Family Weekend 2018 Recap

Over 2000 participants joined us on campus to celebrate Family Weekend November 2-4, 2018. Some of the most popular events this year were walking ghost tours led by Haunts of Richmond, paint events led by Wine and Design, the Fall Block Step Show hosted by VCU’s National Pan-Hellenic Council and the Division of Student Affairs BBQ.
“If I was to choose one special moment it would have to be paint and sip night. The instructor was very pleasant and funny but it was a comment he made that stood out to me. He said that when you look at a painting up close it looks very different than far away. The same can be said about our daughter and the students at VCU. Up close they are our children we remember from home but far away watching them interact with their fellow students and faculty they are much different, they are growing into young adults and, as a parent, I couldn’t be more proud of her and her decision to choose VCU.”
-William Gubb III, VCU Parent
Many families got active outdoors biking Richmond’s streets or taking on the whitewater of the James River through excursions led by the Outdoor Adventure Program. Families also raised over $1000 for the Ram Pantry to help students experiencing food insecurity through their participation in the annual Family Weekend 5K. We hope those who joined us had a great time and we look forward to seeing you all again next year!
Father and daughter play a giant game of connect four during Family Weekend
Photo taken by Eleanor Ritzman
Photo taken by Eleanor Ritzman
Photo taken by Eleanor Ritzman
Photo taken by Eleanor Ritzman
Photo taken by Eleanor Ritzman
Photo taken by Eleanor Ritzman

Weather Updates

This semester the university experienced a number of inclement weather situations necessitating decisions regarding staying open or closing. Both Hurricane Florence and Michael brought their own unique challenges when assessing their potential impact for Virginia and the Richmond area.

The university employs a group of strategic leaders to assess current and predicted conditions based on the most recent and accurate forecast information available to us. A guiding principal in our decisions is the safety and security of our university community including students, faculty and staff. We take into consideration both students living on campus as well as those in the local community and commuters.  When the university does close, there are a cadre of employees who remain on campus to address concerns and maintain safety.

With all decisions, an effort is made to communicate as quickly as possible to the university community. Communications about operational changes are posted on the VCU Alert  webpage and shared via text messages, email and local media. Parents and families can sign up to receive VCU Alerts or update their information at this webpage.

Ready…Set…GO! Sophomore Transition Series

During the Spring semester, VCU Academic Advising launched a new sophomore transition experience for first-year students. In addition to one-on-one advising appointments, the sophomore transition series included workshops about:

  • Creating strategic academic and career planning maps
  • Paying for college
  • Developing relationships with departmental advisors
  • Maintaining academic goals
  • Creating strategic academic and career planning maps
  • Housing – living on and off-campus

The final part of the series is taking place throughout April for first-year students within their colleges/schools. For more information on upcoming “Go!” sessions in your students college, visit: https://uaa.vcu.edu/sophomore-transition-series/

Sign up for the VCU Alumni Families List

If your Ram is about to graduate this spring or has already graduated, we have a different listserv for you to be a part of! The VCU Alumni Families listserv will provide you with information about how alumni and their families can engage with VCU after graduation through opportunities like Homecoming, VCU Alumni Month, etc. You will only receive a few emails per year and it will allow you to stay connected to VCU!

Sign up for the VCU Alumni Families Listserv.

To stop receiving emails intended for the parents and families of current students, all you have to do is unsubscribe. Either click the unsubscribe link at the bottom of your email or unsubscribe below.

Unsubscribe from the VCU Parents and Families Listserv.

May Commencement

Congratulations to all the May 2018 graduates and their families!

This year’s Commencement will take place on Saturday, May 12, 2018 at 10:30 a.m. at the Richmond Coliseum. You can find all the information and details about the VCU May 2018 Commencement at the VCU Commencement website. Don’t forget that students may also have specific events going on for their departments in addition to the Commencement Ceremony. For information about departmental ceremonies please visit the Departmental Ceremonies tab on the Commencement site.

For more information about graduation, you may contact Records and Registration at (804) 828-1917 or rar@vcu.edu.

Summer Courses Still Available

There’s still time to register for summer classes! Course registration for the summer 2018 semester opened for all students in February. A listing of summer courses can be found on VCU’s Summer Studies website. Classes start and end at different points over the summer, with the first courses starting on May 21. Encourage your student to talk to his or her advisor about summer courses. This can be a great chance to get ahead academically or to repeat a course that a student has struggled with previously.

Ready for Spring Move-Out?

Get your boxes and tape ready; for students living on campus in nine-month halls, spring move out is just around the corner! All nine-month halls will officially close Saturday, May 12 at 10 a.m. Residents are required to leave within 24 hours of their last final exam, or by 10 a.m. on May 12, whichever happens first. Students should make travel arrangements to ensure they are checked out of their building by this time. To receive specific details on your building/floor move-out, students must attend their floor move-out meeting with their R.A.

