WHAT’S NEW? SUNY New Paltz Parents Newsletter
On behalf of the Division of Student Affairs, best wishes for a happy and healthy new year to you and your family!
The December Academic Calendar has some key dates:
December 8 – Last Day of Classes
December 9-10 – Common Study Days
December 11 – Common Exam Day (Composition)
December 12-18 – Finals (note: does not follow the same schedule as their class schedule)
December 19 – Residence Halls close at 10:00a.m.
FALL 2014 FINAL EXAMS SCHEDULE
Click here to view your student’s final exams schedule: Fall 2014 Final Exams Week: December 12-18
IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR SPRING 2015
All residence halls on campus will re-open on Sunday, January 18, 2015 at 10:00a.m. Students can move back into their room between 10:00a.m.-5:00p.m. and 8:30p.m.-11:00p.m. that Sunday. The first meal on their meal plan will be Brunch on Sunday, January 18. Hasbrouck Dining Hall opens for Brunch beginning at 11:00a.m.
First Day of Classes
The official first day of classes will kick-off the spring semester on Tuesday, January 20. The Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday falls on Monday, January 19, so no classes will be in session.
Paying Your Bill
Bill payment arrangements can be done online at your student’s my.newpaltz.edu page. Your bill should be paid by the due date listed on your invoice in order to avoid late charges. If you have questions about your bill, the best way to contact the Office of Student Accounts is to e-mail them at email@example.com. Their phone number is (845) 257-3150.
Meal Plan Options for your student’s second semester
For the same price, your student living on campus can choose from one of two meal plans. He/she can continue on the “Carte Blanche Plan” with unlimited entry to Hasbrouck Dining Hall and $50 dining dollars, or switch to “The 14-meal Plan” at Hasbrouck with $200 dining dollars. Go to http://newpaltzcas.com/meal-plans/ to read about which of these two plans is best matched to your student’s eating habits. If they want to remain on The Carte Blanche Plan, it is automatically the standard meal plan so they do not need to contact anyone. However, in order to change their Meal Plan from Carte Blanche to The 14 Meal Plan, they must go to the Card Access Office in Room 64 of the Student Union on the ground floor within the first two weeks of classes. (If your student commutes to campus, read about the Voluntary Meal Plan options available to them.)
NEW PALTZ IN THE NEWS
UNIFORM SEXUAL ASSAULT POLICY ANNOUNCED FOR ALL SUNY CAMPUSES
Click here for link
GLOBAL ORANGE AND BLUE EVENT ON DEC. 4 TO UNITE SUNY NEW PALTZ WORLDWIDE
Click here for link
NEW PALTZ JOINS THE #GIVINGTUESDAY MOVEMENT
Click here for link
COLLEGE CELEBRATES DIVERSITY DURING INTERNATIONAL EDUCATION WEEK
Click here for link
PRESIDENT CHRISTIAN ADDRESSES ULSTER CHAMBER
Click here for link
ARTICLE OF THE MONTH
A message from the Director of the Counseling Center:
Congratulations! You have survived (along with your son/daughter) the first half of their first year in college. While for most of you it was relatively smooth sailing and for others a seemingly bumpy ride all the way to the end, in the final analysis with you in the background (and sometimes foreground) you made it through. They came home totally tired from the stress of finals. You fed them their favorite home cooked meal and allowed them to slumber. How did you do when it came to interacting during their first winter break home-stay?
• Did you ask “did you make the grades?” Most likely one of your top priorities was to find out the academic outcome—namely their final grades. Hopefully you curbed the urge to purge it out of them if they did not voluntarily share their final grades with you. Those who did well—passed all their classes with C and above may be more inclined to disclose than those who were less successful. If you resisted the need to interrogate and remembered to exercise utmost patience and understanding when discussing final grades, you were on target. Being non-judgmental and asking open-ended questions, as well as praising/acknowledging their efforts and their strengths, will go far. For example, “Jay/Jessica, it looks like you did well in some of your classes but were really struggling in the others…..What do you think happened?” A typical response from your son/daughter to this question may be, “…I don’t know.” Your response then would be, “…well Jay/Jessica it will be helpful for you to think about that so you will try to manage whatever it was that led to these grades.” Remember the first year (especially the first semester) in college can be very overwhelming even for the student who did exceptionally well in high school. Again remember just about everyone here at New Paltz did exceptionally well in high school too. The performance bars are much higher now in addition to the complex social and cultural environment they have to simultaneously navigate.
