Dear Parents & Families of New Colorado State University Students:

Ram Welcome: Experience CSU! provides new students an opportunity to create community and learn what it means to be a CSU student before the semester begins.  We offer this programming because we know our most successful students are those who get involved immediately with others and the campus and take ownership of their experience at Colorado State from the beginning.  Four days of intentional interactions help students start their college careers in the right direction, giving them a solid foundation from which to build.

The student Ram Welcome schedule for first year students (including those living off-campus or at home) and international students lasts the entire four day period before the semester begins (Thursday, August 20 – Sunday, August 23).  During this time, students will have the opportunity to build community with other new students, learn about academic expectations, meet their faculty, find their classrooms and prepare for the beginning of the semester, participate in fun traditions such as Hike to the "A" and We Are CSU programming and photo, and connect to their Ram Welcome groups and floor/off-campus/transfer communities on a more personal level.  The experience is designed to help students feel connected and at ease with the campus environment when classes begin on Monday, August 24, 2015.  For transfer students, we understand they know what it's like to be a college student, so we've developed an abbreviated schedule of specialized programs to help them successfully transition to Colorado State (Thursday, August 20 - Friday, August 21, with optional weekend programming).

Colorado State also offers a parent and family Ram Welcome schedule that begins on Thursday, August 20 at 4:00 pm and ends at noon on Friday, August 21.  We hope you will join us for the full day and a half of Ram Welcome for parents and families because it is designed to help you move through the transition of students going to college.  This college transition is not just about your first year/transfer student; it is also about you and your family. By attending our sessions, families will learn tips and strategies for supporting your student through their first year in college, learn about important resources on campus, and make connections with other CSU parents and families.

This “special edition” of the Parent & Family eNewsletter aims to help parents and families with a framework to start the Ram Welcome experience.  It also provides details to the Ram Welcome parent and family schedule (first-year student schedule can be found here) and offers a few reminders and tips before you and your student arrive on campus.  Click on any of the links below to take you directly to articles of interest, or scroll down to peruse the entire newsletter.

In closing, we look forward to partnering with all of you to support your student through their Colorado State University experience!  We hope to see you in just a few weeks!

John & Erin

John Henderson, Ph.D.
Assistant Dean of Students/Director of Parent & Family Programs
Erin Hammersley, M.Ed.
Coordinator of Parent & Family Programs
Parent & Family Programs
Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs
Colorado State University
201 Administration Building
Fort Collins, CO 80523
(970) 491-6680

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AlcoholEdu/Haven: Understanding Sexual Assault - Requirements for All New CSU Students

As we discussed during the Transitions & Keeping Your Student Healthy sessions during Ram Orientation, AlcoholEdu (required for students under age 23) and Haven: Understanding Sexual Assault (required for all admitted students) are two important education courses for new students.

Your students have received instructions on how to complete the courses.  This information was emailed to their email addresses and, as a reminder, Part 1 of each must be completed by August 24, 2015.

These links will take you to the information sent to your students, as well as instructions on completing the AlcoholEdu module as a parent or family member.  While it is required for new students under the age of 23 to complete the module, it is not required that you take the parent and family version of AlcoholEdu.  The option is available should you want to see what is required of your student.

Student Information/Instructions - AlcoholEdu and Haven: Understanding Sexual Assault

AlcoholEdu Information - Parent and Family Member Version 

Please do not complete your student’s courses for them, as this is an important step in helping your student make well-informed choices about alcohol while at CSU.  We encourage you to talk with your students about the course to learn about their planned approach to situations involving alcohol and consent while attending CSU (as well as their plans to complete the modules prior to arriving to campus to begin their first year at Colorado State).

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Have You Purchased Your Tickets to the New Student & Family Picnic


Purchase Your Tickets to the New Student & Family Picnic by July 31!

