Thursday, September 11, 2014

Settling In...blog by Melinda Stoops, Dean of Students


Yesterday was the last day that students could add or drop courses for the fall semester.  From my perspective, I always feel that we are now entering a “settling in” stage:  student schedules are pretty much established; they’ve attended each class at least once by now, and have met their instructors, classmates, roommates, etc…; final details about work schedules or club involvement are being put into place. 

Now that the initial anxiety of transitioning to college (for new students) or transitioning back after the summer break (for returners) has ended for most students, there is still important work to be done.  I think of this as a “settling in” period because it is at this time that we all begin to settle in to a regular routine.  This can be a critical time for students because behaviors they engage in now may become regular habits for the semester.  Do they use the time between classes to study, to work a couple of hours at a job, or to go back to their rooms and take a nap?  Do they come up with a plan for approaching class assignments or decide to worry about them when the time comes?  Are they checking out the club they’ve been talking about joining or are they still in “thinking about it” mode?  Are they being conscious about food choices and exercise habits or enjoying the “all you can eat” offerings, including daily ice cream?
 
There are so many possible ways to settle into a semester and the best approach is unique to each student.  As a parent, this can be a good time to check in with your son or daughter about how things are going and to try and get a sense of how your student is “settling in” and how those soon-to-become habits are developing.   Some resources that you might find helpful at this time include:  Academic Support in CASA (tutoring, accommodation requests), the Counseling Center in Foster Hall, and the Office of Student Involvement in the McCarthy Center (clubs, service opportunities).  Let us know how those conversations go!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Move-In Day

Move-in day can be a very stressful time in everyone's life.  It is stressful for you, your student, and the campus staff.  It is important that everyone come during their assigned move-in time and follow the instructions of the officers that are trying to keep the flow of traffic moving. 

Remember that the space your student is moving into is shared space and not very large.  They should not try and bring everything from their current room and re-create it in their residence hall.  There is simply not enough room.  I am sure at some point before winter they will be home to get their boots, winter coats, etc.  There is no need to bring them on Saturday.  Anyone that arrives with two car loads will probably be taking one car load back with them to unload alone. 

Also, if you ordered a microfridge, it may not be in the room upon arrival.  I believe they have a week to deliver the microfridge to the room.  So please be patient, and don't bring perishables with you if you are not bringing your own fridge with you. 

One person must stay with the car and the movin' crew will descend and unload your car and get your belongings to your student's room.  Once unloaded you will be directed to a parking area so you can make your way back to the room.

The President, Dr. F. Javier Cevallos, is holding a reception from 1:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. in the Faculty/Staff Dining Room of the McCarthy Center on Saturday.  If you have time please stop by and introduce yourself. I'm sure he'd love to meet you.

At this point it looks to be a nice day!  Good luck and I'll see you soon. 

Friday, August 22, 2014

A Week of Events

Next Monday starts the events that could shape your student's life.  The Wet Feet Retreat begins on Monday and we are very excited for the 75 students that have signed up to join us.  It will three days of fun and leadership. 

Black & Gold Beginnings start next Saturday after move-in.  There are host of activities to keep students busy, residents and commuters alike.  It is important for commuter students to take part in Black & Gold Beginnings.  This is a way for them to meet folks and start to form friendships and bonds with the members of their class.  It can be intimidating but the upperclass Black & Gold Beginnings Team Leaders will be around to assist in the transition.  The student has to be willing to step forward and take a chance.  Plus, there meals are included until the first official meal on Monday morning. 

Encourage your student to dive in and start making the most of their college career.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Living on campus ...

The excitement and tension is building to a fever-pitch at this point in the summer.  Students living on campus have received their room and roommate assignments.  They have made some form of contact with one another, most likely through FaceBook.  Perhaps a phone call or an email was made.

I caution your students from making snap judgements about their roommates based on these brief social media encounters.  Until you can meet someone face-to-face and look them in the eyes you have no idea what that person is like.  Basing characterization on someones FaceBook page is not fair to them.  Many folks (especially teenagers) use their site as a form of self-expression but present very differently in person. 

