Date: April 26, 2012
To: Parents of All U.Va. Students
From: Patricia M. Lampkin, Vice President and Chief Student Affairs Officer
Re: Year-end news and reminders for U.Va. parents
Classes end next Tuesday, May 1, and exams begin two days later on May 3. This is a busy, exciting and stressful time. In addition to writing papers and finishing up class projects, many students will be celebrating and “blowing off steam” this weekend. My hope, and I know it is yours as well, is that students will choose safe and healthy ways of celebrating. Toward that end, this e-mail shares information that should be helpful as you talk with your daughter or son. The University’s programming and outreach around safety and health, described in more detail below, is enhanced by your own conversations with your student.`
Safety at the Foxfield Races this Weekend
The spring Foxfield steeplechase horse races, hosted four miles from the U.Va. Grounds by a private organization, will take place on Saturday, April 28. On average, about a third of the some 23,000 patrons are college students from U.Va. or other campuses. While most students view the races as an opportunity to dress up and celebrate the end of the academic year, the all-day tailgating event also provides a significant number of students with an excuse to engage in hazardous drinking. The weather is typically hot and sunny, which increases susceptibility to dehydration and heightens blood alcohol concentrations (although this weekend’s outlook is cool and cloudy). Hazardous drinking at the races has led to injuries, arrests and hospital visits. The location is far enough away from the U.Va. Grounds to make walking home an unsafe option.
Although Foxfield is not a U.Va.-sponsored event, each year I send out a safety message specifically focused on these activities. This year’s message was e-mailed to all students this past Monday. I encourage you to read it and reinforce these reminders about personal safety with your daughter or son. Two student groups, including ADAPT (the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention Team) and the Third-Year Class Council, have taken the lead in promoting safe activities around Foxfield. Both groups are hosting alcohol-free safety tents at the event this year, and ADAPT has posted tips online for a safe Foxfield.
Students who attend Foxfield will notice a significant law enforcement presence. The Virginia State Police, the Virginia Department of Alcohol Beverage Control and the Albemarle County Police are continuing their efforts to provide a safe environment for spectators attending the races and to deter and detect crime – specifically alcohol-related offenses. These agencies, as well as a private security force, will be monitoring the crowd closely and citing those who engage in illegal activities.
Learning to manage personal stress is a skill that can serve students well for the rest of their lives. Although we know that students often cut corners (all-nighters will never go away), we continue to encourage the basics in managing stress – good nutrition, adequate sleep, regular exercise and activities that offer a safe and healthy escape from stress.
Students can be a tremendous source of support to one another during stressful times. An e-mail from University Dean of Students Allen Groves, sent last week to all students, reminded them of the importance of this support, as well as reiterated the availability of University resources. If you feel that your daughter or son needs additional support, please encourage her or him to seek out these resources.
Emergency Phones to be Installed Off Grounds
Given concerns about safety in areas off Grounds where large numbers of students live and congregate, work is now under way to install a set of emergency telephones. Ten phones, which will ring in to the area’s 911 call center so that help can be dispatched quickly in the event of emergencies, will be installed at the following locations in The Corner area: 12th/Wertland; 12 ½/Wertland; 14th/Wertland; 14th/Sadler; 15th/Sadler; 14th/John; 15th/Virginia; 15th/Gordon; and the 14th Street Parking Garage. In addition, a phone will be installed at the Jefferson Scholars Foundation’s new office near Stadium Road. The project is expected to be completed by the end of June.
This has been a joint effort between the University and the city of Charlottesville, with funding provided by CBS Rentals, the city and the U.Va. Parents Committee. We are grateful to all involved, especially to the Parents Committee for initiating this project.
Chuck It for Charity: An Easy Way for Students to Recycle and Help Others
On-Grounds Collection: May 4 through 12.
Off-Grounds Collection: May 17 through 19.
Beginning in May, following the end of classes and exams, students can donate their unwanted furniture, appliances, nonperishable food and clothing to local charities at the Chuck It for Charity Recycling Drives. Two drives will take place this year, one for students living on Grounds and the other for students living off Grounds. The event is sponsored by U.Va.’s offices of Community Relations, Facilities Management, and Housing and Residence Life in partnership with community organizations. For complete details, including times and locations, please see the Chuck It for Charity website.
Invitations from Student Academic Honor Societies
Students who meet certain criteria, including minimum grade point averages, often are invited to join national and international academic honor societies. If requested, the University provides honor societies with non-confidential information regarding eligible students. No grades are ever divulged.
It is up to you, the parent, in consultation with your daughter or son to decide if membership would be beneficial or desirable. Membership fees nearly always are required. All honoraries operate independently of the University, but membership in a limited number of honor societies is recorded as part of students’ transcripts.
Most honor societies recognized by the University belong to the Association of College Honor Societies. To learn more, please see the ACHS website. If you have specific questions about honoraries with chapters at U.Va., please write firstname.lastname@example.org.
Closing of Residence Halls
All non-graduating students who live in University housing must move out of their rooms 24 hours after their last exam or by noon on Saturday, May 12, whichever comes first. Graduating students must be out of their rooms by noon on Monday, May 21. For additional information regarding closing, please consult the Housing and Residence Life website.
Student Health – Last Day of Service for Graduating Students
Friday, May 25, is the last day for graduating students to be seen at Student Health. Students who need to make an appointment can do so by calling 434.924.5362.
Parents Invited to Join University’s LinkedIn Group
All parents are invited to join the University’s recently launched LinkedIn network group. LinkedIn is a social media tool aimed at helping individuals build professional and job-seeking connections. By joining the group, you can help your own student, you can be a resource to other students or you may gain useful information and leads for your own career and professional development. Go to www.linkedin.com, then join the U.Va. group here.
The site was established by the Alumni Career Services staff, which also sponsors Friday Forum Webinars on career and professional growth. As part of the U.Va. community, parents also are invited to tune in to these webinars. Learn more at the webinar website.
If your student is graduating, you can find complete, up-to-date details on the Finals website. Times and locations for diploma ceremonies, which take place on Sunday afternoon, are available there. If you use Facebook or Twitter, you also can link to those tools to receive real-time updates throughout the weekend.
May 1: Courses end
May 3: Exams begin
May 2, 6, 9: Reading Days
May 11: Exams end
May 12: All residence halls close at noon
May 19-20*: Finals Weekend
July 5-6: Orientation Begins (Welcome, Class of 2016)
As always, if I or any member of my staff in Student Affairs can be of assistance to you, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Best wishes for a safe and relaxing summer, and congratulations if your daughter or son is graduating.
Patricia M. Lampkin
Vice President and Chief Student Affairs Officer
*Corrected from the e-mailed version, which listed the date as May 20-21.