We invite all parents and family members to join us for a zero waste outdoor picnic on the intramural fields immediately following Convocation on Thursday, August 20.  Students are hosted by the CSU Alumni Association and are expected to attend this event by swiping their Ram Card at the entrance.  To help us account for the number of parent and family members attending the picnic, we need you to purchase tickets online by Friday, July 31, 2015, 11:59 PM, Mountain Daylight Time.  The instructions for purchasing tickets are below, with the option to print tickets at home or pick up purchased tickets prior to the Parent & Family Welcome (by 4:00 pm) at Campus Information and Box Office on the day of the event.  Please be aware that lost, forgotten, or stolen tickets cannot be replaced.  For families who choose the “print tickets at home” option, please be prepared to have your ticket with you on the day of the event, as there are no available printing facilities for picnic tickets on campus.

Your new CSU student does not need a ticket to enter the picnic, but if you have 10 people helping move your students to CSU, please make sure you purchase 10 tickets to allow everyone to eat at the picnic.  Please purchase your tickets as follows (step-by-step instructions can be found on our website):

  • Website:
  • Price: $7.00 per ticket
  • Last day to purchase tickets: July 31, 2015, 11:59PM, Mountain Daylight Time
  • Please note:  lost, forgotten, or stolen tickets cannot be replaced through the Campus Information and Box Office & “print at home” tickets cannot be printed on campus the day of the event

For families who choose not to attend the New Student & Family Picnic, we encourage you to eat at one of our fabulous local restaurants and return to campus after the picnic to meet up with your students for the Carnival & President's Concert!

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Ram Welcome Parent & Family Schedule - Thursday, August 20, 2015

Residence Hall Move-In 

by Tonie Miyamoto, Director of Communications & Sustainability for Housing & Dining Services and Michelle Valoris, Web & Multimedia Coordinator for Housing & Dining Services

Specific traffic and parking guidelines have been put in place for Move-In Day to make the process as seamless as possible.  Several major construction projects are underway on campus and in the community so traffic patterns will be different this year.  Detailed driving directions and a parking map will be available on the Housing & Dining Services website two weeks before move-in to ensure the most up-to-date details.  Your student will also receive a hall-specific welcome/move-in email two weeks before move-in with specific driving, parking, and check-in details.

Here are some helpful reminders for Move-In day:

  • Be sure to review the online Move-In Guide prior to your arrival on campus.
  • Label boxes and belongings with your name/room number to be sure all of your things stay together.
  • Temporary parking will be available for unloading. After unloading vehicles will be directed to more long-term parking to allow others to unload.
  • Police officers will be on site to direct traffic and control traffic flow. CSU staff members will be available to assist you and give directions to your hall.
  • If you have any questions, please stop at one of our Welcome Booths and we will be happy to assist.

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First Year Off-Campus Students

by Jeannie Ortega, Director of Off-Campus Life

While first year students living on campus are moving into the residence halls, first year students living off campus or at home can check into Ram Welcome at the Off-Campus Life office (room 274) in the Lory Student Center any time between noon and 4:00 pm. At 4:00 pm, students are to attend the Off-Campus Student Welcome in the Cherokee Ballroom at the Lory Student Center. Ram Welcome Leaders will lead and guide students through the Ram Welcome experience throughout the weekend. Here are some helpful tips and reminders to help first year off-campus students and families navigate campus this day:

  • Traffic will be heavy on and around campus. Police officers will be directing traffic and adjusting directional flow on some streets to one-way.  Be patient and allow extra time to find parking. Check the Transportation and Parking section of the Move-In Day website to see more details regarding traffic flow as Ram Welcome approaches. 
  • Parking Information: If driving to campus for Ram Welcome activities on Thursday and Friday, due to campus construction and heavy move-in traffic  please check your e-mail for recommendations for parking on campus. For Saturday and Sunday Ram Welcome activities, off-campus students are encouraged to park in lot #195.  Access to #195 is from Shields east on Plum or Elizabeth. For questions about parking, contact Parking Services at (970) 491-7041 or

If you have any questions, stop by our Welcome Booths in various locations around campus and visit with CSU staff members who will be happy to assist you.

