Uconnect Parents and Family Newsletter - September 2011
As we begin the 2011-2012 Academic Year, I would like to take this opportunity to welcome new parents to the Parents and Family Association at the University of Mount Union while also offering a friendly “hello” to those returning from last year. We are truly fortunate to have all of you as members of the Mount Union community.
The dedication and attention you give to the institution as a whole, but especially the support that you provide to your student, is to be commended. College provides your student with a wonderful opportunity for growth and exploration, but sometimes along the way, challenges arise. Students sometimes find themselves missing home, missing family and missing friends, especially during the early part of the fall semester. I am confident though, that with your continual encouragement and guidance, they will be able to weather the change and transition smoothly to their arrival or return to campus.
Whether they will ever admit to this or not, your children benefit immensely from your involvement in their college experiences. Fortunately, the Parents and Family Association will provide you with ample opportunity to engage with them and learn more about the exciting lives they lead on campus. Informative newsletters like this one will keep you up to date on student life and news, and a number of events will offer you the chance to return to campus for a visit. There is so much to do and explore at Mount Union, and we invite you get involved as much as possible.
For Sandy and me, it is truly a pleasure to work hand and hand with you in encouraging your students to reach their full potential and become even more exceptional. We are delighted to have you as members of the Mount Union family and we hope to see you on campus soon!
U and the Parents and Family Association
Join us on Saturday, September 17 for Family Day at Mount Union!
The mission of Family Day is to provide students and their families an opportunity to reconnect during the fall semester. This year, we have a day full of fun events planned for both Mount Union students and their families.
We hope to see you on campus on September 17!
Now that students are back on campus and beginning another exciting academic year, I am thrilled to share with you the many opportunities for you to get involved at Mount Union. We are continuing to build upon our Parent and Family Association programs this year to include regional events in conjunction with our alumni chapters in Canton, Cleveland and Columbus. Also, you will have the opportunity to join us at any or all of our on-campus events. I am looking forward to seeing you throughout the year both on and off campus.
This year I am very proud to introduce the Mount Union Family Fund. This fund provides an opportunity for Mount Union families to help one another. Specifically, gifts to the Family Fund support the students who need our help the most. These unrestricted gifts are used at the discretion of the President and leaders of the University of Mount Union to assist families experiencing financial circumstances that jeopardize a Mount Union education for their student. In these uncertain economic times, we turn to those closest to us for assistance in building this fund so that every worthy student is assured a Mount Union education. You will receive additional information, including how you can contribute to the Family Fund, in the coming months.
Again, I am so excited for all that we have to look forward to this coming year and I hope you will take this opportunity to get involved and create your own Mount Union experience. I look forward to meeting you soon and I thank you for being such an important part of the University of Mount Union, where exceptional begins.
U and our Students
The Office of Student Involvement and Leadership is certainly glad to have your son/daughter as a part of the Mount Union family! One of the opportunities that your student has to get involved in is fraternity and sorority life. For 22% of our campus, the fraternity and sorority community has provided a “home away from home” environment for students for the past 130 years.
Mount Union is home to four fraternities for men and four women sororities. The Office of Student Involvement and Leadership works with organizations on our campus to provide opportunities to join in a safe, healthy and educational environment. I hope this article will come in handy when they come home and say “guess what, I joined a fraternity/sorority at Mount!”
What does it exactly mean to “be a Greek”?
Fraternities made their debut at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia in 1776. First in existence as debate and literary societies, these organizations were founded based upon the principles of friendship, loyalty and scholarly inquiry. The “modern” fraternities first made their presence known during the 1820s and began to make “chapters” on various campuses (making them “national organizations”). Sororities were founded in 1851 with the first one being a society for young college women in order to provide not only a circle of friends on a predominately male campus, but also a place to live while away at college.
Today our organizations provide the same opportunity for brother/sisterhood; however they also offer many additional opportunities that compose what we call the “Greek” experience: leadership training, monetary scholarships, civic engagement, teambuilding, public speaking practice, time management, networking, fiscal responsibility, and academic achievement. Many students feel that when they join their fraternity or sorority, they are giving a part of themselves to something larger. They are agreeing to live by the values that encompass their own lives and they share those beliefs with the others in the group. This is why we encourage the new student to seek out that organization that best matches with their personality, outlook and beliefs!
We surveyed our students here at the University, and they’ve provided us with their “Top Five” reasons to join one of our fraternity or sorority organizations:
- A home away from home
- Friendships that last a lifetime
- Leadership training and involvement
- Community service participation and a wide-array of philanthropic endeavors
We hope that students understand that joining a fraternity or sorority is so much more than wearing letters. Being affiliated with a Greek-letter organization may open so many avenues to campus for a student. One is give the opportunity to be involved in numerous events on campus is also given the opportunity to be connected with hundreds of students with similar interests and ideals such as their own. Additionally, one should also consider the benefits of being affiliated with a Greek organization once they graduate. Many organizations have connection events in which former alumni/ae return to campus to help graduating seniors and other interested students look for jobs.
