Date: April 10, 2013
To: Parents of U.Va. Students
From: Patricia M. Lampkin, Vice President and Chief Student Affairs Officer
Re: April News and Updates for U.Va. Parents
Students are out in full force today, enjoying the beautiful weather. It seems that spring has finally arrived on the Grounds – an emphasis on finally, since we were surprised by snow flurries as late as last week. With the arrival of spring, soon to be followed by the end of the academic year, both excitement and stress abound in students’ lives. Much is happening on the Grounds, and following are highlights we hope you will find interesting and helpful.
Family Weekend – Sept. 27-29
The University has finalized the fall 2013 calendar, and Family Weekend has been scheduled for the last weekend in September. Parents and family members are encouraged to make hotel reservations early. A list of local accommodations is available on the parent handbook website.
University Calls upon IFC Fraternities to Shorten Initiation Period
In a move geared toward greater safety surrounding the initiation process for new members of Inter-Fraternity Council members, University Dean of Students Allen Groves announced last week a requirement for IFC fraternities to complete initiation activities by 6 p.m. on Sunday, April 7. Dean Groves sent letters explaining the decision to incoming members of Inter-Fraternity Council (IFC) fraternities, their national organizations and local alumni advisers on April 4. (Note, the letter originally stated a Saturday deadline for initiation but that subsequently was extended to Sunday.)
In his correspondence, Dean Groves described repeated efforts during the year to engage the IFC leadership in monitoring their own activities and ensuring best practices around new member activities. Despite these efforts, he noted a lack of true progress on the part of several fraternities and an ongoing concern about “excessive consumption of alcohol, line-ups, and other behavior which threatens the health, safety, and well-being of University students.”
Looking toward the new academic year beginning in August, Groves has committed to working alongside new student leaders, as well as alumni and national fraternity leaders, to create programming and education that will preserve fraternity traditions but ensure best practices around new member health and safety.
Safety at the Foxfield Races – April 27
The spring Foxfield steeplechase horse races, hosted four miles from the U.Va. Grounds by a private organization, will take place on Saturday, April 27. 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 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. 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. Please reinforce reminders about personal safety with your daughter or son. The ADAPT (the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention Team) peer educators take the lead each year in promoting safe activities around Foxfield. They are hosting an alcohol-free safety tent at the event again this year in addition to a safety awareness campaign.
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.
We encourage students to take advantage of the Foxfield shuttle for transportation to and from the races. Cost is $15 roundtrip or $10 for return only. More details are on the website. Students may also leave their cars at Foxfield after the races without risk of towing.
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 son or daughter 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.
Chuck It for Charity: An Easy Way for Students to Recycle and Help Others
On-Grounds Collection: May 4-12
Off-Grounds Collection: May 11, 20, 28
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 take place each 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 check the U.Va. Community Relations website.
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 11, whichever comes first. Students in upperclass areas, except for the Lawn and Range, must move out by noon on Monday, May 20. Any students in an upperclass area who want to remain until this time must sign up with their Senior Resident by May 8 and obtain an HRL placard to place on their door. Lawn and Range residents must move out by noon on Tuesday, 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 24, 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.
Finals Weekend – May 18-19
If your student is graduating, the Final Exercises website is your primary source of information about the schedule, events, tickets, transportation and more. On Sunday, you will want to plan your travel around the afternoon diploma ceremonies, where each school or department presents diplomas to graduating students. Please check the website for exact times and locations. During the weekend, check Twitter for the latest updates: @UVa_Events or @UVA.
Graduation Housing – Limited Spaces Still Available on Grounds
If you or family members still need lodging for the weekend, a few spaces still remain in on-Grounds housing. Through U.Va. Conference Services, you can arrange for comfortable, affordable housing in air-conditioned residence halls on Grounds. You or your student is urged to make reservations as soon as possible by going to the Conference Services website. The deadline is April 17 by 5 p.m.
The end of classes is now less than three weeks away, and we recognize what an intense period this can be for students as they finish up classes, prepare for exams, and look to the future – whether graduating or moving back home for the summer. If your student needs help during this challenging time, please do not hesitate to call on me or one of my colleagues in Student Affairs. We are here to help.
Patricia M. Lampkin
Vice President and Chief Student Affairs Officer
April 30: Courses end
May 2: Exams begin
May 1, 5, 8: Reading Days
May 10: Exams end
May 11: First-year residence halls close at noon
May 18-19: Finals Weekend
July 8-9: Orientation Begins (Welcome, Class of 2017)