It's the start of a new semester, Bobcat families!
We are excited to experience all the successes that 2013 will bring. As always, let us know how we can better support you and your students through any opportunities or challenges that may occur.
One way of staying connected with us is our Parent & Family Association Facebook Page.
Stay tuned to the next month as we hope to be able to announce the dates for Parent & Family Weekend 2013!
Erika Swanson, Miki Lowe, and Lauren Marsh
Parent & Family Association Staff
New Years Resolutions To Strengthen Your Relationship With Your Bobcat
Happy New Year! With the new year comes New Year’s Resolutions. While the most common resolutions involve diets, quitting bad habits, or trying something new, we want to give you a few resolutions to consider which may foster a stronger relationship with your student.
1. Share Your Resolutions With Your Student. We are all well aware of the weight gain epidemic called “Freshman 15,” and even as a parent you may have experienced it this last semester. If you and your student share a resolution, such as losing weight, do it together! Or if you both want to stop a bad habit, why not do it together? Keep each other accountable and praise each other for your successes.
2. Be Positive And Encouraging. Let’s face it, students report hearing a lot of “nagging” from their parents. Yes, they should be getting things done on time and they should be telling you about important events, but students are not always perfect. When you talk to them, make sure to stay positive and be mindful of what you are projecting when they have forgotten to turn in a form or talk to a professor. Keep an encouraging attitude and make sure to commend them when they get things right!
3. Send More Care Packages. That’s right. More care packages. There is nothing more exciting to a student than checking their mailbox once in a blue moon and finding a care package from parents or family members with goodies and notes of encouragement. A few of the favorite items to receive in a care package include: homemade goodies, gift cards for off-campus eating, and school supplies to help them study! Our reliable student sources also mentioned that money is nice, too!
4. Find Creative Ways To Stay In Touch. It can be hard to get your student to call you as often as you want; they get “busy.” Resolve this by finding better ways to communicate with your student. Good ideas for achieving this is by using the methods that are quick and allow for the student to respond in a more enjoyable way. Try a cool app they are using, like Snapchat, or learn their favorite method, texting. Regular Skype dates are also a favorite.
5. Stay Informed! You are already on track by reading the Parent & Family Association newsletters! Make sure to register for the PFA webinars, know important campus dates, and listen to your student for important events. This way, when your student comes to you for help on paying for school, you have already seen the January webinar on Financial Literacy and you can answer any question they have! Another tip we’ve received from parents who have successfully navigated semesters with their student is to request the student’s syllabi or calendar from your student so you can better ask questions as to what is going on with your student and his or her busy schedule. As mentioned above, a note of encouragement on a week where there are two tests and a paper due is very meaningful to students.
Register For Our Financial Literacy Webinar
Free Webinar: Thursday, January 24 - 6:30 PM Mountain Time
This webinar will bring you experts in financial literacy and teach you about the resources available at MSU. Our experts will address Financial Aid, fee payment options, financial planning resources, and budgeting! This will be a beneficial webinar for prospective students and graduating seniors alike. Join us for this webinar as we help you become more financially literate! We will have experts from the following areas:
-The President's Office
-MSU's Family and Consumer Sciences Program
-Student Assistance Foundation
-Office for Student Success
We have 97 live spots for this session. This webinar will be recorded and made available to all parents and families on our listserv within approximately a week of the webinar's live date. If you are not able to be present for this live event, we ask you to forego registration at this time.
Register for the PFA's Financial Literacy Webinar.
Watch Previous Webinars Here!
BreaksAway Registration & Info Sessions
Registration begins January 23rd at 7:30am in SUB 284!
Each year, MSU's Office of Activities & Engagement organizes several service trips over spring break. The mission and purpose of the BreaksAway program is to cultivate in MSU students a spirit of community involvement and to nurture service leaders who will give back to our state, nation, and the world. MSU students work together with communities around the U.S. to promote life-long community involvement and critical thinking about our societal challenges and the roles each one of us can play in addressing those challenges.
Information sessions will be held on January 15th at noon and 1 PM in SUB 235.
On MSU BreaksAway trips, students volunteer their time to meet community needs. The communities that host MSU BreaksAway groups may be as far away as another country or within Montana. Communities see tangible results from the MSU student’s projects, while students gain new skills, perspectives and relationships.
Trips are organized by the Office of Activities & Engagement and are led by MSU student Site Leaders.
Find out more at the Office of Activities & Engagement's webpage!
Connect At MSU's Involvement Fair
Discover Opportunities To Engage - Jan 30, Ballrooms, 10 AM - 2 PM
The Office of Activities & Engagement presents the winter Involvement Fair! This venue is a great opportunity for students to discover hundreds of clubs, service projects, area non-profits, and on-campus groups to supplement their in class learning. We find that students that are engaged outside of the classroom tend to have better time management and are more satisfied with their college experience. Being involved is also a great way for your students to network, meet other people with similar interests, and build their resumes!
Click for more information about MSU's Involvement Fair!
Important 2013-2014 Residence Life Deadlines
Residence Life has started their returners application process for current residents to apply to live in the halls for the 2013-2014 academic year. This process gives our currents residents priority to select their housing assignment before we begin assigning our new students later in the spring semester. All of the information can be found on the Residence Life Website or by calling the Residence Life office at 406-994-2661. The Priority Housing process started Wednesday, January 9th and will end on Wednesday, February 13th.
Residence Life is still accepting new student applications for housing for the 2013-2014 academic year. Residence Life encourages students who want to live on-campus while attending MSU to turn in their housing application by the New Student Housing Priority Deadline which is March 1st. For any new student looking for additional information, we encourage them to head to our website for additional information. We will begin assigning students later in the spring semester and will notify them of their roommate and housing assignment late spring/early summer. For additional questions please contact the Residence Life Office.
Diversity Awareness Office (DAO) Presents January Programming
Annual MLK Lecture Brings Chris Stedman To Campus
Each year, Montana State University hosts a lecture that focuses on subjects or speakers embodying the spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s message. In commemoration of MLK day we welcome Chris Stedman. Author of Faithiest: How One Atheist Found Common Ground With The Religion, Chris Stedman is the Interfaith and Community Service Fellow for the Humanist Chaplaincy at Harvard University, the emeritus managing director of State of Formation at the Journal of Inter-Religious Dialogue, and the founder of the first blog dedicated to exploring atheist–interfaith engagement, NonProphet Status. In addition to his lecture, he will lead a Master Class for 20 students with an interest in youth activism and interfaith work. Mr. Stedman's lecture will be January 17 at 7 PM in Ballroom A.
Students Go Hungry To Feed Their Community
For the fourth year, the Muslim Student Association (MSA) hosts the MSU Fast-a-thon, a benefit for the Gallatin Valley Food Bank. Sponsored by the Office of the President and the Diversity Awareness Office, members of the community are encouraged to fast for one day, January 17, from sunrise to sunset, to remember what it is to be hungry. Additionally, participants may donate what they would spend on food for the day to the food bank, or bring in food donations. At sundown, all participants are invited to a meal, free of charge, to break the fast with their neighbors and friends in the community while listening to brief presentations from the Muslim Student Association and the Food Bank. The event seeks to both raise awareness of hunger in our community and support the food bank which distributed approximately 5,861 pounds (2.9 tons) of food each day in the last year. Visit the DAO Website for more information and to register.