Often, social Greek organizations are not given much credibility; they are seen by many merely as outlets for students to gather, en mass, to drink. The reality of the matter is that our Greek organizations are designed to foster an education experience that goes far beyond textbooks and lectures. These organizations are designed to assist members in transition to college, and again in their transition after college. Our organizations’ purposes are to take great individuals and make them better by giving them opportunities, confidence, and support to accomplish great things for themselves and others.
If your student is interested in joining, please have them participate in one or more of the upcoming events happening this fall. A full complement of events is on the campus calendar and is advertised in various locations throughout campus. If your student is already part of one of our eight groups, please join us in recognizing their numerous accomplishments in 2010-2011:
- Alpha Delta Pi, Gamma Theta Chapter was recipient of the national organization’s top honor “Golden Lion”
- Alpha Tau Omega, Alpha Nu Chapter is an ΑΤΩ National True Merit Chapter for the second year in a row!
- Alpha Xi Delta, Gamma Chapter was recipient of the national organization’s top honor “Xi Achievement”
- Delta Sigma Tau, Alpha Chapter, exceeded the house total for sororities at Mount Union for the first time in their 21 year history. The chapter was also the recipient of a number of Greek Awards at the 2011 ceremony, including Outstanding Senior Greek Woman, Laura Griffin.
- Phi Kappa Tau, Epsilon Chapter, was runner-up for the chapter’s top national award, the Maxwell Trophy (they’re the #2 chapter in the NATION!) Phi Tau will also have a new home this fall at 1315 S. Union Avenue (also known as the Berea House).
- In the spring, the all-fraternity/sorority GPA was higher than the all-campus GPA for the 16th consecutive semester!
- The chapters donated $ 29,274 dollars to area-philanthropies and contributed 12,022 hours of community service to the greater-Alliance Community.
It’s a great opportunity to have friends on a different level than just being friends. When one shares something as involving as fraternity or sorority, with another person, it adds something more to a friendship.
Frequently Asked Questions: Fraternity and Sorority Membership
“Will my student’s academics be compromised if they join a fraternity or sorority?”
We certainly hope not! Academics are a cornerstone for the fraternity and sorority community and after all, that’s why they’re at Mount Union in the first place! Each organization usually asks new members to participate in some type of study table in order for them to understand that fraternity and sorority life can be a time commitment but they also need to be committed to being a student as well! While the University and IFC or Panhellenic acknowledges a minimum grade point average to participate in recruitment, it is important that your student ask what is the individual organization grade point average requirement to join, because each chapter is different, and in all cases, higher than the minimum required by the University.
“How much time does this fraternity or sorority take up?”
Fraternity and sorority membership can take up as much time as the student wants it to; because a student can be involved as much or as little as they would like. Many fraternities and sororities require attendance at events such as weekly chapter meetings, initiation, membership recruitment activities, new member education programming and all-campus Greek-letter events (such as educational or social programs). Participation in the organization by holding an office or joining the governing board (Interfraternity Council for men; Panhellenic Council for women) is an option and an additional chance at leadership development. We encourage a student to get as involved as they feel comfortable but to remember that involvement requires commitment and academics should come first!
“When can my student actually become a member?”
Fraternity and sorority recruitment (the process of joining) happens in late September of their first year on campus. The upper-class students have the chance to join at any point in any semester. We encourage all students to take the time to learn everything about all organizations so that they are knowledgeable when participating in the recruitment process. While the fraternities and sororities are choosing the student for membership, the student is just as much choosing which organization he/she wants to affiliate with. Because fraternity and sorority membership lasts a lifetime, not just during college, we encourage our students to make sure they know as much as they can before they join!
“What does it cost to join a fraternity or sorority?”
The fraternity experience is an investment. While it varies from organization to organization, each chapter requires a one-time initiation/new membership fee (usually in the first semester the student is affiliated), a monthly dues fee, and if they choose to live in the fraternity house, rent payments. The student should inquire with each organization in terms of a specific cost (because the amount does vary). They will find that the cost can be quite affordable and that if need be special arrangements can be made! Please be sure to encourage your student to get all of this information up front and ask if any additional costs can/will be added (sometimes it costs extra for “incidentals” such as formals, t-shirts and even conference attendance).
“What about hazing?”
