Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Missy's Moving-In Tips

With the summer nearing its close, Hofstra Parent Council President, Missy Stropoli Faul, has a comprehensive list of tips for the parents of those resident students approaching the all-important Move-In Day.


It's hard to believe my daughter will be a senior this year! I'll post some tips as I think of them.

1. As soon as you arrive on move-in day look for the queue to borrow a "move-in hamper" and see how long the wait is. Usually it moves pretty quick.

2. Felt hangers are your friend! You can fit almost twice as much in the closet when you use them.

3. Bring a tool kit with a hammer to move in. Most students put their dresser under the bed to give them more space. In order for the dresser to fit underneath the bed has to be raised. You'll need a hammer to do it easily. All of the rooms my daughter has been in had a bed that raised up pretty high. Last year she actually needed a small step stool to get into bed.

4. Kids and parents are generally happy to help each other, lend tools that the others forgot, demonstrate techniques for raising the bed, etc. Don’t be afraid to ask for help!

5. After you unload your car, park it a bit farther away so that other families can get close to the door. You can even unload onto the sidewalk and then all carry things to the dorm room.

6. Order your refrigerator/microwave early so that it’s waiting in the room for you on move in day.

7. We store all of the linens in a large “Rubbermade” type container with wheels. Once we make the bed we store the container at home until it’s time to move out.

8. We pack all of her clothes in canvas type bags that can be stacked under the bed. They are about 30” X 24” and about a foot deep, and have handles. My daughter leaves her fall clothing stored in the bags until she needs them. They are soft and easily stacked under the bed. I believe we bought them at Bed, Bath and Beyond.

9. The Container Store sells a gizmo that hangs on an existing closet bar and adds another bar for hanging clothes. It doubles your hanging space.

10. Bring over the door hooks to hang wet towels and such. They fit on most doors except the actual bathroom door. The bathroom door is too thick.

11. A lot of the suites have 4 people who share 1 bathroom. My daughter’s suite mates put a 4 drawer storage container in the bathroom and assigned each girl a drawer to hold dry goods.

12. A shower caddy is good for all of the items they actually take into the shower and it stays under the sink when not in use.

13. Bring a heavy duty plunger! Maintenance is good, but they have hundreds of toilets to plunge!

14. I think the bathrooms come with shower curtains, but you’ll need bathroom accessories like a soap dispenser…toothbrush holder…floor mats. The suite mates can either decide ahead of time on a theme/color, or make the bathroom their first shopping outing.

15. Both of my daughters use a Brita for water. It saves space and money. All they need is a reusable water bottle. FYI- My daughter said something about the filter needing to soak for 24 hours prior to use.

16. The mattresses are hard. We use a plastic mattress cover, then a foam “egg crate” for softness, then cover it all with a quilted mattress cover. It’s worth the investment. They will be used for 4 years. Remember the mattresses are Twin XL.

17. I send her with 2 sets of sheets and 3 pillows. Buy an extra set of pillow cases if you want them to match the sheets. She also has a long “body” pillow on her bed. I also send her with 2 full sets of bath towels.

18. We use a laundry basket on wheels. It also has a handle so it’s easy to move. Don’t forget to bring laundry detergent, stain remover, and dryer sheets.

19. There is a cable TV hook up in the rooms, but you’ll need to have a long cable to reach the TV. TV’s are tricky! One room, two TV’s! Sometimes the kids decide to share one. Depending on the suite set up they might want a TV for the common room.

20. Anything you could possibly need to buy can be found at a store within 5 miles of Hofstra so don’t worry if you forget something!

21. 3M hanging tabs are great for hanging posters, etc. I believe the school holds a poster sale soon after the kids move in.

22. Don’t forget desk items: lamp, calendar, cork board, stapler, tape, push pins, paper clips, thumb drives, pens, pencils, etc…

23. I bought a 3 drawer container for my daughters. It stands about 30” high and fits under the bed. Here’s how I set it up:
Drawer 1: Health and Beauty Supplies- Advil, Band Aides, Neosporin, Tums, Tampons, Pads, Nail Polish remover, Q Tips, Cotton Balls, Soap, Deodorant, Razor Blades…anything else you think they will need.
Drawer 2: Tools and Useful items- Scissor, Packing Tape, Surge Protector (longest one), Clorox Wipes, Small roll of garbage bags, zip ties, small tool kit to leave at school, Light Bulbs for desk lamp, dusting cloth, etc…
Drawer 3: Cooking and Eating- Coffee cup, Hard plastic-microwavable plate and bowl, Reusable drink cup, Steak knife, 1 set of metal cutlery, 1 small package of disposable cutlery, can opener, measuring cup, microwavable bowl, mixing spoon, a few small plastic food storage containers, zip lock bags, etc.

