The Backpack: A news source for parents and families of students at Northern Arizona University Campus Recreation Services - Fitness - Group Exercise Classes
Campus Recreation Services - Fitness - Group Exercise Classes Campus Recreation Services - Fitness - Group Exercise Classes
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Vol. 9 No. 3 | September 11, 2012

Family Weekend: September 28-30, 2012

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Family Weekend is held every year in the fall. It is a time for families to join their student in the True Blue NAU spirit that embraces our student body throughout the year. This weekend of fun-filled events gives you a snapshot of our culture, the university's academic excellence, and the energy of our vibrant campus.

Tickets for Family Weekend are available as a package or can be purchased separately from the Central Ticket Office.

Mastering the Bus and Shuttle System

Northern Arizona University has a very popular transportation system that moves millions of students every year, thanks to a fleet of shuttles and buses. These shuttles operate during the school year, Monday through Thursday from 7 AM until 11 PM. On Friday, the service runs from 7 AM until 5 PM. The campus shuttle system is available to all students, visitors, faculty, and staff and is operated through parking and transportation fees.

In addition to the university shuttle system, NAIPTA operates MountainLine/Route 10 that runs through campus connecting the Flagstaff downtown business district, the university, and the Woodlands Village area (including the Walmart shopping center). Students have free access to this route while on campus and can enter when off campus with their university ID. If transferring to another NAIPTA route, passengers must pay exact fare.

Route Map (PDF) - Shuttle/Bus Live Tracking

The NAIPTA buses are equipped with bicycle racks located on the front of the bus. These racks can accommodate two or three bicycles depending on the configuration.

Most campus shuttle vehicles are fully accessible, and students with disabilities may also arrange free transportation for special times and needs. To apply for accommodation, e-mail

Alcohol Decision Making

by Melissa Griffin, MA, CAGS, Health Educator, Sr

The start of college can be associated with the misconception that "everybody parties." In fact, this is not the case! According to a large survey conducted in the spring of 2012, most of our students choose to either drink responsibly or not at all.

It can be very helpful for students to hear from parents about why they are really here: to gain an education and prepare for a successful career. Research shows that messages from parents that tell the truth about binge drinking (e.g., that it isn't status quo) actually minimizes binge drinking.

Student success is supported through healthy decision making. If your student is under 21, please remind him/her of the potential legal and academic consequences of drinking. If your student is 21 or older, here are some tips you may want to share to help keep your student safe if he/she does decide to drink:

  1. Always use a SOBER designated driver. Our SODAS program was developed to support designated drivers.
  2. Know what a standard drink is. All drinks are not created equally. A "drink" is 12 oz. of beer, 5 oz. of wine, or 1.5 oz. of liquor.
  3. Keep drinks to no more than 1 per hour for women and 2 per hour for men.
  4. Eat before and during drinking to help absorb and process the alcohol in your system.
  5. Alternate non-alcoholic drinks, like water, with alcoholic beverages.

Fall Edition of Pine Magazine

Pine Magazine - Fall 2012

The next edition of Pine is out and if you haven't seen this publication from the Alumni Association, you're in for a treat. This digital publication highlights so much of what goes on at the university and in the lives of our alumni. Past editions are archived on the Alumni website.

Audrey Auditorium

Ardrey Memorial Auditorium Grand Reopening

After a $7.5 million renovation and community sponsored seat campaign, Ardrey Memorial Auditorium will be reopening its doors on Sept. 15 for the Grand Re-Opening Gala Concert, commencing at 7:30 PM. Doors will open to the public at 7 PM. Entrance is free and is first-come, first-served.

The evening's festivities will include a ribbon cutting as well as performances from the School of Music, including:

  • The Elden Brass Quintet performing Dukas’ Fanfare from La Péri
  • The NAU Symphony Orchestra performing Beethoven's Consecration of the House Overture
  • NAU Opera performing select pieces of the last act of La Bohème with piano
  • The NAU Shrine of the Ages Choir performing Fanfare for a Festival, Behold! I Build a House, and From This House
  • Organist Liz George playing the Toccata in D-minor
  • NAU Choral Union and Orchestra performing Make our Garden Grow
  • Additional performances by the NAU Wind Symphony, pianists Juhee Park and Francisco Naranjo

Ardrey Memorial Auditorium houses the largest Austin Organ in the state, and annually hosts the Curry Summer Music Camp, the Flagstaff Festival of Science keynote speaker, and Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra performances. It is the largest performance venue of its kind in Northern Arizona, with 1,340 seats. The auditorium hosts almost 45,000 patrons and over 150 events per year.

Event Highlights

See a complete listing of university events on the official university calendar website. More Flagstaff event highlights can be seen at Flagstaff 365 and Flagstaff Happenings.