The check-out process is simple! Hall Directors will send out building-specific instructions to the students’ VCU emails in mid-April. Residents must sign-up for a checkout time at least 48 hours before their planned departure.

During the check-out inspection, R.A.s will be looking for the following things:

  1. All personal belongings are removed from the room and common spaces (living room, kitchen and bathrooms);
  2. All trash has been removed and placed in trash rooms;
  3. All tape, staples, thumbtacks, etc., from walls, ceilings, floors, and furniture;
  4. Rented microfridges are defrosted, cleaned, dried, and and left with the door open;
  5. All original furniture is accounted for and in good condition;
  6. General cleanliness of the room and any damages that might have occurred.

If the room has damages that are not considered general wear-and-tear, the residents of the room will be billed to have the damages repaired. If one roommate does not take responsibility for damages during check-out, both/all roommates will be charged.

The following are things that residents could be charged for, but not limited to:

  • Excessive housing keeping charge: $50.00 per space
  • Packing of left behind items: $75.00 per hour
  • Rekey room key: $65.00
  • Rekey mailbox key: $20.00
  • Improper Check-Out: $35.00

Here are some tips to help residents avoid extra charges to their student account after they move out:

  1. Remove all personal belongings. Housing will have donation bins on the first floor of each building for any unwanted, usable items.
  2. Remove all trash, sweep the floor, and leave the room “move-in ready.”
  3. Take special care when removing tape and items from walls, so that walls are not damaged during the removal process.
  4. Remember to turn in room and mailbox keys. Any keys not turned in by 10:00 a.m. on May 12 will result in charges and rooms being rekeyed.

If you have any questions about spring on-campus move-out, please email vcuhousing@vcu.edu, call (804) 828-7666 or visit www.housing.vcu.edu.

Spring Fever

The sun is shining, birds are chirping and the weather is getting warmer every day. Now that we have sprung forward and spring break is behind us, the spring semester coming to a close before we know it. Warmer weather means planning more outdoor activities on campus and around Richmond. Places like Belle Isle and Maymont come to life again in the spring and are enjoyed by people of all ages in the city.

Encourage your student to go enjoy the sunshine, fresh air and moderate temperatures. This time of year is great for taking a study break and walking outside. While it’s great to be able to stretch your legs and breathe in the fresh air, it’s important students find balance between work and play. After all, it can be tempting to let go of all responsibilities and enjoy the outdoors, festivals and other events happening around campus and in the city. Here are some tips to help your student stay on track while still taking time to enjoy the weather.

Include free time in the calendar.

Students should review their syllabi and mark out important dates for the rest of the semester — from classes, tests, and final exam times to presentations and important due dates. They also can block out specific times that are just for studying and getting work done. Encourage your student to schedule some free time as well. Sticking to these schedules allows students to enjoy both the sunshine and academic success.

Take it outside.

One of the greatest pleasures of Richmond during the spring semester is simply being outdoors. Students can fully charge their laptops, fill their backpacks with books and snacks, and grab a blanket to study and work outside. This can help the feeling of being isolated from all of the fun to be had outside. VCU’s campus is full of great places to get the best of both worlds. There are courtyards and patios for almost every residence hall and plenty of green spaces that offer a great place to have a picnic study session with some friends.

There will be more sunny days.

When nice days first begin, it can feel like this is a student’s one and only chance to be active; however, the great thing about Richmond is that there is always another sunny day around the corner. Students can plan their pickup football game or walk to Carytown when they aren’t supposed to be in class or to take a break from studying.

Roommates or Rivals?

The midpoint of the semester can be an enjoyable but also stressful time. Midterms are approaching and soon enough students will be facing finals, end-of-the-year move out and summer vacation. When stress is in the air, things that may have started as little quirks can become a little more unbearable for roommates. Here are some tips to share with your student about how to deal with stressful situations during the final stretch of the semester:

Refresh the roommate agreement.

As a part of living in our residence halls, students complete a roommate agreement in the beginning of fall semester. Now presents a great opportunity to revisit this agreement and talk about how it’s working and to communicate about any issues that may have come up since the beginning of the school year.

Be mindful of each other.

With so much to get done, students can forget that they are living with other students dealing with similar stresses and deadlines. Remembering that each student is dealing with stress can help create a more compassionate environment. Encourage your student to be empathetic about what his or her roommate may be experiencing.

Support each other and ask for help.

During such busy times of the year, students may let certain household tasks take a backseat to other ones. Laundry, doing the dishes and cleaning up after oneself can seem less important than gaining an extra 15 minutes of sleep. Scheduling time to get these tasks done will create a less stressful place to relax and get work done. If your student is having a tough time handling these everyday tasks, encourage him or her to ask a roommate for support. Doing dishes is always easier (and more fun) with two people!

Make plans for next year.

After going through the first year of school, students have had a chance to meet a lot of new people. While getting ready for the upcoming year and thinking about where to live next year, students will want to choose a roommate that will be a good match.