Transfer Students

Transfer students can connect with one another and begin their transition to CSU at 11:00 am in the Lory Student Center Theatre Lobby by checking in and receiving their For-Ever-Green t-shirt and Traditions Book. Students can attend optional interest sessions that will provide them with opportunities to learn about specific campus resources that will help them have a successful transition to CSU.  At 3:30 pm, transfer students will be officially welcomed to campus by CSU administrators – including President Dr. Tony Frank – reconnect with the Transfer Transition Leaders, the Adult Learner and Veteran Services staff, and other fantastic staff members to kick off their CSU experience in the Lory Student Center Theatre. Transfer students will be asked to take part in a transfer student tradition and leave their first official mark on campus by signing the “A.”

See the "parking information" (above) for details about your transfer student's arrival to campus. 

If you have any questions, stop by our Welcome Booths in various locations around campus and visit with CSU staff members who will be happy to assist you.

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Parent & Family Welcome - Lory Student Center, Grand Ballroom

Whether you are moving your student into their residence hall, an off-campus apartment, or just rearranging their space (if your student will commute from home), move-in day is hectic and usually hot.  After you've moved your students' belongings into their spaces, please join us for light refreshments at the Parent and Family Welcome!  Families will have the opportunity to hear from University administration and leadership, as well as a student panel in an air conditioned space during the welcome.  The doors will open at 3:45pm, and program begins at 4:15pm. This quick Q&A will help with logistics:

Can my student attend the reception with me?

Your students will begin their Ram Welcome journey at the same time, in different locations.  It is vital for students to attend these sessions to begin to build community at Colorado State.

Students living on campus will attend a Residence Hall Floor Meeting at 4:00 pm.  They will get a quick introduction to Residence Life and meet their Resident Assistant (RA) and their Ram Welcome Leader (an upper-division student dedicated to a particular floor during the 4-day welcome week experience).  It is critical for students to begin to connect with their housing community, so this meeting is mandatory.

Students living off-campus will attend the Off-Campus Student Welcome at 4:00 pm in the Cherokee Park Ballroom of the Lory Student Center to meet other commuter students & learn about great campus resources through CSU’s Off-Campus Life Office.

At 3:30 pm, transfer students will be officially welcomed to campus by CSU administrators – including President Dr. Tony Frank – reconnect with the Transfer Transition Leaders, the Adult Learner and Veteran Services staff, and other fantastic staff members to kick off their CSU experience in the Lory Student Center Theatre. Transfer students will be asked to take part in a transfer student tradition and leave their first official mark on campus by signing the “A.”

Where is the Parent & Family Welcome located?

The Parent & Family Welcome will be located in the Grand Ballroom of the Lory Student Center.  

Please note, Meridian Avenue has limited access, so families will likely need to walk from individual Residence Halls or the exterior of campus.  Please look for the Parent & Family Welcome sign as you enter the LSC, the Grand Ballroom is located on the 3rd floor of the building.  When you arrive, please enjoy the refreshments and take a few minutes to rest and relax after a busy first day on campus.  

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Convocation - Moby Arena for students and Lory Student Center-Grand Ballroom (with a live webcast into Moby Arena) for parents and families

Hear messages from the CSU President, Dr. Tony Frank, Provost, Vice President for Student Affairs, ASCSU President, and select alumni.  These individuals will welcome both students and families to Colorado State University. 

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New Student & Family Picnic with the CSU Alumni Association - Intramural Fields

At the closing of Convocation, we invite families to filter out onto the Intramural (IM) Fields for a zero waste picnic with the CSU Alumni Association.  Students are expected to attend this event & can swipe in with their Ram Cards.  Please remember, you must purchase tickets in advance (by July 31, 2015, 11:59PM Mountain Daylight Time) to attend this event. 

For those who purchased tickets online and chose the “will call” option, we invite you to pick up your tickets prior to the Parent & Family Reception (before 4:00 pm) at Campus Information and Box Office in the Lory Student Center.

If you choose not to purchase a ticket in advance of the event, we encourage you to enjoy dinner at a local Fort Collins restaurant.  Afterward, we invite all parents and family members to return to campus after the picnic to meet up with your students for the CSU Carnival and President’s Concert.

