Date: February 7, 2013
To: Parents of U.Va. Students
From: Patricia M. Lampkin, Vice President and Chief Student Affairs Officer
Re: News and Updates for U.Va. Parents
With second semester now well under way, I wanted to write with several updates about health, safety, and other important topics.
Student Health: Many Cases of Flu, One Case of Bacterial Meningitis
Thirteen students living in an apartment on Wertland Street (near the U.Va. Corner) fortunately escaped injury-free on the morning of Jan. 21 when fire broke out in their residence. Damage to the residence was severe enough that the students have been displaced for the rest of the semester. The also lost all of their personal belongings. Several individuals, including two sanitation workers who first noticed the flames, were recognized and thanked at a recent ceremony in the Rotunda for their quick thinking and heroic actions.
The fire offers an important reminder for students and parents looking at off-Grounds housing: Take the time to inspect the residence to ensure it includes safety features. Would escape from any part of the residence be easy in the event of a fire? Are fire detectors installed in every bedroom and all common areas? What about carbon monoxide detectors and fire extinguishers? Also, do you have insurance to cover the loss of personal items?
U.Va.’s Off-Grounds Housing Office can be a very helpful resource as you and your daughter or son explore options for living off Grounds. Please go to the website for more information, including a safety checklist.
University Strategic Planning Process
The process to develop a strategic plan that will position the University for excellence and exceptionalism as we prepare for the next decade and beyond was launched late last year. Seven working groups, operating under the direction of a steering committee and a committee of the Board of Visitors, have been brainstorming, researching, seeking input, and drafting initial reports. Members of the various groups include faculty, students, staff, alumni, parents, and friends. All members of the U.Va. community are encouraged to keep up with the process as it unfolds and to provide comments via the strategic planning website. There you will find updates, reports, a timeline, and links for submitting comments to each working group. Most recently posted materials include emergent ideas from each group.
Spring Break Travel
With Spring Break only a month away (it’s March 9 through 17), your student may already have made plans for travel. Students frequently travel overseas, often participating in service programs such as Alternative Spring Break. These are reputable programs and excellent learning opportunities. At the same time, you need to know that these trips are not sponsored by the University. We do not maintain trip rosters, for example, nor do we get involved in any other planning details. If your daughter or son is participating in one of these programs, please be sure to discuss plans together and take steps to prepare for a safe trip. This might include securing travel insurance, an itinerary, and names and phone numbers for travel leaders.
The University’s experts in international studies advise students to review health and safety information on the country they are visiting through the U.S. Department of State and the Centers for Disease Control. They also advise registering travel with the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). A good “one-stop shop” is the website http://travel.state.gov. Here you can enroll in STEP and download the State Department’s Smart Traveler app.
March 1: Deadline to Apply for Need-Based Financial Aid
If your student plans to apply for state or institutional need-based financial aid, please make sure all materials are submitted no later than March 1. This is a firm deadline. Complete details are available on the Student Financial Services website.
Staying in Touch with U.Va. Student Financial Services
In addition to the website for Student Financial Services, stay in touch with all things bill- and financial-related by following @UVaSFS on Twitter and “liking” UVa Student Financial Services on Facebook.
Educational Tax Benefits
As the deadline approaches for filing your personal taxes, please remember federal educational tax benefits for which you may be eligible. Taking full advantage of these benefits would help reduce your higher education expenses. More information is available on the Internal Revenue Service website.
Parent Handbook Now Online in Searchable Format
A new parents’ handbook website has been created where you can search for topics and more easily find information specific to your questions and needs. The PDF version remains available, too, if you would like to print the entire copy. Take a look at the new website and tell us what you think!
March 1: Application deadline for need-based financial aid
Please let us know if we can assist you or your student in any way. As always, we are grateful for your tremendous support of your student and the University.
Patricia M. Lampkin
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Last Modified: Friday, 22-Feb-2013 13:12:32 EST
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