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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. 18 | December 8, 2009
Winter Closure

Residence Halls Closing for Winter Break

by Alicia Stewart Voytek, Associate Director, Office of Residence Life

All residence halls that are not designated as year-round halls will close for the winter break on Friday, December 11 at 10 AM. Students involved in the December commencement ceremonies will be allowed to stay until noon Saturday, December 12, with approval from their Residence Hall Director. The residence halls will reopen at 9 AM on Saturday, January 9, 2010.

Over the winter break, the halls are locked and card access is temporarily blocked until the halls reopen in January. Students returning in spring to their same room can leave their belongings in their room over the break, but are encouraged to make sure critical items are packed to take home with them. This includes laptops, cell phones, airline tickets, glasses, medications, and other needed items as students will not be able to access the hall.

Residents withdrawing from the university need to arrange a check-out time with a Resident Assistant, and move their belongings out of the hall by 10 AM on Friday, December 11. If your student has any questions about closing, his or her Resident Assistant and Residence Hall Director are the people to ask. Good luck to your student with finals and have a happy holiday season!

Start Thinking About Housing for 2010-2011

by Alicia Stewart Voytek, Associate Director, Office of Residence Life

It’s the time of year when the Office of Residence Life starts to plan for “Reapplication”—the process through which current residents sign up for on-campus housing for the next academic year. As with this current year, we anticipate continued high demand for housing on campus. After soliciting and considering feedback about reapplication from the Residence Hall Association (RHA), the representative student government for residential students, the reapplication process has been updated. Here is a preview of what to expect in the spring.

The reapplication process will be held in late March through early April and will include the following:

Same Hall/Same Room Day

  • Students currently living in non-Freshman Connections halls can reapply for their current room. On this day they can “pull in” roommates who live in their current hall only.

Same Hall/Different Room Day

  • Students in non-Freshman Connections halls can reapply for a different room in their current hall and “pull in” roommates from their current hall only.

Campus Lottery

  • All current residents in all halls on campus who do not reapply for their same hall or same room will be given a randomly-assigned lottery number and time to reapply to all remaining space on campus (credit hour or GPA requirements apply to some halls). During the lottery, students will sign up for the hall of their choice and can “pull in” roommates from any hall at that time. Students will receive immediate confirmation of hall placement and roommate pull in. They will receive specific room assignments at a later time, which will allow maximum roommate and hall requests.

You can find additional information related to reapplication on our website at nau.edu/reapp. We will update this site throughout the year as we get closer to reapplication time. In addition, we will communicate reapplication information through direct mailings, electronic listservs, e-mail, postings in the residence halls, the student newspaper, and announcements at floor meetings.


This year there will be an increase in the cancellation fee for any cancelled reapplication contracts. We ask students only to reapply for on-campus housing if they intend to live on campus. When students reapply to “hold a space” it has the effect of blocking space from students who truly want and intend to live on campus. To deter this from happening, our cancellation fee will now be on the following schedule:

  • Cancel by May 1: $500
  • Cancel between May 2–June 30: $750
  • Cancel after July 1: $1,000

Off-Campus Housing

To assist students moving off campus, we have posted helpful information and resources related to living off campus on our website. This includes a guide to off-campus living, a list of off-campus rentals and rates, and other useful links. In addition we plan to host an off-campus housing fair in February, and programs in the halls related to moving off-campus.

If you have questions, please visit our website at nau.edu/reslife or contact us at residence.life@nau.edu or 928-523-3978.

H1N1 Vaccine Now Available For Students

Fronske Health Center has received an allotment of H1N1 vaccine that is available to students. There will be no direct patient cost for the vaccination, however if you have Blue Cross, Aetna, or United Healthcare your insurance will be billed for an administration fee with no out of pocket cost.

Preserve your graduation memories.

Order your copy of NAU’s commencement ceremonies on DVD. To place an order, please call 928-523-9484 or 800-628-6266 or e-mail us at: esp-info@nau.edu.

The cost is $19.95 for one DVD
Add $3 for shipping and handling or pick-up for free from Television Services, Extended Campuses, building 16A, next to the communications building.

University Winter Closure and Backpack Publication Schedules

University offices will be closed for business from December 24–January 1, 2010. The next edition of the Backpack newsletter will publish on Tuesday, January 12, 2010. Enjoy your winter break and Happy New Year 2010!

Spring-Back: Coming January 2010

Encourage your student to participate in Spring-Back from Saturday, January 9 through Monday, January 18 as we welcome new and returning students to campus.

♦ The New Student Reception on Sunday, January 10 from 2–3:30 PM in the University Union is a great opportunity for new students to meet others including members of student leadership.

♦ Athletic events continue to be free for those with an NAUCard, including swimming, diving, and basketball events early in the spring semester.

Recreation Services is hosting a rock climbing competition for beginners, a dodgeball tournament, personal training consultations, and Zumba classes!