Simply put, hazing is illegal in the state of Ohio. Mount Union has its own policy on hazing and it can be found both online and in the student’s handbook they received at the beginning of the fall semester. Each organization also has anti-hazing policies set that each chapter is required to follow. The Office of Student Involvement and Leadership holds a New Member Academy program in order to address such topics as the student progresses through the new member process. In the event that your student believes that he or she is being hazed in any way, by anyone, he/she should contact the Director of Student Involvement and Leadership or the Associate Dean of Students, (330) 823-7288 as soon as possible for support. Hazing in a fraternal or sorority organization will not be tolerated.
“Just how social are these organizations?”
There is a social element to our chapters that include brother/sisterhood events, intramural events, the annual Homecoming parade, Parent Luncheons, and Greek Week, in addition to parties and formals. Today’s fraternity and sorority communities across the country and Canada have adopted a stringent approach to socializing in order to create a safer, more beneficial environment for its members and guests. The Interfraternity Council and each fraternity, along with each of the sororities, have their own risk management policies and procedures for their chapter to follow in order to have safe social events. All organizations provide education on alcohol misuse and abuse, along with the Interfraternity and Panhellenic Councils risk management seminars offered each fall semester. Sorority chapters do not permit the use or storage of alcohol in their facilities.
Office of Counseling Services provides students with an opportunity to explore their concerns and problems with a professional counselor in a confidential setting. University counselors provide short-term counseling (1-5 sessions) for moderate to typical problems faced by Mount Union students during the academic calendar year. College years are times of accelerated growth, significant changes and considerable stress. For more information about the Office of Counseling Services, visit www.mountunion.edu/counseling-services.
Mount Union welcomed 35 new international students to campus this fall for a total of 79 international students from 21 countries. This year, students are from the Bahamas, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, China, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Georgia, Germany, India, Ireland, Japan, Malaysia, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Ukraine, United Kingdom and Vietnam.
Mount Union also will send 15 students abroad this fall to Australia, Canada, France, Ghana, Japan, the Netherlands, Spain and the United Kingdom.
Is your student interested in studying abroad? The deadline to study abroad for the spring is Thursday, September 15.
Campus dining is a large part of the college experience, which is why Mount Union has partnered with AVI Fresh as its food service provider. Overall, AVI Fresh offers a wide variety of healthy and traditional food options for students. Its staff hopes to enrich your student's dining experience by always making it eventful and enjoyable. AVI continually makes adjustments in order to keep pace with students’ ever-changing schedules, preferences and life-styles.
Dining on campus is convenient, cost effective and eliminates the hassle of seeking meals elsewhere. Staying on campus allows you to maintain your student's important social and academic relationships throughout your busy day.
AVI’s meal plan choices are designed with different student life-styles and schedules in mind. The following options are available:
- 10 meals per week with an additional $100 in dining dollars
- 14 meals per week with an additional $50 in dining dollars
- Unlimited access to the dining hall
- 50 meal block plan – any time meals
- 50 meal block plan – breakfast and lunch only
Dining dollars can be used to purchase additional meals in the dining hall when family and friends are visiting or to purchase al a carte in the B&B Café. The 50 meal block plan allows you to enter the dining hall 50 times during a semester, and you are always free to purchase more than one 50 meal block in a semester. The unlimited plan is an all-day come and go as often as you would like without fear of running out of meals. All plans are accepted at the KHIC Kiosk as well.
If you have any questions, contact Robin Clough, manager of campus card and facilities scheduling, at (330) 823-2881 or stop by her office behind the Information Desk of the Hoover-Price Campus Center. Be sure to visit the Purple Plu$ website for more information and to download the meal plan forms.
As a reminder, Mount Union’s Health Center moved in January into the Family Medical Center of Alliance building, located at 149 E. Simpson St. Although the Health Center is located within the Family Medical Center of Alliance building, the two services operate separately within the same building.
For more information, contact the Health Center at (330) 823-2692.
U and Mount Union
The Mount Union Magazine is a wonderful way for parents to stay connected with what is happening on-campus.
Read the latest issue.
- Tuition Payments may now be paid online. All a parent or student needs is the student’s name and student ID#. It’s that easy.
- Monday, October 24 is when all accounts will be reviewed for current status. Accounts not current will be placed on hold. The hold status will not allow registration or viewing of grades. Transcripts will also not be released to any account on hold.
- Registration dates for spring 2012 semester are Monday, October 31- Friday, November 11. Billing statements for the spring semester will be sent home during the second week in December. Spring semester’s tuition will be due Tuesday, January 3, 2012.
The Office of Business Affairs is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. For more information, call the office at (330) 823-6557 or toll free at 1 (800) 992-6682.
Compare Prices of Textbooks
The University Store has the ability to compare textbook prices directly on its website.
Students will be able to choose their courses in any given semester and then compare the prices of each textbook. For more information, contact the University Store at (330) 823-2085.