I would also caution that roommates do not have to be best friends, they just have to be able to live together and respect one another.  Not all roommates will click personally as friends, but will be able to share a living space.  I had two roommates my first year and I clicked with one and not the other, but we were all able to respect one another and the space we had. 

If for some reason the roommates absolutely don't get along (after some effort and at least working with their RA), the room change period starts two full weeks after classes start.  It is difficult to move in the fall because the residence halls are very full.  It is most often a body-for-body swap with someone else looking for a change.  There are rarely open spaces for folks to just move to.  So while they may not be happy in their living space, they may have to stick it out for awhile until something is available. 

Keep these things in mind as your student laments the fact that they don't like their roommate.

Friday, August 8, 2014

4 Weeks to go...

There are four weeks until the start of the semester at FSU.  Your student is excited and anxious at the same time.  Books are available in the Follett Bookstore at this time, if the faculty member has submitted their book requests. 

If you live local you are more than welcome to come to campus and purchase your books from the store in person.  The hours for the month can be found at this link: http://www.bkstr.com/framinghamstatestore/store-info-contact-us

It is sometimes easier to come in during the month of August and shop because it is not very busy and you can get specialized attention as this is the first time your student will be purchasing books. 

You are also welcome to shop for your books online at the Follett website: http://www.bkstr.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/StoreCatalogDisplay?langId=-1&storeId=10572&demoKey=d&catalogId=10001

Whether shopping online or in store it is very important that your student have the course schedule they received at orientation in June or print a schedule from their myFramingham account if things have changed due to Placement retakes or AP scores being submitted.  The most current schedule is the best.  The bookstore DOES NOT have access to student schedules. For each class you will need the 4-letter course designation (ex. ECON, BIOL, ENGL, etc), the course number (101, 140, etc), and the section number (001, 002, 003, etc).  Having the proper section number is very important. Different sections of the same class have different professors and therefore different book requirements.

Make sure to keep all receipts until your student has gone to the first class to make sure they have the proper book(s).  If the book is shrink-wrapped it is imperative that the wrap NOT be removed until your student is certain they have the proper book.  Once the shrink-wrap is removed a refund is not possible.  Shrink-wrap usually implies that there is a computer disk or something technological included with the book. 

There are many platforms on which to get textbooks including, traditional hard copy new or used, paperback new or used, rental, or ebook if available.  Your student should choose the best option for them, which isn't always the cheapest.

Happy shopping!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Open Forum

Hi Everyone,

I know the dogs days of summer are wearing you down.  The summer is flying by quickly, bills were due today and there are just 6 weeks until the first day of class.  How did the time fly by so quickly?

It is at this point when I know you start to forget all that we discussed in June and probably have some lingering questions out there that are just waiting to be answered.  I will open this blog up as an Open Forum to ask those questions.  Please feel free to ask. 

Those of you who wanted to be a part of the Parent Advisory Group will be getting an email from Dean Stoops in a few days, and I am hard at work to make this video for Black & Gold Beginnings.  Your students will be so proud of you, based on what I've seen.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Gentle Reminders

Hello Everyone,

As the summer marches on and the temperature continues to rise I just want to give you some gentle reminders that will help you this month.

  • Please submit your health forms to Health Services and your Housing Application to Residence Life and Housing, your student's room assignment is contingent upon these forms being submitted.
  • Collegiate Link is ready to accept registration for the Wet Feet Retreat and various events at Black & Gold Beginnings.  They are all on a first-come, first-serve basis, so the sooner you register the better.
  • Make sure that all promissory notes signed and outside scholarship information has been submitted to the Financial Aid office.
  • If your student needs to adjust their schedule in some way due to sports or some other legitimate reason (not too early, work, etc.).  That can be done starting July 15th by stopping by CASA or call at 508.626.4540.
  • The resident parking wait list will go live on July 14th on the University Police website http://www.framingham.edu/campus-police/parking-on-campus/index.html and follow their instructions.
I hope these reminders are helpful to you as the scorching temperatures make you weak!
 

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