The Backpack: A news source for parents and families of students at Northern Arizona University Where's the Food Truck?
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Vol. 10 No. 5 | September 3, 2013

Letter from the President

Dear Parents and Families,

There is nothing like the sight of cars, trucks, and trailers loaded to capacity, filling the parking lots and loading zones on campus to inspire the excitement of each new fall semester. We enjoy seeing students return and welcoming new freshmen and transfer students to campus. The success of these students is our priority.

The Flagstaff campus offers undergraduate students an environment to live, learn, and thrive. Programmatic changes to improve the academic experience for first year students are in place at the University College. Opportunities for new students to connect with peer and staff mentors are expanded. Construction is underway for a new science building on north campus and intramural fields near the observatory. A dining expansion is completed and an additional housing project will begin in early fall to accommodate the growing student population.

A full calendar of Welcome Week gatherings and events offers something for just about everyone. Our hope is that all new students quickly feel at home. We know that your support is tremendously important, especially to new students as they transition to the university environment. The Backpack was developed to help you stay informed of campus events as well as services and support available for you and your student. We hope you find it helpful. Please do not hesitate to contact the staff in Parent and Family Services with questions and concerns.

I welcome you and your student to Northern Arizona University.



John D. Haeger, President

Parent to Parent

by Shannon Clark, Parent and Family Services Coordinator

As a parent there is nothing worse than feeling helpless when your child is suffering. And homesickness is one of those times when you feel the most helpless because you are separated from your student. When you are faced with a homesick student some of the following things can help.

  • Be sympathetic: assure your student that homesickness is normal and will pass. You may be able to share your own experience, a friend's, or that of an older sibling of feeling homesick.
  • Hide your own extreme emotions: Hold your own tears until you are out of site, or off the phone, just like when you dropped off your kindergartener for the first time. You'll want your student to know you miss them, but keep it positive.
  • Encourage involvement: This may be the last thing the homesick student wants to hear, but exactly the best advice to overcome their sad feeling.
  • Know when garden variety homesickness becomes something else: If you suspect your student is suffering from depression, take that seriously. Discuss this concern with him or her and look into the services offered by university's Counseling Center.

Family Weekend September 27-29

Remember to make your plans for Family Weekend! Buy your Family Weekend tickets, T-shirts and book your lodging! T-shirts must be ordered by September 6 for pick-up on Family Weekend.

Healthy Hydration

by Casey Fisher, M.S., Campus Dining

Are you or your student concerned about the dreaded "Freshman 15"... or "Sophomore 20"? The good news is those unwanted pounds can be avoided. Three simple steps will get them off to a good start:

  1. Drink five 16 ounce glasses of water daily
  2. Eat five servings fruit and vegetables daily
  3. Exercise five days per week - getting 30 minutes or more of cardio.

We've heard this before, but perhaps less apparent are the extra calories (and pounds) that choosing soda or other sweetened beverages with meals can add. Little changes can make a big difference. Did you know that if you replace just one 12 oz. soda a day with water, you can cut calories by 16 pounds in one year?

There are free filtered water refill stations across campus including the residence halls, the Health and Learning Center, the University Union, and the du Bois Center. Additionally, many campus dining locations feature fresh fruit-infused water for just a hint of added flavor, without the unnecessary sugars.

NAU Football Schedule

Sep 14, 2013 at UC Davis @ 6 PM
Sep 21, 2013 South Dakota @ 4 PM
Sep 28, 2013 Montana (Family Weekend) @ 6 PM
Oct 5, 2013 at Montana State @ 1:05 PM
Oct 12, 2013 at Sacramento State @ 6:05 PM
Oct 19, 2013 Idaho State (Homecoming) @ 4:05 PM
Oct 26, 2013 at Cal Poly @ 6:05 PM
Nov 2, 2013 North Dakota @ 4 PM
Nov 16, 2013 Northern Colorado @ 4 PM
Nov 23, 2013 at Southern Utah @ 1:05 PM


Inclusion and Multicultural Services

Inclusion and Multicultural Services (IMS) is here to serve all students, acting as a centrally-located gathering spot in the University Union. IMS hosts multiple events and provides culturally-relevant services and support to historically underrepresented students along with diversity resources, advising, counseling, and computer access.

IMS connects students with the LEADS Center, LGBTQA Resources and Support, and Student Support Services, which provides advising, mentoring, and academic support.

Our one signature events is One Community, Many Voices. This year it will be held on Wednesday, September 11, from 6 to 8 PM in Ashurst Auditorium.

This reception is a way for students, faculty, and staff to come together in recognition of the various cultures and identities represented at our university and the Flagstaff community. Opportunities to eat, mix and mingle, and join "talking circles" are just some of the activities available at the reception.

Gateway Career Services

by Alicia Loewenthal, Gateway Career Services, Campus and Community Partnerships

Gateway Career Services' mission is to engage and educate students and alumni in their process of career development and planning to empower their pursuit of lifelong professional growth. What does this mean for your student?

Gateway Career Services hosts numerous campus-wide career events and workshops throughout the year in addition to offering your student individual meetings by appointment. The Jobs for Jacks employment database helps students connect with on- and off-campus jobs, internships, and even full time employment after graduation. Our robust Career Services website provides on-demand access to a variety of career related resources.

At Gateway Career Services, we enjoyed meeting countless parents, families, and students at Orientation Expos throughout the summer. Whether through social media, workshops, large-scale career events, or individualized appointments, we hope to continue to connect with your student throughout their time at the university, and beyond!

Biking on Campus

Biking is often the best, quickest way to get around campus. There are a number of ways your student can keep his or her bike safe and secure.

For example, did you know that your student can rent a private bike locker on campus for $75 a year or $30 per semester? There are also covered bike enclosures located in the two campus parking garages (Knoles and San Francisco garages) The cost is $40 per year or $15 a semester and includes a small locker for personal belongings.

Students can also register their bikes with Parking and Shuttle Services at no cost. This is essential in locating a bike if it is lost or stolen, or if a student needs assistance in cutting his or her lock. All the details for these services may be found at the Parking and Shuttle Services website.

Event Highlights

  • Welcome Week: August 26-September 6 - Events for students across campus and in Flagstaff.
  • Family Weekend: September 27-29 - Events for the whole family across campus and in Flagstaff.
  • Family Weekend 5k Partner Run/2 mile Walk: September 28 at 8 AM at the Health and Learning Center.

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