The Backpack: A news source for parents and families of students at Northern Arizona University Reading Week
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Vol. 10 No. 35 | April 29, 2014

Parent to Parent

by Shannon Clark, Parent and Family Services Coordinator

Making summer plans with a college student coming home is a challenge. At our house it's all about balancing everyone's needs and schedules. Summer work for our teenagers is a high priority, but there is also that four-week class to juggle and the volunteer project for my high school daughter.

We'd love to squeeze in a family trip, even if it's just a long weekend, but it is tough to plan until the work schedules are set. This unfortunately doesn't seem to be their employers' highest priority. In the meantime, we just look forward to having everyone at home, being flexible, and trying to squeeze in some family dinners or pancake breakfasts and time together whenever and wherever we can get it!

I'd be interested in hearing about what's happening at your house this summer. Maybe you've figured out how to take a summer vacation with your college student! Send me your ideas or comments.


End-of-Term Week Policy

The End-of-Term Week, also known as Reading Week, is the week prior to Finals Week where students are given the opportunity to focus on finishing class assignments, term papers, capstone projects, and preparing for final examinations.

This policy was developed many years ago to ensure that students are not overly burdened at the end of the term with non-academic activities, new course assignments, or evaluations of their work that are not in accord with generally accepted university practice, precedent, or policy. This policy applies to both graduate and undergraduate programs.

The End-of-Term Week Policy applies to the week preceding final examinations from Monday, April 28, to Friday, May 2.

Packing Up!

by ALICIA STEWART VOYTEK, Housing And Residence Life

Residence halls will close at the end of the spring semester on Friday, May 9 at 10 AM. Students involved in commencement ceremonies will be allowed to stay until noon Sunday, May 11, with approval from their Residence Hall Director.

Helpful Hints to Prepare for Spring Closing

  1. Start packing now! Your student has probably accumulated more items than you realize, and there may not be enough free time during finals week to pack it all.
  2. Housing and Residence Life is working with local social service organizations to reuse and recycle student cast-offs at spring closing. Areas are designated in each residence hall where students can donate the following items:
    • clothing, household goods, and small appliances
    • unopened, non-perishable food items
    • school supplies
    • medium to large home appliances and furnishings
  3. Roommates need to work together to prepare their room for check-out. Trash needs to be removed and the room cleaned prior to checking out with a staff member. Vacuums are available at the front desk of each hall.
  4. Your student's Resident Assistant (RA) has provided information related to checking out of the hall through floor meetings and postings. At the time of check-out, the RA will come to your student's room to check the condition of the room, review any damages, and collect keys. Your student will then swipe his/her ID at the front desk to complete the check-out process.
  5. If your student has any questions related to spring closing, the RA or Residence Hall Director can discuss the process with your student and answer questions.
  6. Change of address forms are available at NAU Postal Services to ensure that mail is forwarded for the summer.
  7. Now is the time to pay any outstanding university charges. Your student should check LOUIE to view remaining charges and to avoid late fees.
  8. For students spending the summer in Flagstaff, summer housing is available. Students are eligible to live on campus for the summer if they are registered for summer classes OR pre-registered for fall classes. Students wanting to live on campus this summer need to complete a summer housing application. Find out more about summer halls, dates, rates, and how to apply by visiting the Housing and Residence Life website.

Have a great summer!

Exceptional Seniors Recognized


The Gold Axe Award is presented annually to graduating seniors who have made outstanding contributions to the university in academic performance, leadership, and community service. The awards were announced at the Gold Axe and Distinguished Seniors awards banquet at the High Country Conference Center in Flagstaff, Arizona on April 15, 2014.

Forty-two students received the Gold Axe Award, along with eight who were recognized as Distinguished Seniors.


Kevin Wright, Chyna Gade, Monika Beauvais, Sammy Smart, and Makenzie Mastrud received the Presidentís Prize.

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.