Date: January 24, 2014
To: Parents of First-, Second-, and Third-Year Students
From: Patricia M. Lampkin, Vice President and Chief Student Affairs Officer
Re: January News and Updates for UVa Parents
Dear Parents of First-, Second-, and Third-Year Students:
Although we are less than two weeks into the new semester, students seem to be fully engaged in new classes and the many activities that mark the spring semester. Leadership changes within all the major student organizations will be taking place soon. Student elections will occur at the end of February, and soon thereafter current officers will pass the reins to their successors.
Student leadership takes many forms at UVa, and I hope your student has found a group or activity where she or he is able to develop new skills, meet new people, and enjoy an experience that complements classroom learning. With more than 700 student organizations on Grounds at last count, students have an enormous array of choices for involvement. First-year students may still be exploring these many options; we certainly encourage them to take some time to adjust to college life before saying "yes" to an overload of extracurricular activities.
Other news that relates directly to student life:
Two-Year Rotunda Renovation to Begin in Late May
University officials announced details last week about the upcoming renovation of the Rotunda, a historic undertaking that will involve major system upgrades and repairs to important features, such as the column capitals that are slowly deteriorating and have been encased in black netting since 2010.
The renovation will take two years and will necessitate closing the Rotunda from May of this year (following Final Exercises) through the spring of 2016. Because of the closure and the renovation's impact on the Lawn, it is certain that Final Exercises will be affected in some regard in 2015. It is possible that the ceremony will be affected in 2016 as well.
Eric McDaniel, ’14, Student Council president, sent a message last week to all students describing the project and the potential impact on students. Will Laverack, ’15, president of the Third-Year Council, communicated with his fellow class members, announcing the formation of a committee and encouraging student participation in the process to develop creative approaches to their graduation celebration in 2015.
In response to a question repeatedly raised last week, the Rotunda renovation does not mean that students cannot walk the Lawn in 2015. Without question, however, the nature of the renovation work will require closing off a portion of the upper Lawn, where graduates traditionally assemble in large numbers prior to the ceremony. By starting now to re-envision Final Exercises 2015, students and University staff will have adequate time to develop a memorable celebration.
A website devoted to the Rotunda Renovation offers more detail about the upcoming work, the structure's rich history, and its international prominence as a World Heritage Site.
Encourage Your Student to Live on Grounds Next Year
Deadlines are quickly approaching, and the deadline for six- and four-person groups to apply for on-Grounds housing occurred earlier this week. Applications and additional information is available on the Housing & Residence Life website.
Key deadlines include:
- Jan. 29: Application deadline for rising second-years in three-person or smaller groups. Group leaders will receive an email on Jan. 31 letting them know the timeslot when they can begin selecting rooms online.
- Feb. 18: Application deadline for rising third- and fourth-years. Group leaders will receive their timeslot email on Feb. 20.
- March 17: Students not currently living on Grounds may apply for 2014-2015 academic year housing on Grounds.
Single Bedroom Apartments at Copeley:
Due to popular demand, Housing & Residence Life will be increasing the number of single-bedroom apartments at Copeley for upperclass students. All apartments are fully furnished and include two single bedrooms with comfortable full-size beds, one and a half bathrooms, kitchen, living room with free basic cable, and air conditioning. See photos online. Encourage your student to consider this option if she or he is looking for the freedom of apartment-style living with the convenience of University resources.
The Flu is Here: Students Are Reminded to Take Precautions
January and February are peak times for influenza, and the Centers for Disease Control reported last week that the disease has now surpassed "the epidemic threshold for the first time this season." Just prior to returning for second semester, Dr. Christopher Holstege of Student Health sent students a message reminding them of steps to take to avoid the flu and what to do if they do become ill. He also encouraged students to get the flu shot if they have not already done so; it's not too late, and Student Health still has a supply of the vaccine. (Read Dr. Holstege's message.)
Spring Break: Planning Ahead
With Spring Break coming up in less than two months (March 8-16), students may not yet be focused on getting ready for a safe trip. Students who are planning to travel outside the U.S. will find Student Health's International Travel Clinic a valuable resource for preparation. Immunizations, prescriptions, and general information are available through the clinic. Because of the high volume that the clinic sees in the month before Spring Break, students are encouraged to make appointments as soon as possible. More information about Spring Break safety will be covered in the next newsletter.
Landing an Internship: University Career Services Can Help Your Student
Spring is an important time for students to search for and apply to internships. For UVa students, however, internships take many forms, including research, corporate training, public service, and other options. Reaching out to University Career Services (UCS) is a good place to start for guidance on potential approaches and for help putting together appropriate resumes, cover letters, and other application materials. Students can explore internship opportunities by doing any (and all) of the following:
- Attend an Internship Search Resources program led by a Career Peer Educator at UCS.
- Engage with potential internship sponsors at the Spring Job & Internship Fair (Jan. 29-30 at UVa) and Government & Nonprofit Career Expo (Feb. 21 at Georgetown University).
- Explore the UCS Internships page to find relevant search tools, UVa-specific programs and resources, and funding opportunities.
- Establish an account on CAVLink, UVa's primary recruiting tool and internship/job database.
To get started accessing these programs and resources, have your student visit the UCS Internships page or call (434) 924-8900 to schedule an appointment with a career counselor.
IFC Fraternities and ISC Sororities Hold Recruitment Activities
January brings a wave of activities for the Inter-Fraternity Council and the Inter-Sorority Council, both of which hold formal recruitment parties and events during this time. All 16 sororities that are part of ISC completed their recruitment period on Monday, Jan. 20, with new members accepting bids in the late afternoon. IFC began the recruitment process on Saturday, Jan. 18, and Bid Day takes place on Saturday, Feb. 1. Fraternity and Sorority Life (FSL), part of the Office of the Dean of Students, provides support during the recruitment process and encourages safe practices during a time of excitement and celebration for both new and existing members. Over the past year, FSL has undertaken several activities in partnership with students to enhance education and prevention around hazing. A new website, ’Hoos Against Hazing, offers a number of resources for students, parents, and other members of the University community.
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.
March 1: Deadline to Apply for Need-Based Financial Aid
In order to be considered for institutional aid in the coming academic year (2014-2015), returning students must submit the FAFSA and the University Financial Aid Application by March 1. This is a firm deadline. Complete details for undergraduate students seeking aid are available on the Student Financial Services website.
In closing, I would like to remind you that we are here to be of service to you and your student. Please do not hesitate to call on me or a member of my staff in Student Affairs if you have questions or concerns.
Patricia M. Lampkin
Vice President and Chief Student Affairs Officer
March 1: Application deadline for need-based financial aid
March 8-16: Spring Break
April 29: Spring classes end
April 30, May 4 and 7: Reading Days
May 1-9: Exams
May 10: All residence halls close (noon)
May 17-18: Finals Weekend (Graduation). Check the website for up-to-date details.
Class of 2015 Finals Weekend: May 16-17, 2015
Class of 2016 Finals Weekend: May 21-22, 2016