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The Backpack: A news source for parents and families of students at Northern Arizona University The Backpack
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Vol. 7 No. 23 | March 8, 2011
Legislation outlaws "Spice"

Legislation Outlaws 'Spice'

Arizona recently joined 11 other states in prohibiting the use, sale or possession of the product Spice.

“I just want to make sure students are fully aware,” said Cindy Cox, NAU Police Department commander. “It is illegal now and they will get in trouble for the use, sale or possession of this product.”

Spice is a blend of herbs with chemicals imitating tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the main psychoactive substance found in marijuana, resulting in a “marijuana-like” high. Previously, Spice was marketed legally as incense, but its use as an alternative to marijuana led to legislation banning the drug.

Gov. Jan Brewer signed the bill to classify Spice and the substances used to make it as a dangerous drug. The law became effective on Feb. 22, making any violation of the regulation a felony. Violations are punishable by charges ranging from a class 2 to a class 4 felony with a minimum sentence of prison time.

“The penalties are situational dependent,” Cox said. “They are based on a student’s history.”

Prior to the new legislation, Spice was sold in specialty stores and online. It also is known as K2, Black Mamba or Wicked X. Reported possible side effects range from hallucinations and seizures to vomiting and anxiety.

For information, read the university's Disciplinary Action Associated with Alcohol and Drug Use policies, on the Student Life website.

Spring Break Safety

Many of our students will be travelling to various locations for spring break, both in and out of the country. No matter where they go, we want to offer some reminders that will help keep students safe while they enjoy their adventures. Encourage your student to use his/her best judgment while travelling away from campus during the break.

  • Be aware of surroundings.
  • Don’t take any valuables on the trip; leave them at home.
  • Always lock hotel doors.
  • Use the “buddy system” to keep track of group members.
  • Always carry identification and medical information in case an emergency arises.

Academic Advising for Continuing Students

Academic advising has begun for continuing students through the Gateway Student Success Center. The Gateway Student Success Center advises those students who have earned less than 24 credit hours and students with undeclared majors. These students must meet with an academic advisor before registering for classes.

Early enrollment academic advising is offered from February to April to assist students with planning for the next term. Encourage your student to schedule his/her fall 2011 early enrollment advising session today!

Construction = Progress!

Here are a few pictures of the renovation taking place at the Skydome. We look forward to the reopening of the facility in time for the Lumberjacks first home football game September 10, 2011!

Dome Rennovation

Work Out, Earn Credits.

Physical Education Service (PES) courses are offered each semester for students to earn credit while staying committed to health and fitness throughout the semester. Even if your student decides to take the course for without earning credit, it is a great way to stay fit. Encourage your son/daughter to consider one of the PES courses for the fall semester.

Sidney West

Student Spotlight: Sidney West

Anticipated Graduation: 2013
Major: BS in Biomedical Science
Hometown: Glendale, Arizona

"I want to help the world be a better place with whatever I can do to change even one person's life." That's the focus of sophomore Sidney West. With plans to eventually become a doctor, West wants to take a hands-on approach to improving the world one person at a time. For now, she's helping others in a different way by getting involved in campus activities and representing her classmates.

"I like the size of the campus and how Flagstaff supports NAU and how NAU supports Flagstaff," she says. Academics are another area of success for West. With three semesters under her belt, she earned junior status thanks to transferring some college credits she earned while in high school. West says the learning environment at the university makes it possible for her to be involved and stay on top of her academics.

Read Sidney's full story.

Event Highlights

See a complete listing of university events on the official calendar website. Flagstaff event highlights can be seen at ShowUp Flagstaff and Flagstaff Happenings. More travel, dining, shopping, and event information is available from