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The Backpack
The Backpack: A news source for parents and families of NAU students
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Vol. 6 No. 7 | September 22, 2009
Getting Involved

Encouraging Involvement

by Dianna Van Sanford

“The most basic tenet of Astin’s Theory of Involvement is that students learn more the more they are involved in both the academic and social aspects of the collegiate experience. An involved student is one who devotes considerable energy to academics, spends much time on campus, participates actively in student organizations and activities and interacts often with faculty.”

—Astin, A.W. (1984). Student Involvement: A developmental theory for higher education. Journal of College Student Personnel, 25, 297-308.

Opportunities for involvement on campus abound! For example, your student can ask his/her Resident Assistant how to get involved in Hall Council. Each hall typically has a president, vice president, and treasurer in addition to students who represent their halls at the Residence Hall Association (RHA). RHA is an overarching association that encompasses representation from each hall across campus. This year our very own RHA is hosting the Intermountain Affiliate of College and University Residence Halls (IACURH) conference right here at NAU from November 12-15! If your student is interested in becoming a delegate to this conference and have a direct effect on his/her university residence hall, encourage your student to apply today.

Other leadership opportunities include participation in the Associated Students of Northern Arizona University (ASNAU). ASNAU promotes and provides student representation at both the faculty and administrative levels within the university. They work with the Arizona Board of Regents to lobby the state and federal legislatures in support of higher education issues. If your student is interested in working in student government encourage him/her to contact ASNAU today. They even have a New Student Organization specifically for freshmen and new transfer students.

Dianna Van Sanford signature

Additionally, We offer more than 200 Clubs and organizations, intramural sports, and athletic events that we hope will interest your student!


Got Balance?

Health Tip - The Elusive Search for Balance - Part II

by Melody J. Hicks, MC, LPC, Counseling Center

As I mentioned last week, it is not unusual for students to pile on multiple responsibilities at the beginning of the semester because they are feeling energetic and excited to start the new school year. However, that often unravels for many within a month or so and creates great distress for those students who thought they could handle everything.

This follow-up article focuses on how students can prevent this cycle and how parents might be helpful in the process.

One thing that can be very helpful is for you to help your student review his/her plans for the semester and ask some pointed questions, such as:

“What are your priorities for this semester? Is it getting good grades, earning money, and/or socializing?”
(It is important students not lose sight of their priorities so that all other decisions, such as working, go through this filter.)

“Tell me more about your biology class—what does your instructor expect of you?”
(This question has to come after students have their first class and syllabus. Many students do not read over the entire syllabus for each class to know what assignments or projects lay ahead. If possible, go over the syllabus of each class and talk about what to expect as the semester progresses.)

“What will you be doing, on a regular basis, to relax?”
(Daily walks, reading non-academic materials, time in the gym, regular time with friends or significant others—It is important that your student thinks ahead about what he/she will do to help unwind and relax.)

♦ [If working] “How is your job going? Is your supervisor being flexible with your hours? Will your boss give you time off during finals week? Have you talked with your boss about your school needs?”

Looking over schedules and extracurricular demands is important in creating lifestyles that go far beyond college. So, no matter how busy your student becomes, he/she can create time to relax, unwind, and think ahead.


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Family Weekend Highlights (Oct 2–4)

Are you bringing you student’s younger sibling(s) to Family Weekend on Oct 2–4? There are several planned activities that will appeal to the whole family! Children might be interested in seeing a free showing of Tranformers 2 at Prochnow Auditorium on campus Friday evening at 5:30 PM, or taking a free dip at the Wall Aquatic Center throughout the weekend (children under 13 must be accompanied by an adult and those under 8 must have an adult in the water next to them), or investigate NAU’s new telescope in the evenings. The NAU Bookstore will be offering a book signing by two children’s authors, Linda Kranz and Sylvester Allred. Louie the Lumberjack will even make a special appearance at the bookstore at noon! The expanded schedule of events can be found on the Family Weekend webpage or picked up in person when you arrive for the weekend.


Tickets and packages can be purchased in advance by submitting the Family Weekend Order Form or by calling the NAU Central Ticket Office at 888-520-7214. Pick up your tickets at Will Call at the University Union, or have them mailed in advance for $2. Mailed orders must be received by 5 PM on Monday, September 21 to ensure delivery.

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Your Questions Answered

Q. Is there a shuttle between Flagstaff and the Phoenix Airport?
A. Yes! Flagstaff Express Arizona Shuttle, or Open Road Tours.

Q. Where is the Commencement Schedule for both Dec 2009 and May 2010 ceremonies?
A. Commencement Schedule.

Q. Do students have a publication like the Backpack to learn about local events and updates?
A. Yes! Encourage your student to subscribe to PLAID.

Q. My student is having a hard time finding a part-time, on-campus job. Can you help?
A. Yes! Please direct your student to Gateway Connects our central clearing house for jobs on and off campus. The Gateway Student Success Center also offers workshops focused on resume writing, interviewing strategies, and using Gateway Connects, just to name a few.


Event Highlights

September 22–28

Alan Bean

Flagstaff Festival of Science - Launch into science with the Flagstaff Festival of Science, a ten day family event with open houses, lectures, in-school presentations, hikes, and excursions from Sept 25–Oct 4, 2009. Apollo XII astronaut, Skylab commander, and artist Alan Bean will kick off this exciting year as the Shoemaker Keynote Presenter. Bean, the fourth astronaut to walk on the moon, has set 11 world records including traveling more than 24-million miles during a 59-day flight. He’ll share his stories from space and adventures on the moon 40 years after Neil Armstrong made history as he took his famous “one small step for man; one giant leap for mankind.”

NAU Ice Jacks

The NAU Ice Jacks! - The NAU Ice Jacks will field two teams this fall. The top team will play in ACHA Division II and the “Green Team” will be playing ACHA Division III. Cheer our teams on throughout the western U.S. as their season has just begun! The next set of home games begins this Friday, Sept 25 and Saturday, Sept 26 at 8:15 PM against Fresno State at the Jay Lively Ice Arena.

Pumphouse Greenway Clean Up - Friends of Flagstaff’s Future in partnership with Coconino County Parks and Recreation, and Friends of Coconino County Parks will host a cleanup day at Pumphouse Greenway on Saturday, Sept 26 from 9 AM until noon. Volunteers will meet at the intersection of Pinon Trail and Kachina Trail in Kachina Village. Snacks, lunch, and prizes will be provided. The hills and springs that ring Pumphouse Greenway were once a camping and hunting area for Apaches coming and going out of the Verde Valley to Dzil Cho (the San Francisco Peaks) and to Hopi to trade. The Apache name for the area, Tu’ha das nLi’I’, translates as “Place of Many Springs.” Directions. RSVP.

Miss Navajo

The 2009 Native American Film Series - The Institute for Native Americans and Cline Library present the 2009 Native American Film Series. The series begins with the screening of Miss Navajo at 7 PM. on Monday, Sept 28 at Cline Assembly Hall with a discussion led by Dr. Jennifer Denetdale and Ms Ann Marie Salt, Miss Indian NAU 2009.

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