Date: November 5, 2013
To: Parents of All University Students
From: Patricia M. Lampkin, Vice President and Chief Student Affairs Officer
Re: Student Life News for UVa Parents
Hello from the Grounds, where the gorgeous fall colors are greeting us from all directions.
I am writing about several important topics, one of which is an announcement that the University has extended the deadline to Nov. 30, 2013, for students to sign up for free credit monitoring. This product is being offered to students whose Social Security numbers inadvertently appeared on the mailing label of a brochure mailed in July. Please read more below.
The period between early November and Winter Break can be an especially stressful time of year for students as the semester draws to a close, and deadlines mount for papers, tests, and exams. Even fun activities, such as the last home football game and the Thanksgiving holiday, can bring their own form of stress in terms of over-consumption and pressure to meet family expectations. Some of our recent communication with students has focused on health and safety during this time period. More details are below.
Nov. 30: Deadline Extended for Students to Sign Up for Free Credit Monitoring
In July, a large number of UVa students received a brochure regarding the UVa Student Health Insurance Plan administered by Aetna Student Health. The brochure inadvertently included the student’s Social Security number as part of the address. As a result, the University has been offering affected students the opportunity to sign up for a complimentary one-year membership in Experian’s ProtectMyID® Alert. The deadline to sign up (originally Oct. 31) has been extended to Nov. 30, 2013. (Note: International students and those students who are not expected to pay the comprehensive fee did not receive the mailing in July and are not eligible for free credit monitoring.)
All affected students are encouraged to take advantage of this offer, and last week they received a reminder with details on how to sign up. Students who may previously have had extenuating circumstances, such as being under age 18 or not having an independent credit history, should call again to take advantage of this offer. Read the message to students here.
Alcohol and Stress: Dean Allen Groves Discusses Concerns with Students
The last home football game often presents a time of celebration for students, with a noticeable increase in hazardous drinking that can result in illness, injury, potential arrests, and visits to the Emergency Room. In advance of this past weekend’s home game against Clemson and the final home game against Virginia Tech on Nov. 30, Allen Groves, University dean of students, wrote students last week to discuss his concerns regarding both alcohol and stress. His message included safety tips around the consumption of alcohol, including signs of alcohol poisoning, and reminders for dealing constructively with stress.
As a parent, it is never too late for you to have an honest conversation with your son or daughter about alcohol. For guidance, please see “Alcohol Use among Students: How Parents Can be Partners in Prevention” in the Handbook for Parents (page 41 in the print edition).
When it comes to stress, you know your student best. Some degree of stress is normal for everyone, and certain students, such as those still adjusting to college life, may struggle more than others. If you believe, however, that your student is not able to get help on his or her own or that more serious issues, such as depression, are at play, please do not hesitate to contact the University. You may call the Office of the Dean of Students main number (434-924-7133) during business hours or the University Police after hours (434-924-7166). Someone is available 24/7.
“Luck is Not a Plan”: Door-to-Door Fire Safety Campaign
In an effort to raise awareness among off-Grounds students about fire safety, the University partnered with the Charlottesville Fire Department and the Charlottesville property maintenance inspectors in a “Stop and Knock” fire safety campaign during late October. Officials knocked on doors in student neighborhoods to introduce themselves, answer questions, and drop off a fire safety brochure. The campaign particularly highlighted the danger of upholstered furniture on front porches and balconies.
The campaign uses lessons from a devastating fire that occurred earlier this year on Wertland Street, a popular student housing area near the UVa Corner. In the early morning hours of Jan. 21, flames broke out on a sofa on the front porch of a house where 11 UVa students were sleeping. Although their front exit was blocked by flames, the students luckily managed to escape. Their possessions, including their cars, were destroyed.
Four of the students who escaped from that fire tell their story in a video recently distributed to students. The fire safety brochure, featuring reminders and a listing of resources, was produced by the University as a companion piece to the video.
A reminder: The University funds a full-time city property maintenance inspector to help address fire and other safety concerns of off-Grounds students in neighborhoods surrounding the University. The inspector can enter a student’s property only with the student’s permission, not the parent’s. Students with a safety or building-related concern should first contact their landlord or property manager. If issues are not corrected, then the student should contact Aaron Fabio, city of Charlottesville property maintenance inspector, at email@example.com or 434-970-3184.
Students Turn Out for Immunization Clinic
A big thank-you to parents who encouraged their students to get the flu shot at the clinic held on Oct. 23. Approximately 1,900 students were immunized. Student Health now has a supply of the vaccine, so any student still needing to get the flu shot is encouraged to make an appointment through the Healthy Hoos website. Up-to-date information is available on the Student Health website.
Upcoming Webinars on Nov. 8 and Dec. 6 Open to Parents
Parents are welcome to sign up for professional development webinars sponsored by the UVa Alumni Career Services office. These no-charge, one-hour webinars on timely career topics are offered as part of the office’s outreach not only to students and alumni but also to parents and anyone else you know who could benefit from the information. Can’t make the webinar? No worries – register anyway, and you’ll receive a link to the recorded webinar the same day.
Sign up here for the upcoming webinars on “Developing a Business Plan to Start, Grow, or Revitalize Your Company” (Nov. 8) and “Find Your Passion and Live Your Dream” (Dec. 6).
Reminder: UVa Global Passport Drive
The University is hosting a passport drive next week to encourage greater student participation in education abroad and to celebrate International Education Week. Officials from the State Department will be at UVa on Nov. 12 and 13 to help students apply for a passport or renew their current one. Students can get passport photos taken at the event for $6.
In order to take advantage of this opportunity, students will need their birth certificate or some other official evidence of citizenship. For information on required materials and fees, please visit the website or see event details here. Important payment information: The State Department and the photographer will only accept cash, check, or credit card.
Reminder: Graduation Weekend Housing 2014
If your daughter or son will be graduating in May and you need lodging, the University offers convenient on-Grounds housing. Registration is now open. All reservations must be made by the graduating student in her or his name. Reservations will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information, contact Housing and Residence Life's Conference Services at 434.924.4479 or see the Conference Services website.
Patricia M. Lampkin
Vice President and Chief Student Affairs Officer
Nov. 27 – Dec. 1: Thanksgiving Break
Dec. 6: Fall classes end
Dec. 9 – 17: Exams
Dec. 18: First-year residence halls close at noon
Dec. 18 – Jan. 12: Winter Break
Jan. 2 – 10: January Term
March 8-16: Spring Break
May 17-18: Finals Weekend (Graduation). Check the website for up-to-date details.