24. Other things to bring: Bathing Suit, Flip Flops, Robe, Slippers, Umbrella, Snow Boots, Gloves. My daughters also have rain boots and rain coats. There will be days when an umbrella won’t cut it! Many students bring a bike to school. Invest in a good bike lock if they are bringing one.

25. A few days prior to move-in, before I’m ready to shoot her…I write my daughter a letter. I let her know how much I love her and how proud I am of her accomplishments. Before we leave I slip it under her pillow so she’ll find it before she goes to sleep. With any luck she’ll call me that night or the next morning to thank me and I get to hear her voice!

Please feel free to ask any questions!

Missy Stropoli Faul, Hofstra Parent Council President

Be sure to like us on facebook, where you can see even more of Missy's tips!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Parent Orientation's Top Five Questions and Answers

In attending Parent Orientation throughout the summer, I've come to expect many questions from the families of incoming students. Some of the more curious parents may ask me about my course of study, what I did while I was an undergrad and the like, so they can get an insight as to what Hofstra is all about; but the vast majority of parents and family members just want to be reassured that their student is in a situation where they can succeed, and their questions reflect that. Listed below are a few of the more frequent questions:

1) What is the food like? 

Outside of the major presentations, this seems to be the most prevalent question of the day--especially during lunch when you all get the opportunity to try the fare and talk to the Parent Orientation (PO) staff--and it stands to reason: when you send your kid away you want to make sure he or she is getting proper nutrition away from home. Now, while I must admit that nothing beats a home-cooked meal, the food at Hofstra isn't bad.

The real plus about being on campus for a meal is that there's a nice variety: if your student is feeling like a bowl of soup, Au Bon Pain is right off of California Avenue; if they're in the mood for a custom salad or burger, Bits and Bytes lets you create your own; if they're heading to or from class by way of the Student Center, there's plenty to choose from in the cafe; and if they don't want to stray too far from the dorm, they can traipse on down to Hofstra USA on the residential side of campus. And, in the event that your student wants a break from campus food, there are plenty of great restaurants around town--from take-out to Italian. So, while the food here may not compare to Mom's or Dad's, there are plenty of appetizing choices both on and off campus.

2) What are the residence halls like?

This obviously depends on where your student is situated, but the rooms in the high rises are more-or-less the same: most rooms are shared between two students and are equipped with the essentials (two beds--size: twin, extra-long; two wardrobes; etc.). Make sure your student puts in the order for a "micro-fridge" though--only one unit is allowed per room, and you can order them through the University Logistic's website,, or through the toll-free number, 1-800-525-7307, both of which can be found in our Parent Orientation handout.  Now, that said, most first-year students will find themselves within the suites of the Netherlands and Stuyvesant, which have two double rooms, a private bathroom and a lounge. They have a little more room and allow your students to interact with a couple more people while in their living space--always a plus in a new environment.

3) What is there to do around campus?

Plenty: from the over 200 student clubs and organizations to playing Frisbee on the quad, to studying before a panorama of the entire Island on the tenth floor of the library, there's always something to do at Hofstra. We also have 17 NCAA Division I sports teams with games year round and club teams should your student want to get involved on the field. More information regarding student clubs can be found here.

4) What are the classes/professors like?

Though my experience comes mainly from the English Department and Honors College, I've taken a wide variety of classes on campus and have come to understand that Hofstra faculty is as diverse as its student body.  Just know that though there will always be differences of opinion, and some professors are more lenient than others when it comes to things like attendance or punctuality, the faculty is there to support your student and ensure their success.  College classes are tough--they insist upon greater responsibility and require greater attention than high school ever did--and your student may struggle out of the gate, but so long as they pay attention and meet with their professors from time to time, all will be well.

5) What kind of transportation is available on campus?

The Blue Beetle is an on campus bus that shuttles students to both nearby LIRR train stations (Hempstead and Mineola), as well as shopping centers around town.  Frequent stops are made by Roosevelt Field shopping mall, Target and Stop 'N Shop, not to mention the Raceway Movie Theater whenever your student wants to head out and catch a flick.

Make sure to visit the Hofstra website to view the blue beetle timetable.

So, I hope that helps assuage some of your worries--though I know it might not even begin to scratch the surface. For those of you with burning questions who have yet to attend a Parent Orientation event, we can certainly help you throughout the program; and for those of you who have attended Parent Orientation but still have questions, give us a call at (516) 463-4698, send us an email at or even stop by our office located on campus at 200 Phillips Hall. We're always willing to lend a hand.

- Nolan Meditz, Graduate Assistant at the Office of Parent and Family Programs