The Backpack: A news source for parents and families of students at Northern Arizona University Meningitis Touch Points
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Vol. 10 No. 30 | April 1, 2014

Parent to Parent

by Shannon Clark, Parent and Family Services Coordinator

I'm the sort of person with to-do lists for my teenage children. There are thank you notes to write, summer jobs to follow up on, volunteer opportunities to research, travel plans to make, and instruments to practice. I'm not proud of it and am working on finding a balance between trusting them more to take responsibility for their own lives and my expectations. My most recent revelation came after a FaceTime conversation with my son when I realized I'd spent our precious time together asking questions and giving him reminders. As a result, I didn't really hear much about what was really happening in his life. What I'm learning is that sometimes, the less I ask and the more I listen, the clearer the picture I get of the new life he's building for himself.

And not surprisingly, he's managing very well thank you, without my reminders and lists!

Avoiding Infectious Diseases in College

by Melissa Griffin, Health Promotion

One of the things I love about college students is their eternal optimism! However, in the case of health and wellness, a student's perceptions that "it will never happen to me" may work against them.

All college students are considered to be at high risk for contracting a variety of infectious diseases ranging from the flu to meningitis to whooping cough". All of these have the potential to create life-threatening situations. This increased risk is due to what is referred to in college as a "high density living" situation. As you know, your student is in constant close contact with multiple other students through shared living situations, classroom environments, and social gatherings. This is why it is very important that you share preventative information with your student so that they may keep themselves healthy and avoid some serious illnesses.

Prevention Tips

  • Avoid sharing personal items such as cups, silverware, lip balm and food.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with your elbow or a tissue.
  • Wash your hands often using soap and warm water.
  • Avoid touching your face, nose and eyes as much as possible.
  • Stay home if you are sick. Help prevent the spread.
  • Get 6-8 hours of sleep each night to optimize immune system functioning.
  • Be sure you are current on vaccinations.

Seek Medical Attention For the Following Symptoms

  • Sudden onset of fever
  • Stiff neck
  • Persistent or severe cough
  • Severe headache
  • Persistent nausea/vomiting
  • Confusion
  • Severe sore throat

Campus Health Services strongly recommends the meningococcal meningitis vaccine, Menactra, as well as the yearly influenza vaccine, both of which are available in the clinic.

NAU Police Annual Citizen Survey


The NAU Police Department is conducting its annual citizen survey. Although most parents don't live on campus, you are an important part of the community we serve, and we value your input! The survey can be completed online at the NAUPD webpage.

Greek Communities Giving Service

by Erica Keller, Greek Life, Housing and Residence Life

Greek Week consists of competitive events where Greek students can show off their chapter pride while promoting charity. This year our theme was "The Greek Games: Ending Hunger in Flagstaff" (a take on the Hunger Games) and we supported the Flagstaff Family Food Center. With all 24 chapters participating, we collectively raised $4,100 for the Flagstaff Family Food Center as well as collected 2,742 pounds of food donations. The winning chapters were Delta Chi, Gamma Phi Beta, and Delta Chi Lambda.

New Career Services Web Tools

by Katie Egea, Gateway Career Services

Gateway Career Services is excited to announce the launch of our new website! This website was designed to assist a variety of students, whether they are first years, graduate students, seeking employment, continuing their education, searching for opportunities within an organization, or starting out as entrepreneurs. The Career Services website contains a range of content including: an active calendar of career events, sample resumes and cover letters, links to career services' social media sites, and downloadable handouts and worksheets related to a wide range of career-related topics. Your student can also access Jobs for Jacks, our university-specific online recruiting system, as well as our Professional Development Guide.

As you support your student in their career exploration, encourage them to utilize this valuable new resource. Students can use the website to aid their preparation for career appointments and recruiting events, as well as to gather information to supplement career education workshops. And of course, Gateway Career Services is available in person to support your student throughout their career journey as well!

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.