• Did you want to say, “What do you mean I will do better next time?” It’s always good to minimize the opportunity for a big fight over grades. A long drawn out lecture about their performance is not going to accomplish anything after they just barely survived thirteen/fourteen weeks of four to five classes of lectures. Also, probably were feeling both guilt and shame about their performance. They would simply respond either passively or angrily to you. Therefore, stating your concern and letting it go for the time being is the best advice. Sometime early in their second semester, revisit the performance issue with them by again acknowledging their apparent effort and empathizing with their struggle. Example, “…Jay/Jessica, I know you are concerned about your performance, I/we are too. I/we hope you have given some thought to the reasons for your performance and that you have a plan of how to address the difficulties…I/we hope you will speak to your advisor, orientation leader (OL) or peer mentor about how to get the assistance that will help you to be much more successful in the Spring semester.” Again, say your peace and keep it brief.
• Responding to changes. You may have noticed a lot of changes about them. Some subtle and some very overt. Change in attitudes, belief, behavior, values and lifestyles. You may even find yourself questioning whether this is really the same person you dropped off to college just about five months ago. Well, if this is true for you, then consider that as evidence that your son/daughter is experiencing the challenges and benefits of the overall college experience. Caution, be careful of your response. If whatever it is about them seems far-out or a bit over the top to you, then simply look them straight in the eye and say “…uhmm, Jay/Jessica that is really interesting.” The goal here is to avoid being unnecessarily critical. Remember some of these changes may be temporary and they will modify and adjust as they go through their developmental processes.
• Say what? Asking vs. telling. Excuse them if they seem not to be as respectful as they were before. Remember they have not had to answer to the tune of “yes/no mom/dad.” For the past five months they have been living primarily in the company of their peers and have developed various special communication patterns. In their newly found independence they have not had to ask for permission or approval to do most things. They have grown used to telling rather than asking and doing just about anything they want to do. Therefore, you will need to talk about how to communicate in a way that is respectful and validating of each other. Example, when Jay/Jessica approaches you and says, “…mom/dad I need the car keys I am going out.” Then you can begin a dialogue by saying, “…Jay/Jessica we need to talk about how we can communicate about our expectations and needs from each other especially when you are home…” If you had a curfew before, then when they visit your home, consider renegotiating the time with them.
• What do you mean you are not sure you want to be back at New Paltz? Confusion about returning/staying away. By mid-> January, most students start feeling eager to return to campus. They miss being in the company of their room-mates, suitemates and other friends. Most of all they miss the sense of autonomy and personal freedom. Parents, family and friends, should try not to take this personally. It is not about you, it is about them. Oftentimes, being home feels like compromising their newly found sense of self. College allows them to explore their horizon and express themselves in a validating way. While the prospect of returning to campus seems exciting for most students, there are some students that struggle with the thought of returning. Most students in this category have done reasonably well academically but struggled with a combination of emotional, psychological and social challenges. If this is true for your son/daughter, it is important that you talk to them about it — validate their concerns and encourage them to seek support especially from the counseling center on campus upon their return. You may also contact the counseling center for support in facilitating referral to the center.
Gweneth M. Lloyd, Director, Psychological Counseling Center, SUNY New Paltz
UPCOMING EVENTS FOR YOUR STUDENT!
CLASS OF 2018’S END OF SEMESTER CELEBRATION: www.newpaltz.edu/keepingyouposted/fyf.html
Friday, December 5
Taste of Main Street
6-8pm, Student Union 62/63
Your student can celebrate the end of his/her first semester at SUNY New Paltz with free samples from 8 restaurants located on New Paltz’s Main Street! Free with Student I.D. First-come, First-served
WELCOME BACK WEEKEND SOCIAL EVENTS BEING PLANNED
The 7th Annual Welcome Back Weekend will be held at the end of the first week of classes (Saturday, January 24 and Sunday, January 25). All first-year students will receive an e-mail in late January listing these upcoming social events. The SUNY New Paltz Class of 2018 Facebook page will also highlight Welcome Back Weekend activities, as well.