Tuesday, December 3, 2019

75+ Things to Do Before your Student's Graduation

by Susan Heilig
Secretary, Parent Council

I had seen a post on the Hofstra website on suggestions for students on what to do before graduation. Search "75 things to do".  I read the list and thought, 'wow, good list.'  Well as a-now-Junior parent who is going along for the ride. I thought I'd write about my own, parent version, of this list.

  • Make lots of cookies for the First-Year Welcome Day/Move-In with Parent Council. Oh so much fun! 
  • Become an active member of Parent Council. (Make new friends!!). Just email parents@hofstra.edu to learn the meeting schedule and to indicate your willingness to join Parent Council.
  • Attend Parent Council meetings in person or online, and try to not miss one.
  • Participate in Family Orientation, Family Weekend, Admitted Students Day events (with Parent Council).
  • Buy some Hofstra apparel and swag (Hofstra Mom or Dad) in Hofstra Bookstore, Mack Student Center.
  • Apply for a job through Indeed, or the 'Hofstra jobs' website.
  • Cheer on the Hofstra Pride at a sporting event. Go PRIDE!!
  • Listen to Hofstra University radio Station 88.7 FM. Winner of Marconi Award 4 times.
  • Take your Hofstra water bottle and fill it up at a hydration station while visiting your student on campus.
  • Take a Paint and Sip or Tech Ed for Parents class with other parents. 
  • Play pool in the Game Room (Lower Level, Mack Student Center, next to the Pride Den). I prefer air hockey!
  • Take a trip around the campus, checking out the grounds, statues, flowers, and trees.
  • Participate in Hofstra Celebrates the Holidays in the beginning of December. (Open to parents to see the lighting of Hofstra Hall and the painted windows in the Mack Student Center Main Dining Room.)
  • Complete parent surveys to let Parent Council and the Office of Parent and Family Programs know your opinion and suggestions.
  • Eat a sampler platter at the various eateries on campus.
  • Meet our Family Program Director, Branka Kristic. Love that lady!!! 
  • Check out the Hofstra website for all the things parents can do on campus.
  • Participate in Chance Auction and basket-making for the Fall Festival! 
  • Enjoy a coffee on the Quad at Dunkin' and our new Starbucks. It's full service!!!
  • Check out the part one of the renovations in the Mack Student Center. 
  • Take advantage of the many shows and theater that Hofstra's Drama and Music Department produce. (Open to parents)
  • Experience HofUsa MENU AND FOOD!  (It's a diner menu!)
  • Enjoy yourself at the Fall Festival of the Family Weekend. Great fireworks!!
  • Know the Pride Rules for the dorms (It's our students' first apartment!)
  • Walk over the unispan that connects Hagedorn and the University Dome. (Kids call it the Useless Span and you need them to swipe!)
  • Walk over the Netherlands unispan. 
  • Attend the lectures and festivals on campus. Check out the University calendar for all the events open to the public.
  • Host international students for Thanksgiving dinner. Email parents@hofstra.edu.
  • Create your own omelet or other delicacy at the Food court in the Student Center.
  • Watch the Youtube.com videos that Hofstra posts, the Instagram, Twitter and Facebook feeds. (Oh, can you learn a lot!!)
  • Check out the amazing exhibits in the Emily Lowe Gallery, South Campus.
  • Join the Parent Council at a fitness session in the Fitness Center.  Pat M. I hear is a tough personal trainer!
  • Attend a weekend movie showing in the Student Center Theater sponsored by Entertainment Unlimited.  (Bring a container for free popcorn or buy it for a $1.00)
  • Meet President Rabinowitz around campus during events that Parent Council sponsors.
  • Share some #HOFVIEWS on social media (Twitter, Facebook). (Check out the beautiful sunsets from the from the 10th Floor of the Axinn Library!)
  • Walk around the walk track in the Fitness Center during Family Weekend.
  • Attend a play in the Adams Playhouse. Tickets can be purchased by calling the Hofstra Box Office at 516-463-6644, or purchase tickets online at hofstratickets.com.
  • Admire student art work in the Form Gallery in Calkins Hall. 
  • Volunteer as Event Greeters and Speakers. Speak to Branka Kristic for details.
  • Read the Hofstra Chronicle in print on campus newsstands and online at thehofstrachronicle.com. It can also be found on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. 
