The Backpack: A news source for parents and families of students at Northern Arizona University Black History Month - February
Black History Month - February Black History Month - February
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Vol. 8 No. 15 | January 31, 2012

New Mobile App Helps Students Find Healthier Options On Campus

by Casey Fisher, M.S., Campus Dining

Through technology, students have the opportunity to further customize their dining experience on campus. With the recent launch of a new mobile app, Campus Dining has made it possible for students to search for options across campus by dietary preferences such as vegetarian, vegan, and even gluten-free.

Working with Jo Cahill, M.S. Registered Dietitian, we've identified the healthiest options at over 20 dining locations. Students can identify the nutritionist's picks by selecting the "Eat Well" search filter.

No smart phone? No problem... The application is web-based so it is also accessible online with any personal computing device. It provides a map of locations, hours of service, and where applicable, menus and nutritional information for 28 Campus Dining locations. Students can find Transfer Specials for each location, or map out their meals according to their class schedule using the location-based "nearby" function.

Get The App!

For more information related to campus dining, meal plans, or special dietary needs, contact the Campus Dining office at 928-523-2372.

Financial Aid Reminders

The FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is now available. To complete the application, you will need your 2011 tax information, as well as the PINs you and your student created. The FAFSA should be submitted no later than February 14 each year to receive priority consideration for financial aid. If you have questions, contact the Office of Student Financial Aid.

What is Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)?

Students receiving financial aid from federal and state sources must maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards toward completion of their degree. Students receiving aid must meet all three SAP standards:

  • successful completion of 75% of their cumulative total attempted credit hours,
  • maintaining a minimum cumulative GPA according to University Academic Standards, and
  • progress towards a degree.

Students can be assigned to "financial aid warning" status if they fail to make SAP at the end of the semester and they may continue to receive aid. A student could be placed on "financial aid suspension" status if they fail to make SAP after their warning semester, meaning they are ineligible for aid.

More details about SAP can be found on the Office of Student Financial Aid website or have your student contact his/her financial aid coordinator.

Undergraduate Research Grants

The Office of the Vice President for Research offers two grant award opportunities that can provide financial support for your undergraduate student's scholarly, creative, or research activities outside the classroom. Information sessions about these awards are scheduled for the first two weeks in February and will be held in the large pod area in Applied Research and Development (ARD), bldg. #56.

Hooper Sustainability Award (up to $2,500) funds undergraduate (or graduate) student sustainability projects on campus or in northern Arizona through research, education, or service activities. Information sessions will be held on the following dates and times:

  • Wednesday, February 1, 2012, 2:30 PM
  • Thursday, February 2, 2012, 4 PM

Hooper Undergraduate Research Award (HURA) is an annual grant to provide up to $3,500 in support of student-designed projects in any discipline. Information sessions will be held on the following dates and times:

  • Thursday, February 9, 4 PM
  • Friday, February 10, 2 PM

To get the latest information, be sure to bookmark our website and "like" our Facebook page. MaryLynn Quartaroli, Undergraduate Research Coordinator, can be contacted via e-mail or phone at 928-523-1026 with questions about these grant award programs.


Not Going to Pot

by Melissa Griffin, Campus Health Promotions

It is likely that the recent publicity around the legalization of marijuana has sparked a conversation about the topic between you and your student. For your benefit and the benefit of your student, we want to address some misconceptions about the consequences associated with the use of marijuana, legal or not.

The policy at Northern Arizona University strictly prohibits the possession and/or use of marijuana on campus. Not only are there potential associated health risks, there are other potential consequences that are in direct competition with our mission to promote academic success.

To this end, it is our hope that you may continue, or initiate, a conversation with your student about the documented potentially harmful consequences of marijuana use. Consequences range from those associated with academics, to health risks, to legal issues. Some of the most surprising consequences are listed below.

Marijuana use has been associated with:

  • Lower academic performance
  • An inability to focus and retain information
  • Increased rates of cancer
  • Increased rates of respiratory problems
  • Reduced ability to perform tasks requiring coordination,
    such as driving a car
  • Increased anxiety or panic attacks
  • "Amotivational" syndrome

Possession or use of marijuana can result in:

  • University probation
  • Fines
  • Expulsion
  • Arrests/Citations
  • Criminal charges
  • Restricted access to campus housing
  • DUI (for driving under the influence of marijuana)

To better put their college education to use in the work world, students should avoid marijuana. History of drug use can prevent students from getting jobs in law enforcement, forestry, public education or health care professions.

Thank you in advance for your support of our mission to create successful, healthy students! For more information, visit the Higher Education Center for Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse and Violence Prevention website.

Event Highlights

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