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The Backpack

A news source for parents and families of NAU students


A publication of NAU Parents’ Association

Vol. 5 No. 21 | February 6, 2009

Stay involved with over 200 clubs and organizations on campus

Parents’ Association News

Attention Flagstaff-area Parents

Don’t forget! The Parents’ Association is hosting an informal reception at Collins’ Irish Pub, 2 N. Leroux St., in Flagstaff on Saturday, February 21 at 6 p.m. Meet others and enjoy light refreshments and casual conversation. Please RSVP by February 13 to

Special Notice

Have your financial circumstances changed during the 2008 tax year?

Given the state of the economy, the Office of Financial Aid encourages your student to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to determine eligibility for college financial assistance.

The 2009–2010 FAFSA is now available. If your student has completed the FAFSA in the past, you may complete the renewal using your FAFSA personal identification number (PIN). If this is your student’s first time applying, you and your student will need to obtain a PIN from prior to completing the application. To complete the application, you and your student will need your 2008 financial information.

Please contact the Financial Aid Office after completing your FAFSA and speak with a representative regarding your particular circumstance. Our main number is 928-523-4951.

Want more information? The answers to many financial aid questions are just a click away on the Financial Aid TV website.

Need assistance in completing the FAFSA? College Goal Sunday is the perfect opportunity to receive hands-on assistance from financial aid experts around the state. Events take place February 7–8 throughout Arizona.

Clubs and Organizations

NAU Club Sports

Is your student looking for community service opportunities or an avenue to connect with students who have similar interests? Did you know that we offer more than two-hundred clubs and organizations on campus that your student can join today? We offer clubs that focus on academics, advocacy, club sports, fraternities, sororities, service/honorary, residence halls, recreation, religions, representative, and special interests. Visit our website to see a complete list with descriptions and contact information. If your student does not see an appealing club or organization, he/she can start one. Have your student contact Kevin Gemoets in the Office of Student Life at 928-523-5181 to learn how. Encourage your student to get involved!

Athletics News

NAU Men’s Basketball takes on Eastern Washington in Cheney on Saturday, February 7, and returns home to defend their home court as Montana State visits on Thursday, February 12. Tipoff is at 6:35 p.m.

NAU Women’s Basketball stays home against Eastern Washington on February 7 and travels to Montana State to take on the Bobcats on February 12. Tipoff is at 6:35 p.m.

The Lumberjack track and field team will host a meet for the fourth consecutive weekend with the NAU Team Competition all day on Saturday February 7.

More athletics news this week…

Student Spotlight

Shannon G

Name: Shannon G.
Hometown: Anchorage, Alaska
Major: Anthropology
Class: Senior ‘09

“As a student majoring in anthropology, I had the opportunity to study for one year in New Zealand at the University of Waikato. I know that these experiences will help me appreciate the importance of diversity in the work place and enjoy working with people from all sorts of backgrounds.”

Events and Happenings

Black History Month at NAU

The Multicultural Student Center hosts events throughout February, including music, bowling, and poetry readings. Special guests include musician Richie Havens, comedian Keedar, and poet Nikki Giovanni.

Terry Tempest Williams

Terry Tempest Williams, well-known writer and naturalist will be reading selections from her new book Finding Beauty in a Broken World on February 9 at 7:30 p.m. at the High Country Conference Center.

New Arizona License Plate Law

For Arizona licensed vehicles, starting January 1, police can ticket you if “Arizona” isn’t clearly visible at the top of the plate. Many license plate frames issued by dealers or purchased with custom messages may be in violation. Violators will be fined an average of $135, plus court fees, depending on the city where the violation is discovered.



Important Dates

Feb 9

Summer session enrollment begins


Housing reapplication

Mar 1

Fourth rent payment due for the spring semester

Mar 13

Last day to drop with a “W”

Mar 16–20

Spring break

Mar 23

Early enrollment begins for continuing students

May 1

Instruction ends

May 4–7

Final exams

May 8

Residence halls close for spring semester

May 8–9


College of Arts and Letters
Events Highlights

All events are free unless noted. For more events and information visit Sign up for a weekly email reminder at


Films are shown at the Cline Library Assembly Hall at 7 p.m. unless otherwise noted.

Feb 10

The Gay Divorcee (1934)
Starring Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Edward Everett Horton, Alice Brady

Feb 12

Milepost 389 (2007) R
Part of the Native American Film Series, celebrating indigenous film makers

Feb 17

The Country Girl (1954)
Starring Bing Crosby, Grace Kelly, William Holden


Feb 13–14

Jazz Madrigal Festival
Various locations and times
All-day performances free of charge; call 928-523-2642 for more information

Feb 25

Symphonic Band
Ardrey Auditorium, 7:30 p.m.
Elliott Tackitt, conductor


Feb 27–28; Mar 1*, 4–7

The Importance of Being Earnest
by Oscar Wilde
Clifford E. White Theatre
Curtain: 8 p.m., *2 p.m.
Tickets available at 928-523-5661


Feb 10–
Mar 26

2009 School of Art Faculty Exhibit
NAU Art Museum
Reception: Feb 12, 6–8 p.m.


Feb 24

Sherman Alexie, 7 p.m.
Ardrey Auditorium
Free tickets available at 928-523-5661

Residence Life

2009—2010 scholarship opportunity for residential students

The Office of Residence Life is now accepting applications for ten $1,000 WEB Laundry Services scholarships. These scholarships are available for current campus residents who will return to campus housing for the ‘09–‘10 academic year. Applications are due March 27, 2009.

Student Health Tip

Spring break is around the corner…

Is it too soon to start thinking about spring break? Well, most of the students are already thinking and planning where to go and what to do. This includes thinking about sunny and warm places where there is an entire week of nothing but fun. Of course, that fun might include the availability of alcohol, and even if a student is underage, he/she may decide to drink.

Working with students who have been referred to the Substance Abuse Program at the Counseling and Testing Center, we have found that most students have no idea how many drinks it takes before there is impairment. Of course, we do not support underage drinking, but since we know it occurs, we want to inform parents and students about how much is too much.

With spring break just a month away, this is a great time to remind your student about alcohol abuse. Listed below are three sites that help you better understand impairment at various blood alcohol levels. The websites are easy to use and can help you and your student talk about how many drinks can lead to impairment.

Even students who do not drink may be exposed to alcohol over the break. Talking to and encouraging your student not to drink is important. Educating young adults about the effects of alcohol is also essential.

This week’s tip brought to you by:
Counseling and Testing Center.

University News

Composting returns to campus

Composting on campus

In line with becoming a carbon neutral campus by 2020 comes a new program, or rather, a recycled program from the past—composting.

Read more university news at Inside NAU.


Third Annual French Film Festival at NAU NAU events this week Local Flagstaff events

The Parents’ Association BackPack electronic newsletter is published weekly by the NAU Parents’ Association for parents and families of Northern Arizona University students. Please direct questions or comments to You can support the Parents’ Association by visiting our website.