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Northern Arizona University

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The Backpack

A news source for parents and families of NAU students


A publication of the Office of Parent Services

Vol. 5 No. 26 | March 13, 2009

Housing Reapplication

Last Minute Spring Break Ideas

Spring break is literally only a few days away and your son or daughter may still be looking for something to do and somewhere to relax. Maybe money is an issue, or maybe your son or daughter simply procrastinated planning a trip? Sometimes, last minute deals can save hundreds of dollars in airfare or lodging. Here are some other ideas that may be of interest to you and your student.

  • Hometown tourism.

    When I lived in Washington, DC, I found that many of my neighbors had never been to the National Mall or visited the National Zoo! Chances are there are many “touristy things” in your own town that you see every day but don’t consider visiting. Whether you live in DC or rural Arizona, you’ll often find more culture and heritage right in your own backyard. So, lace up your walking shoes and bring along that camera.

  • Explore the great outdoors.


    One of my personal favorites: backpacking. But there are simply dozens of opportunities to get outside, including mountain biking, trail hiking, and kiteboarding! From the red rocks of Sedona and the rim trails around the Grand Canyon, to the hoodoos of Bryce Canyon in Utah and the beckoning towers in Zion, many are only a few hours’ drive from campus. But, if your student is without transportation, there are many local trails near Walnut Canyon and the San Francisco Peaks and others that are easily accessible via the city‘s Mountain Line bus service. An adventure outdoors can be planned quickly and can be a very cost-effective way to spend your break (even in Phoenix!). NAU Outdoors rents much of the outdoor equipment students may need, at a discount!

  • Volunteer.

    Many students have turned their vacation into an opportunity to help others. A few local causes in Flagstaff include Big Brothers Big Sisters, Habitat for Humanity, and the Flagstaff Family Food Center, among many others.

Whatever the choice, I wish you and your student all the best in safety and happiness! I’ll 'see' you again after the break!

—Derek Hansen
Enrollment Management and Student Affairs

Events and Happenings

Crooked Sky Farm Trip

Flagstaff’s Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is sponsoring a trip to the farm that helps feed Flagstaff with delicious, nutritious vegetables. Have you heard of Hon Tsai Tai, Mizuna, or Ruby Stripe (hint: it’s a dark-purple, spiky-shaped green). How about Chioggia beets, purple turnips, or white “lunar” or “moon” carrots? Want to know more about how they—and many other veggies and fruits you have heard of—grow?

When: Sunday, April 5
Time: 8:30 a.m.
Meet: Walmart parking lot (we will be carpooling)
Destination: Crooked Sky Farms, Glendale, AZ

The farm ‘caravan’ will leave no later than 9 a.m.

Archaeology in Arizona


March is Archaeology Awareness Month and there are activities happening all over Arizona, including interpretive hikes and Native American pottery making.

Midterm Madness

The first half of the spring term is now complete, which means for most students they have completed midterm exams. On our campus, we encourage professors to post midterm grades for students as a progress report. Grades from participating professors are now available for your student to view through LOUIE. Talk with you student about his/her midterm grades. Even if midterm grades have not been posted, this is a great time to reflect on academic progress and achievement.

If your student is not earning the grades he/she is expecting, we would encourage him/her to take several steps. First, students should visit their professors during office hours. Those times and locations should be listed on the syllabus for each course. Second, we would encourage your student to visit the Learning Assistance Centers on campus to sign up for tutoring or study groups.

Empower your student and encourage him/her to take an active role in his/her education. Please let us know if you need any additional resources.

—Lucy Hegg
Office of the Registrar



AZ D-Backs Game and Reception


Join the Office of Parent Services for a free and informal reception at the Sheraton Downtown Hotel, 340 N. 3rd Street, Phoenix, AZ, at 3 p.m. on April 11. RSVP’s are required and can be made at or by phone at 928-523-6267. Immediately following the reception at 5:15 p.m. the D-backs take on the defending N.L. West Champions, the Los Angeles Dodgers. Parent Services is proud to host their second annual family night at Chase Field. Tickets are available for $15 for the Infield Reserve rows 13-17, section 311. We have reserved 100 tickets available on a first come-first serve basis. All family and friends welcome!

The benefits of living on campus

One of the great thrills of college life is living independently; however, before your student considers living off campus, he or she should consider the real advantages of on-campus living.

While living on campus does provide more convenience to campus amenities, one advantage that is highly rated are the academic benefits. Students who live on campus are more likely to have academic success and consistently remark that they feel more connected to campus. Living on campus is also a great intermediary step between living at home and living alone. Students worry less about their basic needs and can focus instead on succeeding in the classroom.

If your student already lives on campus, let him or her know that campus housing reapplication for fall 2009 starts March 24!

If you or your student has any questions, please visit our reapplication website. You may also call Residence Life at 928-523-3978 or send an e-mail to

Important Dates


Housing reapplication

Mar 16–20

Spring break

Mar 23

Early enrollment for fall ‘09 begins for continuing students


Summer session enrollment continues

Apr 24

Undergrad graduation application deadline for fall ‘09 commencement

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 e-mail reminder at


Apr 6

Tianshu Wang, piano
Ashurst Auditorium, 7:30 p.m.


Mar 26

2009 School of Art Faculty Exhibit
NAU Art Museum

Student Health Tips

Where will your student eat next year?

We are nearing the end of the academic year and housing reapplication has begun. There are several different options for meal plans after the freshman year, including block plans and the new Platinum 14 plan.

There is a strong correlation between students retaining a meal plan beyond their freshman year and the ability to manage their health and emotional well-being as found in a survey of about one thousand current NAU students. Students not only reported higher scores in the areas of physical health and well-being, but also in social contexts and academic success.

Food is an essential part of college life; it’s fuel for the mind and body. Make sure your student has a plan next year; click here for more information or to sign up today.

—Casey Fisher
Campus Dining

Be Aqua Fit!

Spring is here, so spring into a new workout! Diversify your workout and try Aqua Fit classes held Monday through Thursday, 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. at Wall Aquatic Center. Each class focuses on different low impact muscle toning exercises, and is a great way to burn a lot of calories without the stress on your joints!

—Rhonda Powers
Campus Recreation Services


Local Flagstaff events Diamondbacks Game NAU events this week

The BackPack electronic newsletter is published weekly by the Office of Parent Services for parents and families of Northern Arizona University students. Please direct questions or comments to

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