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Carnival & President's Concert - Intramural Fields

After you eat, enjoy games, snacks, carnival rides and live music on the IM Fields!  The CSU Carnival is the perfect way to kick off the academic year at no additional cost and we invite students and the whole family to participate until 11:00 pm.

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horizontal ruleRam Welcome Parent & Family Schedule - Friday, August 21, 2015

Early Friday morning, Ram Welcome Leaders will guide students from their residence halls (or meeting locations for off-campus & transfer students) to their individual colleges to learn more about what it means to be a CSU student.  While students are meeting important faculty members and College leadership, we offer programming for parents and families in the Lory Student Center to ease the transition to CSU and to learn more about campus resources.  Beginning at 9:00 am, each session will be offered twice so parents and families can choose the two most personally relevant sessions (link for details):


Making the Transition: Getting Your Heart and Head Read- Lory Student Center, Cherokee Park Ballroom

This session assists parents and families in your family transition now that your student has made the physical move to CSU.  Important developmental steps will be discussed.  Tips on how to stay connected and support your students are highlighted.  Stories are sure to make you laugh and cry!

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Student Conduct and Campus Safety - Lory Student Center, Room 386

This session builds on the Ram Orientation campus safety session and healthy relationships session.  Staff will provide additional information about campus and personal safety, protocols on responding to environmental health concerns (infections disease), the conduct system and conflict resolution process, and will address important campus policies and processes, leaving time for individual questions at the close of the presentation. 

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CSU Health Network - Lory Student Center, Grey Rock Room

During this session, staff from the CSU Health Network dive into the details about health insurance, waivers, RamCare and what happens every step of the way if your student gets sick, is injured, or needs counseling (Leaving time for logistical questions about how the process works!).   Leaving time for logistical questions about how the process works. 

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Saying Your Goodbyes

While students are expected to attend all four days of Ram Welcome events, Parent & Family programming ends at noon on Friday, August 21.

When you leave campus, Ram Welcome Leaders & Resident Assistants will be working to help ease your student's transition, but we also need your help in making this a successful transition for your student.  The inevitable goodbyes are hard and can be emotional.  Take cues from your student on how best to leave.  If your student is involved and ready to engage in the CSU community, do your best to match their happy tone, even though you may be hurting inside.  (Remember the tips we shared during Ram Orientation around the transition model and how difficult it can be when family members are in different phases?).  If your student is sad about your departure, remind your student about the next time you'll see them.  Concrete dates give you and your student something to look forward to.  Will it be Homecoming & Family Weekend?  Will you be able to come to campus for Labor Day weekend?

If your student is feeling uncertain, it is likely because of the bevy of emotions that come with any transition.  Reinforce your belief in their success and remind them of their strengths.  Words of encouragement can go a long way to helping students plant their feet at CSU.  If you are feeling uncertain, check in with your student about your agreed-upon time of departure. Hold to that time because your student may feel torn between being with family and joining this new-found community of peers.  Long, drawn-out goodbyes are exhausting and rarely get easier as time passes.  Say your goodbyes, include those messages of love, support, and belief in their abilities and make that break for home.

Please note:   Most students’ College Day activities will last throughout Friday morning.  As such, most students will have some time to say their goodbyes on Friday afternoon

Lastly, if you planned a long weekend in Northern Colorado, the Parent & Family website and the Ft. Collins Visitor Guide in the Parent & Family Guide produced with our partners at University Parent Media provide great links for fun things to see and do while you're here.  All mentioned resources link from the above Parent & Family website!

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Parent & Family Frequently Asked Questions

I live in Fort Collins and have a pretty good idea of what is offered at CSU.  Do I need to attend the Ram Welcome events for parents and families?

We are often surprised to hear from local and Denver area families who don't believe they need to participate in Ram Welcome and instead, plan to drop off their student and immediately return back home, or if your student will be living at home or off-campus send students to check-in by themselves.  The unintended message is that this is just like high school and not a special time to celebrate the transition into a new phase of life.  Local students see a lot of families surrounding their students and can often feel detached, lonely and sad.  Instead of feeling like a part of a community at CSU, they immediately leave to find their old high school friends or go to their old hang outs to feel like they belong.  If you are a local parent or family member, please check your schedule to reserve time to attend Ram Welcome through Friday at noon.  We love when local families learn something new about an institution in their backyard.

