The Backpack: A news source for parents and families of students at Northern Arizona University The Backpack
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Vol. 7 No. 29 | April 26, 2011

Finals Tips: Making the Grade

by Crystal Nance, Parent and Family Services Coordinator

This time of the year can be a stressful, hectic, and slightly overwhelming time for students. Don’t let your student get caught up in the hype of all-night study sessions, sleep deprivations, and caffeine fixes!

Encourage your student to first be realistic about exams and final grades in each of his/her courses. Students should be mindful of their progress up to this point and be aware of how much exams, papers, and assignment count toward a final grade. Students should also minimize “cramming” sessions and instead, study over a period of time, taking frequent breaks.

Next, your student should find a place where he/she can actually study. Sometimes, his/her room is fine, but it should be a place where distractions are minimal. Cline Library will have extended hours during end of the semester week, May 2-6. Study groups can be helpful to some students, depending on learning styles. Finally, remind your student to get sleep and eat properly! This will help him/her better process material and be prepared for test day.

If additional assistance is needed, encourage your student to visit the Student Learning Centers for information on tutoring and academic success workshops.

An additional reminder: finals week is May 9-12.

Health Tip: Health on the Go

by Catherine Sullivan, Sustainability Specialist, Campus Dining

As the spring semester flies by, so does your student with a busy schedule of class, work, studying, and hanging out with friends. There’s barely time for homework, laundry, or that all-important Facebook, let alone stop and sit down to have a healthy meal. It’s important for students to get at least two and a half cups of vegetables and at least cup of fruit each day. The Hot Spot and the DüB offer healthy options on a daily basis. Additionally, several specialty options are available upon request, like gluten-free pizza, breads, veggie burgers and whole wheat pasta.

When your student is low on time but is in need of sustenance, over 24 retail dining locations have options for students “on-the-go.” Students can make simple changes to eat healthier by adding fruits and vegetables to meals, loading sandwiches with vegetables, or opting for lighter meats like turkey. They can also choose whole fruit instead of chips or even try going vegetarian for the entire meal.

When they want something quick, many people grab a burger or some finger food that's high in fat and has little nutritional value. If your student makes the conscious decision to eat more greens, even “fast food” will be healthier. Decreasing saturated fats and increasing consumption of nutrient dense foods is not only good for people, it’s good for our planet too!

Convocation Day: Celebrating Our Heritage

Thursday, May 12 is Convocation Day, an opportunity for graduates to celebrate both culture and achievement. The day begins with the Native American Convocation at 3:30 PM in Ardrey Auditorium, followed by the Hispanic Convocation at 5:30 PM in the du Bois Center Ballroom and ending with the Black Convocation at 7:30 PM in Ashurst Auditorium. Students may also apply for awards to be presented at the respective ceremonies. Details about the awards and ceremonies can be found on the Convocation Day webpage.

Packing Up for Summer

by Alicia Stewart Voytek, Associate Director, Office of Residence Life

Residence halls will close at the end of the spring semester on Friday, May 13 at 10 AM. Students participating in commencement will be allowed to stay until noon on Sunday, May 15 with approval from their residence hall director.

Helpful Hints to Prepare for Spring Closing:

  • Start packing now! Your student has probably accumulated more items than you realize, and finals week may not provide enough time to pack it all. Storage is not provided on campus, so it may be helpful to take non-essentials home over the next couple weekends if possible.

  • Residence Life is working with the NAU Campus Climate group to reuse and recycle student cast-offs at Spring Closing. Areas will be designated in each hall where students can donate the following items to local social service organizations:

    • clothing, household goods, and small appliances
    • non-perishable food
    • school supplies
    • medium to large home appliances and furnishings
  • If something in your student’s room is not working properly, your son or daughter should call "FIXED" (3-4933) now to report it so we can get it repaired.

  • Roommates need to work together to prepare their room for checkout. Trash needs to be removed and the room cleaned prior to checking out with a staff member. Vacuums are available at the front desk.

  • Your student’s RA will provide information related to checking out of the hall and how to schedule a time. During checkout, the RA will come to your student’s room to check the condition of the room, review any damages, and collect keys. Your student will then swipe his/her ID at the front desk to complete the process.

  • Change of address forms are available at NAU Postal Services to ensure mail is forwarded for the summer.

  • Now is the time to pay any outstanding charges. Your student should check his/her LOUIE account to view remaining charges and to avoid additional late fees.

If you student has any questions related to spring closing, s/he should contact the RA or residence hall director.

For students spending the summer in Flagstaff, housing is available. Students wanting to live on campus this summer need to complete a summer housing application. Visit the Office of Residence Life website for more information about summer halls, dates, rates, and how to apply.

President to Host Campuswide Forum on May 4

President John Haeger will discuss the next steps for the university budget during a public forum at 3:30 PM on Wednesday, May 4 at the High Country Conference Center. The president is expected to outline several cost-saving measures to make up for the $30 million in cuts to state support for fiscal year 2012. The forum will be available online and web participants may e-mail questions in advance or during the event.

You Asked, We Answered!

Q: I’m trying to plan ahead with my student for next semester. What are some important dates to consider when planning for vacations and flights?

A: Here are some dates to keep in mind:

Aug 25 - Residence halls open
Aug 29 - First day of classes
Sept 5 - Labor Day (no classes)
Sept 23-25 - Family Weekend
Oct 22 - Homecoming
Nov 11 - Veterans Day (no classes)
Nov 24–25 - Thanksgiving Break (no classes)
Dec 5–9 - End of Semester Week
Dec 12–15 - Finals Week
Dec 16 - Commencement
Dec 16 - Residence halls close

Event Highlights

Department of Theatre presents “Icarus Refried” on April 28-29 at 8 PM in Clifford E. White Theatre.

College of Arts and Letters Film Series presents Blazing Saddles on Tuesday, May 3 at 7 PM in Cline Assembly Hall.

♦ Campus Recreation Services presents Spring Fling, April 27 from 6 AM to 9 PM at the South Recreation Sports Complex (the new fields on south campus).

♦ ASNAU presents Spring Fling, April 29 from 3 to 9 PM on Observatory Field (located east of Reilly Hall).

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