♦ Perhaps your student is more of an outdoors person? Encourage him/her to attend the Backcountry Cooking Clinic on Friday, January 15 at 3 PM. NAU Outdoors has all the details.

♦ The Black and White Party hosted by Residence Life may be more your student’s speed in the du Bois Center Ballroom from 8 to 11 PM on Friday, January 15.

Vertical Relief Climbing Center will offer Free Climb Night on Sunday, January 17.

♦ Spring-Back will conclude with a Martin Luther King Jr. Day march and “Renewing His Vision; Dream Big!” celebration. The march will start at 4:30 PM at the University Union parking lot and the celebration will begin at 5 PM in the du Bois ballroom.

Spring Outdoor Adventures!

Spring Outdoor Trips and Classes

Northern Arizona University is well-known for personalized service and its proximity to some amazing locations such as the 18-mile-wide Grand Canyon, the alluring blue-green waters of Havasupai, the towering red rock cathedrals of Sedona, and the rivers of the Verde Valley, to name a few.

This spring, you and your student can take advantage of trips, adventures, and classes to these amazing locations—available for every skill and ability level, and many for college credit!

Sign up online and pay the student rate! And if your student signs up with you, he/she will get an additional 10% off your trip, class, or clinic. Use promo code SPRNGBCK10 when you enroll at nau.edu/outdoors.

NAU Outdoors also offers a fully-stocked gear closet if you need to rent equipment for your next picnic, day hike, or backpacking adventure.

NAU Hooper Student Fund 2010 Sustainability Awards

The Request for Proposals from undergraduate or graduate students is now posted on-line. Proposals are due on February 26 for awards of up to $2500 for individual or group projects that advance sustainability on campus or in the region. Priority areas for projects are:

  • Environmental health in tribal and rural communities
  • Campus sustainability (especially related to climate change, transportation, energy systems, recycling or waste, or campus food systems)
  • Local community-based sustainability projects
  • Environmentally sustainable business practices
  • Natural resources and ecosystem science/management

Health Tip - ‘Tis the Season…

by Melody Hicks, Counseling Center

This is a very full time of the year as the fall semester ends and decorating, planning, traveling, and preparing for holiday celebrations pick up speed. There is no other time of the year—it seems—where so much is happening with so many expectations.

Students come home with expectations for their winter break, which do not always match the expectations of their families. Of course, if the expectations are on the same page, all is well; if not, it can get ugly.

Expectations are actually good things as long as all involved know what they are and are willing to shift and adjust their expectations as needed. To help make sure expectations at your house don’t create problems, this is the time to start thinking and talking about them.

  • Talk about time expected to be spent with family and time the student wants to spend with friends, working, traveling, etc., and negotiate any differences.
  • If your student will want to use family vehicles, be sure to talk about everyone's transportation needs to make the use of vehicles work for all involved.
  • Talk about household responsibilities or chores and what is expected. Will your student be treated as a guest or a working member of the family?
  • Discuss what expectations there are around partying, using substances, or staying out. Your student will have his/her own expectations that may or may not match those of the family.
  • Share expectations about funding activities and play during the winter break. Many students will have little money and may expect parents to provide funds during their time off. There can be great differences in what parents and students expect regarding funding play and activities.

Discussions about expectations are especially important for students returning from their first semester and for students and parents who have had conflict before around their different expectations. Talking about expectations can make the winter break and the holidays a lot more joyous!

Event Highlights (Tue, Dec 8–Mon, Dec 14, 2009)

Canyon Movement Company presents The Nutcracker Suite in Modern Bare Feet starting on Thursday, December 10 at 7:30 PM through Saturday, December 12 in the Clifford E. White Theater. Tickets are $16 for adults and $11 for students and children.

♦ Enjoy “Christmas in the Mountains” with the Master Chorale of Flagstaff, Edith A. Copley, conducting; Friday, December 11, at 7:30 PM at the Ardrey Auditorium, and Sunday, December 13, at 3 PM at the Ardrey Auditorium. This holiday concert with the Master Chorale will also feature guest Brass and Percussion Ensemble and the Children’s Chorale of Flagstaff and the Harold M. Harter Memorial Handbell Choir. Tickets $16 for adults, $8 for children and students.

♦ The Flagstaff Chamber of Commerce presents the 2009 Northern Lights Holiday Parade sponsored by Vora Financial on Saturday, December 12 at 6 PM. This year’s theme is “Winter Nights and Holiday Lights.” This spectacular “electric” parade is a favorite wintertime event and holiday tradition in Northern Arizona. Floats lavishly decorated with thousands of twinkling lights parade through historic downtown Flagstaff for the viewing pleasure of thousands of residents and visitors who line the streets. The parade will start at Beaver and Elm Streets in downtown Flagstaff.

♦ More event highlights can be seen at ShowUp Flagstaff.


What's the Flagstaff weekend forecast? Check out Flagstaff Weather, courtesy of Northern Arizona University Weather Service.

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