The Backpack: A news source for parents and families of students at Northern Arizona University Housing Reapplication by May 11
Housing Reapplication by May 11 Housing Reapplication by May 11
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Vol. 8 No. 20 | March 21, 2012

2012-2013 Housing Reapplication for Current Residents

As a current campus resident, your student has priority to a guaranteed space on campus for 2012-2013 before incoming upper-division students. Your student can reapply now to take advantage of all the benefits of living on campus:

Great college memories with lifelong friends

Living on campus makes it easy to bond with current friends and connect with new ones. Nighttime study sessions with hall-mates, weekend road trips, and lively discussions during dinner at the union are sure to be some of your student's favorite college memories.

Living in the heart of it all

The convenience of being close to classes, dining, events, and resources is hard to beat. It's easy to walk, bike, or take the shuttle around campus--most halls have bus stops right outside.

Extra value, everything included

Living on campus offers affordable and predictable rates and a variety of housing options. All utilities, wired and wireless internet, and cable are already included in your rent, so no need to worry about extra monthly bills! Rent is conveniently billed directly to your student's LOUIE account - everything all in one central place.

Reapply now for 2012-2013 - it's easy! Your student can log into the housing portal at now to complete the application and choose a room, all online in real time.

We look forward to welcoming your student back to our on-campus community!

Make a Major Difference!

When you receive your telephone call from one of our knowledgeable student callers, please consider making a gift to benefit your student's major. Programs funded by parents give students a competitive edge both during school and as they enter the workforce. Plus, they continue to build the reputation of NAU--a reputation that follows students beyond graduation.

Gifts to any area of the University can also be made online or mailed to:

Northern Arizona University Advancement
PO Box 4094
Flagstaff, AZ 86011

The Marijuana Challenge

by Melody Hicks, MC, LPC, Counseling Services

We previously addressed the issue of marijuana and how to talk to your student about the substance, in light of Arizona's Medical Marijuana Act. We encountered students in the Substance Abuse Program at the university who believe this drug is less harmful than alcohol and aren't shy about sharing what they believe:

  • There is no violence (domestic or otherwise) associated with marijuana use (there is some truth to this and hard to argue since alcohol and violence are so tightly intertwined)
  • There is no proof of physical dependence for marijuana (this is also true, but there is certainly proof of a strong psychological dependence)
  • You can smoke and drive safely (many students say that they are, in fact, safer drivers when high as they carefully watch their speed and other factors so as to not get pulled over by the police--which could result in a DUI).

When working with students who want to argue that marijuana is safer than alcohol, parents might be a bit unsure about how to counter such thinking. Maybe the following will be helpful:

  • In Arizona, it is still illegal to use or possess marijuana or paraphernalia associated with marijuana (pipes, grinders, vaporizers, etc.). The first offense will result in a $450 fine, 6 months of unsupervised probation, and an alcohol/drug assessment and an educational class. The second offense will result in supervised probation, which also requires regular urinalysis and higher fines. A third offense will result in jail time.
  • The research about the effects of marijuana and, particularly of the psychoactive ingredient, THC, is interesting and not very objective. Since marijuana is illegal on a federal level, the research dollars are few. The results one can find are often biased one way or another and trying to educate students about anything other than legality is very difficult, especially for students who smoke and feel it is much safer than other substances.
  • One thing that does seem clear, (although the long term implications are not clear), THC impacts brain chemistry and some people report having problems with paranoia or a lack of motivation or even allergic reactions to it (it is, after all a weed and there is documentation about allergic reactions). As plants are being cultivated for higher THC levels, there is a change in the natural balance within the cannabis plant of the two major components--THC and CBD. It seems the level of CBD lowers as the THC increases. What impact does this have on one's brain functioning over time is completely unknown and so, with the lack of knowledge, there is risk.

It seems important to be open and honest about what is known and unknown about the substance, especially if your student smokes marijuana. It is important to encourage your student to pay attention to how his/her use may impact grades, motivation, relationships, or future plans for college or employment. If a student believes smoking is less harmful and has a set of arguments to support this stance, you may find it difficult to make any headway in arguing the other side. What is important is sharing your concerns, noting any changes in behavior or grades that you might see, and being willing to talk openly about marijuana or other substances.

Countdown to Commencement!

We are just eight weeks away from spring commencement exercises! This moment may have seemed far away when you and your student attending orientation a few years ago, but the moment is here. Students may now order their graduation regalia online or by visiting the bookstore to purchase. Ceremonies will take place on Friday, May 11 and Saturday, May 12, depending on your student's major.
Don't delay in securing hotel reservations. Be sure to check out the list of local hotels offering discounts to our parents and families.

March Is National Nutrition Month!

by Zachary Casavant, Campus Dining

You are what you eat. There are few statements more basic and fundamentally true than this. What you put into your body is literally what powers you; enables you to think, perform, and live your life. People who eat healthier tend to live longer, feel better, and ultimately are more successful in work and studies. Schedule, location, and taste preferences are the primary drivers when students decide what and where to eat, but one consideration that often takes a backseat is health.

Fruits and vegetables are integral to healthy eating. They contain essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber, and help protect against many diseases. Students should consume at least two and a half cups of vegetables and two cups of fruit each day. Campus Dining has focused on promoting healthier choices, increasing the availability of fresh fruits and vegetables all across campus as part of a transfer special in retail locations as well as the vast selections in dining halls.

The correlation between health and happiness is well documented. Students who have a meal plan find that they are in control and able to make healthy eating decisions more conveniently on a regular basis.

Additional Housing Options For Upperclass Students

The Suites and Hilltop Townhomes represent a new public/private partnership for student housing at Northern Arizona University. The communities will provide suite-style and townhome living for more than 1,000 students. Hilltop Townhomes are designed for upperclassmen and require a one-year lease. The Suites are designed for sophomore, junior, and senior class students and have academic-year leases.

Students will have access to amenities at both communities including community centers with on-site management offices, computer labs, study and meeting rooms, game rooms, fitness centers, and more. While these living options are located on campus, they are privately owned and operated by American Campus Communities.

Hilltop Townhomes are currently full for fall 2012 and limited spaces are available at The Suites.

Upperclassmen receive priority status for fall 2013 at Hilltop Townhomes when they live on campus with Residence Life or in The Suites the previous year.

Find out more information, take a virtual tour, and find applications online.

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