The Backpack: A news source for parents and families of students at Northern Arizona University Family Weekend
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Vol. 9 No. 6 | October 3, 2012

Family Weekend Survey

We're looking for better ways to serve and support you and your student. Family Weekend is one event set aside for just this purpose and we want to make it worthwhile. Did we schedule it too early? Was it too expensive? Whether you joined us this year or not, please tell us your ideas and few things about your family in this 5-minute survey.

Take The Survey

Our best,

Parent and Family Services


Preparing For Midterms

Professors are required to provide midterm grades for 100 and 200 level courses, allowing students to monitor their progress. Have conversations with your students about their courses and how they feel about their progression. If they are not satisfied, encourage them to speak with their instructor(s) about ways to succeed in their course(s).

  • The North and South Learning Centers offer free tutoring in a variety of subjects. Services include 1:1 tutoring, drop-in math labs, and online tutoring.

  • Supplemental Instruction is provided for all students who want to improve their understanding of course material and improve their grades.

  • In-hall tutoring is conveniently located during the fall and spring semesters in all Freshman Connections residence halls. Even if your student isn't a resident, he/she can access these services. Courses typically tutored are math, biology, chemistry, and physics.

  • Academic Success Workshops range from time management seminars to test taking and anxiety management. If the workshop times do not work with your student's schedule, please call the Study Skills Specialist at 928-523-5524 to schedule an individual appointment.


Freshman Fusion

Freshman Fusion - October

Freshman Fusion's three-step program incorporates more than 60 free health, fitness, and nutrition events throughout the student's first semester.

The month of October (step two) features Pink Week activities in support of Breast Cancer awareness and finding a cure. Student will find themselves energized when making exercise a priority and participating. Students may choose one or more dedicated events which include Dodgeball, Group Exercise Power Hour, and Splash and Dash 500m swin and 5k run.

Students have reported that by participating in this program they feel prepared to take responsibility to lead a healthy, active lifestyle (94% of respondents). They are also enrolling in more credit hours, earning higher GPAs (+.25 than non-program participants), and graduating in four years, (33% higher than non-program participants).


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Off-Campus Dining and Services

Students can use their JacksCard to receive discounts and promotions at several community retailers in Flagstaff. Additionally, there are many dining and other locations off campus where students can use their JacksDebit Express (JDE) account. Money deposited into the JDE account provides you discretion on money given to your student, since JDE dollars can only be used at specific locations. The JDE account acts much like a debit card so it is safer than cash. The account is also easy to manage online.

More than 20 off-campus businesses accept JDE, and more are added each semester. Popular locations include El Capitan Fresh Mexican Grill, Granny's Closet, the Pita Jungle, Walgreens, and even Supercuts.

Help for College Depression

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

College is an exciting time with a variety of changes and opportunities for self-discovery. For some college students, this can also be a time when depression or other mental health issues become a challenge. In a campus-wide survey conducted in the spring of 2011, students at Northern Arizona University reported that mental health issues are a reality for them. During a twelve-month period, 46% of our students reported feeling things were hopeless, 88% felt overwhelmed by all they had to do, and 61% felt very sad. Nationwide, suicide is the third leading cause of death for young people between the ages of 15-24.

In spite of these numbers, there is some good news! There are many resources available to students on campus who are struggling with depression as well as those who are concerned about a friend. Next week, Health Promotions and Counseling Services will be hosting National Depression Screening Day during which time students can bring a friend to participate in a free mental health screening. Licensed mental health clinicians will be on hand to provide feedback and referrals as necessary. These events will be taking place on Thursday, October 11, from 11 AM to 1 PM in the du Bois center and 5-7 PM in the Health Promotions office in the Health and Learning Center.

In addition to this in-person service, you and your student can access free online mental health resources by visiting: Ulifeline.org/nau. You can also refer your student to Counseling Services, 928-523-2261, for an on-campus appointment.

To read more about depression in college, visit: Depression in College Students.

As an engaged parent, your concern, support and open communication are critical in supporting the mental health of our students. Please know that we are here to help and that depression is a real health issue that can be treated. Let's work together to abolish the stigma associated with mental illness and give students the resources they need to succeed as a happy, healthy college student!


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.