I am very close to my student and am worried I won’t be able to help him/her with issues because we don’t live near Fort Collins.  What services are available to me to help me assist my student from afar?

Parent & Family Programs!  Please call (970-491-6680) or email ( or if your student is having issues transitioning to Colorado State University, finding resources on campus, connecting to new communities, or is feeling a bit homesick.  We’re happy to discuss ways we can reach out and resources available to students on campus.  We’ll also be sharing information through monthly electronic newsletters.

What happens if we can’t arrive until Friday or Saturday of Ram Welcome?

During Ram Orientation, we talked about the importance of students getting connected to others and the campus and owning their experiences.  Ram Welcome is a powerful way to get students connected to CSU before the semester begins. With intentional programming around welcoming students to the University, exposing students to the academic culture of their individual colleges, learning about CSU’s traditions and values, and connecting to their residence hall/transfer/commuter communities, to the University, and to the Fort Collins community, those students who aren’t able to attend miss out on the opportunities to begin getting comfortable on campus.  While we realize it may be inconvenient for families and students to attend events during the work week, we ask families to strongly consider coming before the weekend and try to have students on campus by 4:00 pm on Thursday, August 20, 2015.

If you are absolutely unable to attend until Friday or Saturday, please encourage your student to connect with their Resident Assistant (RA) and/or Ram Welcome Leader as soon as possible upon their arrival to begin getting connected with others at Ram Welcome events.

I’m not sure my student’s roommate is going to be a good fit.  How do we go about getting an immediate room change?

Students come to CSU from all over the United States and the world.  Your student’s roommate is one of them and your student will have the opportunity to get acquainted with, learn about, and adjust to living with them.  Residence Life seeks to pair roommates who have similar preferences, based on information provided on the Residence Hall Housing Application.  Note: discrimination based on race, color, creed, religion, sexual orientation, or national origin is contrary to the purpose and policies of Colorado State University and violates the spirit and intent of the civil rights laws of Colorado.  For this reason, information of this kind is not requested on the Residence Hall Housing Application and is not taken into account when making roommate assignments.

We know it is common to check out a new roommate via  social media. We remind students (and parents/family members) it has been our experience that students do not get a complete and accurate sense of who their roommate is based soley on a social media profile. Viewing status updates, photos, and affiliations on social media sites may not accurately reflect whether or not your student and their matched roommate will be compatible. We recommend your student contact their new roommate directly, get to know that person through conversations, and take the time to see how they will relate as roommates.

To assist students in successfully sharing a room, students can obtain a Roommate Agreement from their RA and students are encouraged to fill them out together. If an unresolvable issue arises between your student and their roommate, they are encouraged to seek advice from their RA, Assistant Residence Director, Residence Director, or consult with the Office of Conflict Resolution and Student Conduct Services.

Should my student bring a car to campus?

CSU offers many convenient transportation options for students, which may impact your decision to bring a car to campus. Students can get home, to the airport, and around Fort Collins with the services highlighted below.

Getting Around Fort Collins

Transfort & MAX: A student’s CSU ID allows them to ride the City’s bus system at no additional cost, with multiple stops on and around campus. 

Bike or Board: 80% of CSU students bring a bike or skateboard to campus (designated at the ‘Silver’ level as a Bicycle Friendly University), which is connected to miles and miles of City bike lanes and trails. or

Around The Horn: A free shuttle system that runs every 10 minutes across campus to help students, faculty, staff, and guests get around campus conveniently and quickly.   

Denver and Beyond

FLEX: Regional bus serving Fort Collins, Loveland, Berthoud, and Longmont.

Bustang: Colorado Department of Transportation commuter bus with routes from Fort Collins to Downtown Denver, Colorado Springs, and several mountain ski towns along the I-70 corridor.

