The Backpack: A news source for parents and families of students at Northern Arizona University Greek Life
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Vol. 10 No. 13 | October 29, 2013

Parent to Parent

by Shannon Clark, Parent and Family Services Coordinator

Cold weather is here and more wintery weather is just around the corner. For some of you from the desert or sunny southern California, snow, ice, and winter driving are new. Here are a few winter tips for cool parents to share with their students:

  • Buy a long-handled snow and ice car scraper, (or 2 or 3 for friends to help) before the first snow.
  • Keep a small snow shovel in the car and buy it at Walmart or Target now, before you need it (supplies disappear quickly after the first snow storm).
  • Classes are very rarely cancelled for bad weather. Professors will be there and failure to attend will not be excused!
  • If you don't already have waterproof snow boots, buy them now before the first snow storm.
  • Leave plenty of time when traveling in winter weather. Wear warm clothes (not shorts and flip flops) and keep your cell phone charged.
  • Keep an extra quilt, sleeping bag, or thick blanket in the car during the winter.

For my kids, I try to limit myself to giving one piece of advice per week. Following that rule, these cool tips for your students will take you right up to winter break!


Outdoor Adventures

Campus Recreation Services and Outdoor Adventures offers members of the community, students, and faculty many opportunities to take their education outdoors and learn through adventure. Our trips and certification classes include:

  • Grand Canyon backpacking
  • Wilderness First Responder courses
  • Verde River rafting expeditions
  • Havasupai Falls backpacking
  • Challenge Course facilitators
  • Leave No Trace training

Look at our calendar (PDF) to see what trips, adventures, and classes we are offering and when. Limited space is available in many of our popular trips and classes. Enroll in your adventure now!

Positive Programming From Greek Life

by Erica Keller, Graduate Assistant for Greek Life, Housing and Residence Life

National Hazing Prevention Week was September 23-27. This was an opportunity for campuses, schools, communities, organizations and individuals to promote the prevention of hazing. The ultimate goal is to prevent hazing from happening in the first place. Through strong educational efforts, diligent policy reinforcement, and comprehensive and ongoing community efforts, we can accomplish that goal. As part of our National Hazing Prevention Week programming, we brought in Campuspeak speaker, Travis Apgar, to kick off the week and had more than 1,000 students attend! It was an incredibly successful event which greatly impacted our Greek community at NAU.

National Collegiate Alcohol Awareness Week (NCAAW) is a week dedicated to recognizing the importance of campus alcohol prevention efforts. Together with 1,000 US colleges and universities, NAU participated in NCAAW October 7-15. NCAAW started on Monday the 7th with a performance titled 'A Shot of Reality (with a chaser of comedy)' that involved two hilarious comedians who performed a number of improvisational routines while educating more than 400 students about mature management of alcohol.

Greek Life at NAU by the Numbers

  • 12,948 - Number of community service hours performed by Greek Life in the 2012/13 academic year
  • $63,095 - Amount of money raised by the Greek community for various local and national philanthropies in the 2012/13 academic year
  • 449 - Number of new women who joined Greek Life, fall 2013
  • 237 - Number of new men who joined Greek Life, fall 2013
  • 22 - Total active number of national Greek Life chapters operating at NAU

Academic Advising at the Gateway Student Success Center

by Emilly Borthwick-Wong, M.A., Coordinator

Academic advising is an essential part of planning a successful college experience. Students discover their academic options, learn tools needed to make effective decisions, and how to stay on track for graduation. The advisors at the Gateway Student Success Center help first-year and undeclared students explore interests and connect their academic and co-curricular experiences to their pursuits now and into their future. It is our goal to guide students as they set and achieve academic and personal goals. We can assist with:

  • Choosing a major
  • Understanding major and university degree requirements
  • Planning for next term's classes
  • Changing courses
  • Selecting a career path

First year students are contacted to schedule an advising session with their advisor beginning in September. It is important they take this opportunity to discuss how they are doing in their current courses, develop their course list for next term and ask any questions they have about their major. Visit our website for more information.

Scholarship to Fight Hunger

by Casey Fisher, M.S., Campus Dining

Is your student hungry? Or just hungry for change? There's a unique scholarship opportunity for students who are passionate about hunger issues. The Sodexo Foundation is offering scholarships to students who are fighting hunger in America. Stephen J. Brady STOP Hunger Scholarship recipients receive $5,000 for their education and a $5,000 grant for their hunger charity as well as a trip to Washington D.C. to be recognized at the Annual Sodexo Foundation dinner.

The application period for the 2014 Stephen J. Brady STOP Hunger Scholarships is October 5 through December 5, 2013. For more information and the application, visit

Louie's Cupboard

There are plenty of opportunities for students to give and receive while going to school. Food drives and community events provide a great opportunity for your student to engage in hunger-related activities including Louie's Cupboard and Thanksgiving in the Community.

Louie's Cupboard is a student-led food pantry that opened two weeks ago with the support of NAU Campus Dining and Student Support Services. Thanksgiving in the Community is Campus Dining's annual outreach to senior members of the Flagstaff community and gives students and senior citizens an opportunity to connect over a beautiful Thanksgiving meal. In addition, applications will soon be available for the NAU Foundation Dining Scholarship. The recipients of the Dining Scholarship will receive a meal plan for one academic 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.