Each year we publish in an anthology of all of the creative projects that were submitted by first-year students in response to the campus theme. The anthology for this year’s theme “Real Utopias: From Dreams to Practice” is now available through the First-Year Program page on Denison’s website. However, you can also access it by clicking on this link http://issuu.com/denisonuniversity/docs/realutopias
We are in the midst of one of the busiest times of the year for students. For many of our first-year students this is when their stress levels really begin to rise. A certain amount of stress is, of course, to be expected. However, if you are finding that your student seems overly stressed, please encourage him or her to seek support. This is a good time for students to meet with instructors, academic advisors, someone from Academic Support, or me. Any of us can help students develop strategies for coping with stress better. We can also help them connect to any additional resources they need. What we do not expect is for students to try to manage their stress on their own.
Laurel Kennedy, Vice President of Student Affairs, has provided additional information about the incident that occurred over the weekend in a post on The Commons blog titled “A Week of Listening.” In the post, she also discusses some of the concerns that the Campus Alert about the incident prompted among students. You can find the post here http://blogs.denison.edu/commons/2013/10/01/a-week-of-listening/.
Christie sent what is below to all first-year students this morning.
Campus Services helps students connect with one another to secure transportation over breaks. There is a “Ride Board” online that can be found by going to “MyDenison” then “Campus Resources.” Scroll down to the bottom of the list to find the Ride Board.
Your first-year student might mention that a campus alert went out to the campus community yesterday about an incident that occurred on campus over weekend. The point of the alert was to make students aware of the incident, to notify them that it is being investigated, and to urge them to take steps to protect their safety such as being more alert and locking their residence hall doors. Our campus remains a safe environment for our students, but it is always good to remind our students of the steps they can take to ensure their safety.
President Weinberg has published an article in Inside Higher Ed where he argues for re-conceiving residential halls as opportunities for civic learning. You can find the article at http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2013/09/13/essay-calls-more-ambitious-concept-residence-life.
In a previous post, I provided a link to President Weinberg’s remarks from the Induction Ceremony. The remarks of the other speakers are now available as well. Even though there was no coordination on our part, I was pleased to see the connections between these remarks. Together they helped to introduce our incoming class to what we value as an engaged and vibrant learning community. Here are the links to those remarks http://www.denison.edu/theden/2013/08/lets-get-started/. There is also a great, brief video of the highlights of the ceremony.
During August Orientation we surveyed our first year students to ask about their orientation experience. On “The Commons” blog Julie Tucker writes about how the students responded to a question asking what they hope to learn during their first year at Denison. The post is well worth reading. Once again, the “The Commons” can be accessed at http://blogs.denison.edu/commons/.
One of the traditions of August Orientation is taking the class photo. Something fun that our office of University Communications does is use time lapse photography to record our setting up for the photo. The vantage point is from the top of Slayter. And yes, that is me running around in the blue shirt….
As we begin the first full week of the semester, I could use your help with a couple issues that typically arise for first-year students. These issues might come up in your conversations with your students.
They might, for instance, be concerned about their class schedule. They may be saying that they don’t really want to be in a particular course or that their workload seems more than they can handle. This is a good opportunity to encourage students to see their faculty advisors. If a course needs to be dropped and another added, this needs to happen as soon as possible, and faculty advisors are the people to see to start this process. While students have until the end of next week to add a class, we know that students who wait this long often struggle in the class they add. They simply miss too much work right from the start. If your student is concerned that his or her schedule is too difficult, a meeting with his or her faculty advisor is also an opportunity to learn more about the resources Denison has for academic support.