Airport Shuttle: Several shuttle services in Fort Collins offer transportation to Denver International Airport with pick-ups on campus or home address. or or

Greyhound: There is a bus station in Fort Collins, about 4 miles east of campus on Mulberry Street

Zipcar: There are multiple Zipcar stations on campus that offer students self-service access 24/7 at a low hourly rate that includes gas and insurance.

Carpool: Parking and Transportation Services will help students get matched with another student traveling to the same area.

My student is covered under family insurance. What options do we have to pay for services at the CSU Health Network?

CSU Health Network will bill your students’ health insurance carrier for charges incurred for medical services. Your student’s financial responsibility is dependent on your plan benefits. Students may pay their out-of-pocket expenses by cash, credit card, check, HSA debit cards, or they may opt to send the charge to their student account. An additional payment option is the RamCare Supplement Program. Specifically designed for students with private health insurance, RamCare covers $1,500 at the CSU Health Network for services for illness or injury that may otherwise be payable at the time of service. The CSU Health Network will bill the students’ primary insurance and any balance due will then be considered under RamCare.  The program also provides $100 per semester toward prescription costs and $50 for Flex Services to be used toward other services at the CSU Health Network.

RamCare ensures that healthcare at the CSU Health Network is provided to each student with little to no additional out-of-pocket expenses, potentially eliminating the need for students to pay copays, coinsurance or deductible costs at the time of service.

The cost is $175 per semester for the Fall and Spring and $100 for the Summer. RamCare is not an insurance product and is only for use at the CSU Health Network. The deadline to enroll for the Fall 2015 semester is the 15th day of classes.

To learn more about the details of the program or to enroll please visit the RamCare page on the CSU Health Network website.

What immunizations should my student have?

Colorado State law requires that all students enrolled for one or more classes on campus and born on or after January 1, 1957 must provide proof of two vaccinations for measles and mumps and one vaccination for rubella prior to enrollment. 

For students residing in student housing, Colorado Law requires students to fulfill two requirements for Meningococcal (Meningitis) Vaccine:

1.    Student should sign a statement that they have reviewed the Meningococcal Disease Information Document, which describes meningococcal disease and the vaccine that can prevent the disease.

2.    Indicate whether they a) have received the Meningococcal Vaccine, b) plan to have the vaccine administered, or c) are “waiving” the requirement and declining to receive the vaccine. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices currently recommends that adolescents age 11 – 18 receive two doses of the Meningococcal Vaccine - the first does at 11 or 12 and a booster dose at age 16. If the first dose is given after the 16th birthday a booster is not needed. To fulfill these requirements, students must log on to their CSU Health Network Portal and complete the electronic Meningitis Form. If they have had or plan to have the vaccination, then they must also submit official documentation that the vaccine was given.

Students may send immunization documentation to the CSU Health Network Immunizations Clinic by mail, fax, e-mail (scanned copy) or personal delivery to the Hartshorn Health Center. For more information about CSU Immunization requirements, visit the CSU Health Network website or call the Immunization Clinic at (970) 491-6548.

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Make Plans to Attend Homecoming & Family Weekend - October 15-17, 2015

Now is the time to start making travel plans if you plan to come back to campus for Homecoming & Family Weekend.  This is a great time to engage with the friends and community your student has created since they arrived in August.  The weekend kicks off early in the afternoon of Friday, October 15, below are a few items to highlight:

Friday, October 15, 2015

  • Housing Options After the First Year - Off-Campus Life/Residence Life
  • Festival on the Oval
  • Homecoming & Family Weekend Parade
  • Bonfire, Pep Rally & Lighting of the "A"

Saturday brings a multitude of options in the morning – including enjoying time in Fort Collins with your family – leading into the Homecoming & Family Weekend Tailgate, which provides families an opportunity to connect and show your Ram Pride before the football game vs. Air Force.

Saturday, October 16, 2015

  • 5K Race
  • Parent and Family Breakfast (with campus leadership)
  • Homecoming & Family Weekend Tailgate
  • Homecoming Football Game (CSU vs. Air Force)

For more details, here is a tentative list of all the Family Weekend Events – the Homecoming & Family Weekend reservation website has details and registration links.

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Quick Links