The Backpack: A news source for parents and families of students at Northern Arizona University The Backpack
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Vol. 7 No. 28 | April 19, 2011

Earth Week Celebrations

This week (April 17-22) Northern Arizona University will be celebrating Earth Week with events throughout campus. Each day will focus on different areas including our community, food, water, lifestyles, and transportation. Students are encouraged to attend any of the events, and those who participate in at least three will be entered into a raffle.

You can see all the events at

Northern Arizona University student Green Fund has awarded a grant of $26,952 to conduct a pilot project to study sustainable landscape methods based on organic principles without the use of chemical herbicides. students are encouraged to apply.

Packing Up

by Crystal Nance, Parent and Family Services Coordinator

The semester is winding down pretty quickly. Our students are in their last lap, preparing for finals and looking forward to those summer jobs, internships, or maybe even pure relaxation. Most importantly, we hope that students stay focused and finish out the semester successfully. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

Storage anyone?

It might be easier for your student to store his/her items locally instead of taking everything home. Local storage facilities tend to fill up quickly, so don't delay.

Moving out

Residence halls close on Friday, May 13 at 10 AM and students must be moved out by this time. Finals will be held from Monday, May 9 - Thursday, May 12.


The campus will be bustling with graduates and their families on May 13 and 14. If your student is graduating, he/she need to pick up tickets by April 30 at 4 PM. All guests are required to have a ticket to enter. More details regarding commencement can be found online.

Health Tip - Allergy Season

by Cheryl Mossman, Fronske Health Center

The weather is clearing, the temperature rising, and flowers are blooming. Fronske Health Center has seen a lot of patients with nasal allergies, also called allergic rhinitis. This occurs after exposure to allergens, such as pollen, molds, mildew, animal dander, dust, smoke, and fumes.

When these particles come in contact with the lining of the nose, eyes, eyelids, sinuses, or throat, they cause the cells to release a chemical called histamine. Histamine may cause a watery discharge from the eyes or nose. It may also cause violent sneezing, nasal congestion, itching of the eyes, nose, throat, and mouth. Nasal allergies cannot be cured, but symptoms can be reduced.

Here are some suggestions for home care if your student is experiencing allergies this season:

  • Decongestant pills and sprays reduce tissue swelling and watery discharge.
  • Antihistamines block the release of histamine during the allergic response (ask a provider or pharmacist for recommendations for antihistamines).
  • Steroid nasal sprays or oral steroids may also be prescribed for more severe symptoms. These help to reduce the local inflammation, which adds to the allergic response.

If your student has asthma, pollen season may make his/her symptoms worse. It is important for him/her to use asthma medicines as directed during this time to prevent or treat attacks. Some people with asthma have a worsening of symptoms when taking antihistamines. If your student notices this, encourage him/her to stop taking antihistamines and notify a doctor.

Book Buy Back And Textbook Rental

by Brendan Mack, NAU Bookstore

Spring semester is coming to an end and that means cash for books and rental check-in at the NAU Bookstore. Students can stop by the store to get up to 50% cash back on their books. To provide the best service for students, the NAU Bookstore also has remote locations around campus where they can sell or check-in their books. Details on remote locations and hours can be found on the NAU Bookstore Buyback page. Also, tell your student to check out Rent-A-Text for information about the exciting and money-saving program offered by the NAU Bookstore.

NAU Mom and Dad T-Shirts

NAU Mom and Dad T-Shirts

Show your pride and order your NAU Mom and Dad t-shirts for only $10 each. Visit Parent and Family Services for an order form.

All proceeds support student scholarships and programmatic efforts.

Sustainable Landscape Maintenance Internship Openings (several positions available!)

The Environmental Caucus is sponsoring several positions beginning this summer to work in collaboration with other students and staff. You can find more information about this position and others on the Green NAU website.

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