  • Go find Memorial Square and the Memorial Statue. (Hint: they aren't in the same place.) 
  • Host a reception as a Regional Parent Ambassador for 30 to 50 parents and students. 
  • Participate in various programming through the Intercultural Engagement and Inclusion Office. (can be found on the Hofstra Calendar of Events).
  • Participate in the annual Tea, Tulips and Trees event that happens every May when the tulips and trees bloom!  
  • Sit in the commuter lounge and take a break from walking around campus.
  • Provide internship and job connections for Hofstra students. Share career advice.
  • Go up to the David Filderman Gallery, Joan and Donald E. Axinn Library, Ninth Floor, South Campus, Tuesday-Friday, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. • Saturday and Sunday, noon-4 p.m.
  • Come to campus and watch a game of Hofstra Zombies or the Quidditch ('flying' brooms) tournament from Harry Potter. 
  • Go sit in the new pavilion in the new Pride Park by the main gate, behind the Boston hitchhiker. 
  • Check out the stadiums on both North and South Campuses.
  • Watch a game of soccer, basketball, track and field, lacrosse. We have winning teams in both men's and women's sports. 
  • Walk the labyrinth in front of C.V. Starr Hall.  (While there, check out the Phoenix at the 9/11 Memorial. Stand in the middle of the labyrinth, talk and you will hear an echo.)
  • Check out plaza and "The Court of Courage" with the memorial sitting walls around the labyrinth. 
  • Sign up for Parent Council to be a member, or an officer.  
  • Check out the more than 200 cultural events that happen on campus. 
  • If you have siblings of a Hofstra student, come to our Siblings Day parent event in the Fitness Center in February. Parents can network with each other and the Parent Council. 
  • Participate in the Relay for Life every April. Parent Council comes out to walk around a track for cancer research and support our students. 
  • Cherish the Hofstra Arboretum (comprising Hofstra's entire 240-acre campus) offer exhibits, programs and tours year-round. The arboretum includes a bird sanctuary.
  • Eat healthy at Freshens.
  • Find "Walter" sitting under a tree. Tradition has it the students rub his head prior to testing for good luck.
  • Go to Bits & Bytes, and enjoy a Red Mango. 
  • Write an article for the Family Connections blog.
  • Take pictures of your student and family in the beautiful settings around campus.
  • Check out the oldest stature on campus in the Pinetarium.  (Hint: Behind the Axinn Library)
  • Have lunch in the University Club.
  • Sign up for the Family eSpace for the latest information. 
  • Attend the NYC Alumni Holiday Party at Club 101, 101 Park Avenue (at 40th Street) in December.
  • Show Parent Pride at Athletic Events. Tickets can be purchase at www.Hofstratickets.com or calling the ticket office at 516-HOF-TIXX (463-8499).
  • Play Frisbee on the Memorial Quad. 
  • If you are on campus, say thank you to the men and women of the Department of Public Safety who are protecting our students. 
  • Purchase an item from Amazon and ship to the Amazon Locker, Cria, in the Mack Student Center, North Campus. 
  • Check out the 'Hofstra cats' that can be seen around campus. 
  • Go inside Hofstra Hall, the home of Kate and Willie Hofstra, the founders of our university.
  • Reread the Hofstra Family Handbook. 
  • Go on the Halloween Tour of Hofstra Hall and the grounds while learning about the ghosts that reside in the area. 
  • Surprise your student and mail them a card to their mailbox. 
  • When your student files for graduation, don't miss signing up for the Commencement Cruise. 
  • Go up to the top of the Axinn Library and take in the spectacular views. If a good day, you can see the NY city skyline. 
  • Stretch out on the grounds of the campus. 
  • Pick-up one free item from the tables at the parent events. 
  • As we all passed through freshman orientation as parents, remember how nervous/excited/worried you were. 
  • Check out the "Arboretum in Bloom" at hofstra.edu.
  • Locate the Monkey Puzzle tree.
  • Locate the "Million Dollar" tree. 
  • Purchase a Midterm or Final Exam Survival Kit through Office of Student Leadership and Engagement: 516-463-6914.
  • Network and make new parent "friends"! 
  • Go to graduation and clap for your student. 
Enjoy the time your student and you explored all that Hofstra campus has to offer. These college memories will last a lifetime!

