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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. 21 | January 19, 2010


You may have heard that Flagstaff is due for some heavy winter storms this week. If the university cancels classes due to severe weather conditions, dining services on campus will still be available.

You and your student can receive closure announcements when you sign up for the NAU Alert system. Closures will also be posted at nau.edu.

Dianna Van Sanford

The university will clear roads as quickly as possible. If your student must drive, encourage him/her to review the winter seasonal driving tips on the NAU Police Department webpage.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

In Honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Black History Month, 2010

by Dr. Ricardo Guthrie, Ethnic Studies

In 2008, Americans witnessed an historic transformation—as Barack Obama was elected President. It was a fantastic development—one which a visionary such as Martin Luther King Jr. had foreseen, but since his death in 1968, electing a Black president had seemed remote. We marvel at our country’s accomplishment still, but are challenged by those who misinterpret this achievement as proof that racism has lessened, or that Black History Month celebrations are unnecessary.

Let’s reflect a moment on the meaning of Barack Obama’s election, and the mistaken belief that we are now in a “post-racial” era.

President Obama’s success is our success—Black America and everyone who proved wrong the notion that a Black man could never be elected President. We knew better—some of the best presidential candidates have been Black: Shirley Chisholm (“unbought and unbossed”) in 1972; Jesse Jackson (“keep hope alive!”) in 1984 & 1988; and Rev. Al Sharpton (who was witty and smart during the lackluster primaries) in 2004.

Obama’s historic campaign finally bore fruit in 2008. He asked voters to see him as the “best candidate,” rather than the best “Black” candidate, for President. We knew, however, that an African American would have great empathy for all Americans—just as a Black preacher, MLK, had embodied the best attributes of America’s heritage. Who but King could inspire a movement for freedom and justice? And now, who but Obama can move Americans to combat economic, social and political ills facing us all?

The significance of Obama, and the importance of Black history have not dissipated, despite all the detractors. Celebrate Black History Month, and inspire models for success: exemplified by MLK, by President Obama, and by everyone who strives to accomplish the impossible.

Your Questions Answered

Q. Can you direct me to on-line calendars that I can reference throughout the year?

A. Yes! The following areas all maintain calendars that will be useful throughout the year: Parent and Family Services, Residence Life, Office of the Registrar and the University Calendar.

Q. I plan my calendar at least one year in advance. What are the key dates for Fall 2010?

A. • Residence Halls will open on August 26, 2010 at 9 AM.
• Classes will begin on August 30.
Family Weekend will occur from October 15-17.
• Residence Halls will close on December 17, 2010 for winter break.

Proposals sought for student environmental sustainability projects

Undergraduate and graduate students are invited to submit proposals for projects that support sustainability at Northern Arizona University or in the region. Selected proposals will receive up to $2,500 to execute the project.

“Every year, the Hooper Sustainability Awards give students a fantastic opportunity to get hands-on research or practical experience in the expanding field of sustainability,” said Shelley Silbert, chair of the Hooper Student Fund committee and director of Strategic Environmental Initiatives. “It’s exciting that student creativity and initiative can help the university to reduce its carbon footprint or assist local communities to implement sustainable environmental practices.”

Applicants are encouraged to propose projects in the following areas:

  • Environmental health in tribal and rural communities
  • NAU campus sustainability
  • Local community-based sustainability projects
  • Environmentally sustainable business practices
  • Natural resources and ecosystem science/management

Examples of past projects include an organic vegetable garden on campus, a film about the globalization of food systems, technical and economic analyses of wind energy potential and development of wind-powered rural water filtration.

The deadline to submit a project proposal is February 26. Award notification will be made by March 12.

Information and application.

NAU Family Weekend 2010

Save the Date—Family Weekend 2010

Family Weekend will be held October 15–17, 2010. Please mark your calendar and check our Family Weekend webpage for updates!

Ice Jacks Mid-Season Report

The NAU Ice Jacks Hockey teams are charting a new course this season. After qualifying for the ACHA Division III tournament for the past three seasons, NAU Hockey moved the top team to ACHA Division II. NAU finished 6th in the nation last season in Rochester, New York as the top seed in the tournament.

This season the Division II Ice Jacks squad went back to the old blue and gold colors that made them famous in the 1970’s and 1980’s as a top ranked NCAA Division I team. Former NHL players Bobby Beers and Stanley Cup winner Greg Adams played for NAU in that era. Our current players carry on the legacy of those great teams skating in front of large crowds at 7000’.

The Division II team completed the first half of the season with a 12-6 record. The Ice Jacks will soon skate at home vs. their biggest rivals: ASU. NAU students will be busting down the doors to see those games on January 22 and 23. The team will travel to Los Angeles on January 28-30 to face Loyola Mary Mount followed by two games with Cal State Fullerton. NAU will follow the next weekend with a trip to San Diego to play rival San Diego State the first weekend of February. The Ice Jacks will finish their season with a big home weekend vs. #5-ranked UNLV Rebels. Expect big crowds for the February 12 and 13 games in Flagstaff, Arizona.

NAU is competing to make the top 10 in the ACHA Pacific Region. The team is currently ranked 12th. The regional tournament is in Greely, Colorado February 26 and 27, 2010. The top four teams in the Pacific Region qualify for the national tournament in Connecticut in March 2010.

H1N1 Flu Vaccinations Available

Fronske Health Center is now offering the H1N1 vaccine to all NAU students, employees, spouses, eligible dependents aged 18 and older, retirees and affiliate staff.

Beginning in January, clinics are being scheduled at multiple campus locations. The vaccine is available during walk-in immunization hours as follows:

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday
8–11:30 AM and 2–4:30 PM

9–11:30 AM, 2–4:30 PM

The Coconino County Health Department is hosting a clinic in the NAU Skydome on Saturday, Jan. 23, 9 AM to 4 PM. This clinic will serve individuals age 6 months and up. Please note appointments are recommended. Open to walk-ins as time permits.

Call the CCHD Flu Information Line at 928-679-7300 or toll-free at 1 877-679-7272.

Additional community clinics will be scheduled by the county and updated clinic schedules will be posted on the CCHD website at coconino.az.gov/health.

Additional campus clinics will be scheduled and updates will be posted on the NAU flu web site at nau.edu/flu. All clinics are based on vaccine availability and are subject to change. If you are insured by Blue Cross Blue Shield, Aetna or United we will bill your carrier an administration fee. Otherwise there is no charge for the vaccine.

To find other flu vaccine clinics in Arizona, go to the Flu Vaccine Locator and enter your zip code.

Event Highlights (Tue, Jan 19–Mon, Jan 27)

The Spike Lee Film Festival coordinated by the Martin Springer Institute continues, highlighting films such as Do the Right Thing, Bamboozled, and School Daze.

♦ On Tuesday, January 26, STEP AFRIKA!—sponsored by the Black Student Union—will host a workshop at 12 noon at the du Bois Ballroom and perform at 8 PM at the Ardrey Auditorium. Free tickets are required and can be picked up at the University Union Box Office.

♦ Mr. Spike Lee will be speaking at the Ardrey Auditorium on Wednesday, January 27 at 7 PM. For ticket information please call 928-523-5661.

More event highlights can be seen at ShowUp Flagstaff.

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