Category Archives: Uncategorized

Roommate Mixers

Seeking a roommate? Students can join Off-Campus Student Services at mixers where they can meet other students who are also looking for roommates for the upcoming year. Sessions will take place in the Common Ground on the lower level of the University Student Commons from 5-6 p.m. on Thursday, Mar. 30 and Thursday, Apr. 6.

Students can also log in and utilize the online Roommate Finder tool here. Students can click the “Roommates” tab on the top of the page to log in.

Renter’s Workshops

If your student plans to live off campus for the upcoming academic year, we strongly encourage them to attend on of the Moving On, Moving Off: Renter’s Workshops hosted by Off-Campus Student Services (OCSS) throughout the spring semester. At this workshop students will gain knowledge, including but not limited to: the tools to be able to choose housing that is appropriate for their needs and wants, and the ability to know what type of roommate they would enjoy and how to decide who covers different cost. In addition, workshops will cover the rental locations that are within a plausible distance to campus, and other important things to think about when searching for their new residence. Representatives from OCSS will also take questions and address any concerns that your student may have.

If that is not enticing enough, there is also a free meal involved for students who give an hour of their time. It’s win-win. OCSS also offers students support beyond their brief educational session by providing additional assistance and services throughout the search process and with situations that might arise after students have settled in to their new place.

These workshops run throughout the rest of the semester and no registration is required to attend. All workshops are held on the Monroe Park Campus at the University Student Commons (907 Floyd Ave.), in the Alumni Board Room (Near the POD) from 12-1 p.m. on the following dates:

 

Thursday, Mar. 23

Monday, Apr. 3

Wednesday, Apr. 5

In addition, if students are interested in finding roommates, talking to landlords in the area, or about learning to budget their finances appropriately, the OCSS also offers sessions addressing these topics. You can find more information at the OCSS website.

Spring Fever: Balancing Work and Play

The sun is shining, birds are chirping and the weather is getting warmer every day. We are preparing to spring forward with the spring semester will come 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 end 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.

Communication is the best way to determine a good roommate. Students should talk about study habits, sleeping patterns, feelings about visitors (especially overnight guests) and general expectations to ensure a pleasant experience living together. Having a good conversation about these topics can help your student make the right choice and begin planning for the future. Sometimes best friends don’t make the best roommates if values, habits and feelings do not align. Encourage your student to be open-minded and to consider possible roommates outside of his or her friend zone.

Tax Season

Tax season is in full swing and the deadline to file is fast approaching! Did your student work during the previous tax year or have any investments? Now is a good time to talk to your student about whether or not to file a tax return. Here are some tips to pass along if your student is filing a tax return for the first time.

Tax credits may be available for students or families based on qualified educational expenses paid for tuition and fees. In January, the VCU Student Accounting Department issued 1098-T forms and Tuition Statements to eligible students. Students may access a copy of their forms through the “Tax Notification” option under the “Student Accounts” menu in  VCU eServices.

For additional information on tax credits, click here.

Advising and Registration

The fall 2017 schedule of classes for course listings and descriptions became available on March 14, 2017. VCU encourages all students to make at least two advising appointments each semester with their designated academic advisor.

Ask your student if he or she has scheduled an appointment. If your student hasn’t scheduled an appointment yet and doesn’t know where to start, he or she can visit the University Academic Advising website for instructions about how to meet with an advisor before class registration begins.

For undergraduate students, course registration for the fall semester begins for most students in April. Some students (e.g. athletes, honors students) may have access to early class registration. Students have an assigned registration date based on the number of credit hours they have earned, which they can look up in their eServices account. Once they know their earned credit hours, students can determine their registration date here.

On-campus Housing

If your student is interested in living on campus next year, the housing application is now open for the Fall 2017- Spring 2018 academic year and is due to be submitted to housing by Friday, Feb. 10 at noon.

Submitting an application for housing, however, does not guarantee a space on campus. Students who submit an application by the deadline will be placed into a lottery system with rising sophomores receiving first priority. Students can submit their housing application here.

Lottery numbers will be sent out to students on Monday, Mar. 13. Students will be able to select their locations as well as roommates at particular times, corresponding to their class standing. Rising sophomores will be able to make their selections between MondayMar. 13 and Friday, Mar. 17. Rising juniors and seniors will be able to make their selections beginning Friday, Mar. 17.

Same Room Sign-Up

For students hoping to stay in the room that they currently reside in, “same room sign-up” is available for residents living in Ackell Residence Center, Broad & Belvidere, Grace and Broad, as well as those living in ASPiRE, Globe, LEAD and Innovate Living-Learning Communities. This process will begin Tuesday, Feb. 14. Students staying in their current residence may pull in roommates once their housing is confirmed, and this process begins Friday, Feb. 17.

Students currently residing in Gladding Residence Center will not be able to complete “same room sign-up” and should apply to be in the lottery process if they are hoping to stay on campus next year. Due to limited space on campus during construction and renovation of halls across campus, VCU cannot guarantee housing placement.

Living-Learning Communities

Students involved in Living-Learning Communities will be selecting rooms in the building where their program is housed. Each of the programs will provide specific details to their students about the process. These living learning communities include:

  • Grace and Broad 1 & 2: VCU LEAD or Innovate
  • West Grace North: VCU Globe
  • West Grace South: VCU ASPiRE

For more information and important dates and deadlines, check out the Residential Life and Housing website.

Summer Plans

Does your student have plans for this summer? Has he or she considered taking additional courses or testing out of one? Maybe traveling? An internship? These are all options Virginia Commonwealth University offers to its student body:

1.Take a course with Summer Studies

If your student is looking into taking classes over the summer, course options will be posted on Monday, Feb. 9 and registration begins Tuesday, Feb. 14 at 8 a.m. Students can find options for both online courses and courses here on campus. The first day of classes will be Monday, May 22. For additional information please visit: http://www.summer.vcu.edu/

2. Test out with CLEP

Students have the option to test out of taking certain courses with the College-Level Examination Program (CLEP). These tests allow students to demonstrate their level of understanding for certain courses without having to take the class itself. VCU has a list of those courses that are eligible for this here.

For general information for CLEP and VCU visit http://clc.vcu.edu/campus-testing-center/clep/

3. Study Abroad

VCU offers a broad range of options available to students who wish to study abroad through the Global Education Office’s Education Abroad program. Students have the option of going on faculty-led programs as well as participating in an exchange program.  Students also have the option of paving their own way by creating their own study abroad experience. For more information on study abroad options visit http://www.global.vcu.edu/abroad/

Additionally, students may make appointments at the Global Education Office to learn more about making study abroad a possibility:
912 W. Grace St.
P.O. Box 843043
Richmond, Virginia 23284-3043

4. Internships

Students who are interested in an internship this summer can reach out to their departmental advisors to find out about opportunities within their field of study. VCU Career Services also can assist students with finding internships, creating and updating their resumes, and mock interview preparation. 

VCUHireRam is another great resource that potential employers take advantage of in order to make job postings available to VCU students. Students can search for available opportunities here with their VCU eID login.

Additionally, encourage your students to look into whether or not their department offers internship hours for course credit. This option could allow the student to receive both class credit and hands-on experience. Some academic departments require students to complete an internship in order to graduate. Summer is great time for students to complete internships and begin gaining practical work experience within an area they are interested in pursuing as a career.