If you need information or want to contact me, please email Branka Kristic in Parent and Family Programs at parents@hofstra.edu.

Monday, November 25, 2019

Why College Really Can Be The Best 4 Years of Your Life! By Sofie Ramirez, '22

Hofstra student and undergraduate assistant in the Office of Parent and Family Programs, Sofie Ramirez, '22, shares with us her experiences in and out of Hofstra classroom. How can she be an A student, work two jobs on campus, and be involved in 5 clubs?! Sofie shares her advice to your student:

My entire high school career I was just living for the future, for the resume, for whatever came next. I was incredibly busy with honor societies, clubs, music programs, anything that would set me apart in an application process. Don’t get me wrong I enjoyed what I did, but I could never fully appreciate it because I wasn’t doing it for who I was in that moment, I was doing it for whoever I wanted to be the next day. Everything was set up to something bigger and it wasn’t until coming to Hofstra last fall that I realized I didn’t have to live that way anymore. Don’t get me wrong I am still very busy (probably now more than ever!) but the things I’m doing aren’t to impress anyone else by adding it to my LinkedIn profile, for the first time ever, it’s for me! 
Since coming to Hofstra I have opened my eyes to a world of possibilities that I thought was completely out of my league. I thought I wouldn’t have the time or the resources and I thought that I might not belong. But Hofstra isn’t like high school, there’s no little cliques, no social rules that we have to abide by, telling us who we get to be. We really can be anything. Since coming here I have been a part of 2 academic programs, the Legal Education Accelerated Program (LEAP) and Hofstra University’s Honors College (HUHC), I have 2 jobs (an undergraduate assistant for Hofstra’s Parent and Family Programs and a Resident Assistant for the HUHC dorms), I am a part of 5 clubs, Hofstra’s Hillel (center for Jewish life on campus), Yoga Club, a pre-law fraternity, HOLA (Hofstra’s Organization for Latinx Americans) and the Rock Climbing Club, all while taking a full class load of 17 credits. 
This is a huge departure from who I was in high school, I was the complete band geek, nerd type who didn’t get out much and was either practicing one of my instruments or studying for an exam in the library. Now, I have such a diverse set of interests that I would not have been able to pursue had it not been for Hofstra’s extensive opportunities and inviting community. Every single club and program on this campus has the capacity to be a home for students here, a chance to grow, develop and change. The only caveat is that you have to be open to the experience. You can go from band geek to club athlete, from bookworm to student leader, you can come out of your shell and be the person you were planning to be tomorrow, today.

Monday, September 30, 2019

Seems Like Yesterday ....

A new Hofstra parent shares her experience when she said goodbye to her first son as he went away to college: https://stephaniekepke.wordpress.com/2016/08/29/letting-go-part-2/

Here is Stephanie Kepke's bio:

An award-winning author and blogger, Stephanie Kepke's second grade teacher told her she should be a writer, and she hasn't wavered in her path since. In her past life, before kids, Stephanie was an arts reporter and music journalist. She lives on Long Island with her family, which includes two slightly crazy rescue dogs (one of whom is three-legged). Stephanie's books include the novel, Goddess of Suburbia; the book of essays, Boys, Dogs and Chaos; and the novellas, A New Life and You & Me

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Call for Chance Auction Donations

Hello Hofstra Parents!  If you have been following the Parent Council Minutes of the past meetings, you will know that we are starting early to request donations for an item, gift certificate or service of any size to our upcoming Chance Auction during Hofstra’s Fall Festival: Alumni, Student and Family Weekend on September 27 -28.   Cash donations of any value are also greatly appreciated. All contributions are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law. Hofstra University is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization. 

At our last Parent Council meeting we learned that the Chance Auction Tickets will be sold on Friday and Saturday, September 27 and 28 with the drawing to take place on Saturday, September 28, 2019.  Branka Kristic, Director of Student and Family Programs and Francine Berman, Chance Auction Chair explained by donating an item, gift cards, or making a cash donation, you are supporting our Emergency Student Fund, as well as help raise seed money for the following year Hofstra Fall Festival budget.  The Fall Festival is run by the Hofstra University Office of Student and Family Programs. Without our parents supporting the Chance Auction, the charge for this event would be fully passed on to those in attendance.  The money set aside helps with Guest Speakers, as well as the Saturday Family Breakfast and Friday Reception dinner.  Your little gift card or item will help 5,000 plus people the following year enjoy the Festival, as well as fund the Student Emergency Fund.   We are so excited to announce that we have received Family Disney Hopper Passes, as well as the use of a Condo in Salt Lake City, Utah for two days for our chance auction, as well as many local business gift cards.

If you are interested in donating an item or have access to a business, vendor or tickets to an event please contact parents@hofstra.edu to get a link to our donation letter and form. Please note that the legal department says the bottom of the donation form must be filled out stating that you or a business are contributing, item(s) or service(s) described to Hofstra Parent Council Chance Auction. Submitting this form agrees to provide the items(s) or service(s) to the Hofstra University Office of Parent and Family Programs.  Francine and the entire Parent Council Executive Board thank everyone in advance who can contribute to the Chance Auction in any way possible.

For more information on how to donate to Chance Auction, please visit: https://www.hofstra.edu/parent-family/parfam_chanceauction.html.

Catherine Fisher
HU Parent Council

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Parent Council Meeting Recap: Guest Speaker: Dr. John Guthman, Executive Director of Student Health and Counseling Center

25 February 2019

Hofstra’s Parent Council had the opportunity to hear from Guest Speaker, Dr. John Guthman, Executive Director of Student Health and Counseling Center. 

