspx
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