Below are notes from the meeting:

Branka Kristic, Director of Parent and Family Programs, introduced our Parent Council to Dr. John Guthman, Executive Director of Hofstra University's Student Health and Counseling Center (SHACC).  Dr. Guthman explained how Hofstra supports all students while emphasizing support for students with anxiety, depression, and other mental/medical health concerns. SHACC is structured as an integrated medical and counselling support for all Hofstra students. Students in need of any medical attention may make an appointment with SHACC to see nurse practitioners, psychologists, or other professional staff. SHACC also offers group counseling to students to come together to discuss common concerns once a week. If students are in need of immediate mental health support after hours, they can contact the Office of Public Safety who can put them in touch with our on-call counselors.

Dr. Guthman reviewed statistics regarding mental health among college students. In 2018, depression was the number one mental health concern in college students, followed closely by anxiety. He further explained the impact parents often have on students' lack of resilience in their well-meaning attempts to shield their students from failure. He explained the importance of parents letting students struggle (and sometimes fumble!) in order to learn to tolerate failure and its resulting anxiety. 

SHACC also provides preventative measures against harassment across campus. All incoming students at New Student Orientation receive information about the services SHACC provides, as well Title IX and bystander intervention training.  All club executive board members, Resident Student Safety, and student government groups are required to take additional Title IX and bystander training. Additional preventative measures include optional programming such as mental health screening days several times per year, as well as our CARES program. As part of our CARES program, administrators, faculty, and staff meet bi-monthly to communicate concerns about students who might need extra support. Support staff determine which offices and administrators will provide support to each student and concerns are re-addressed at follow-up meetings. 

Hofstra University conforms to HIPAA standards: if a student is 18 or older, they do not have to inform their family, staff, or faculty in order to receive SHACC services. Students younger than 18 do require parental consent to attend individual psychological counseling. Additionally, students are also advised on the limits of confidentiality under Hofstra Title IX rules, as only chaplains, counselors, and medical staff do not have to report harassment to the Title IX office.  

Support Staff Contact Information:
Student Health and Counseling Center: 516-463-6745
(After SHACC is closed, on-call counselors can be reached by contacting Public Safety at 516-463-6789)
Branka Kristic, Director of Parent and Family Programs: 516-463-4698 or parents@hofstra.edu
Allison Vernance, Title IX Officer: 516-463-5841 or Allison.Vernace@hofstra.edu
Submitted by Susan Heilig, Communications Chair

Monday, January 28, 2019

Parent Council Chatter - Stay Virtually Connected


Hello fellow Hofstra parents!  One of the things I hear often when speaking with you is that we don't know what's going on at Hofstra with our students.  My student doesn't tell me anything!  As a parent of a third-year, I researched online how Hofstra communicates. Be sure to check out this blog and get connected by signing up to receive the Hofstra Family Link e-Newsletter. (Sign up here.
Additionally, you may want to get informed on social media! On Facebook, we have @HofstraU - Hofstra University, @HofstraParents - Hofstra Parents, @HofstraBookstore - Hofstra University Bookstore, and many more accounts for students where you can see posts with up-to-date information and events. 
On Twitter, you can follow @HofstraU, @HofstraParents, @HULconnect (library hours and updates), @Hofstracareer (The Career Center), @HofstraRec (Hofstra Recreation), and @HofstraPride (Hofstra University Pride Athletics). 
Checking out these sites that will give you a sense of your student's interests, what is going on at Hofstra, and future topics for discussion with them.
Hope this helps you keep in the know and get back in touch with your students! 
Many thanks to the parents who attend the Parent Council meetings in person, online, and via telephone!  It's wonderful to get involved through Parent Council.

Stay well!

Susan Heilig
Secretary, Hofstra Parent Council

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Does your student have a maintenance problem in their residence hall?

Here at Hofstra, the Plant and Campus Operations department works hard to keep
each residence hall in optimal condition. If a problem arises, they will be there to fix it. All
your student has to do is fill out a simple work order!

What is a work order?
A work order is an online form that students can fill out detailing the task they need
completed in their room. Anything from a leaky faucet to a broken exhaust fan or a jammed window to a clogged drain can be addressed using a work order.

How can your student fill out the work order?
It is simple to navigate and can be completed in a matter of minutes. Your student must:
1. Log on to their Hofstra portal
2. Click the drop down “My Apps” located in the top right corner of the screen
3. Select the App “WebTMA”
4. Fill in their name, provide a very detailed description of the task needed to be completed,
fill in building, floor and room number
5. Click save on the top right corner

Simple as that!

If your student has a maintenance emergency that requires immediate attention they can reach
out to the Residential Life office at (516) 463-6930 or Public Safety at (516) 463-6606.