April 2012 e-Parent Newsletter
From President Wilson
The campus community has anguished over the tragic death of Brandon Landau on March
4, following a fraternity event in White Pines State Park. Faculty, staff, and students
have searched for appropriate ways to express their deepest sympathies to Brandon's
family and close friends and to address their own feelings of loss and grief.
A service of remembrance was held the day after Brandon died, and many students wrote
condolence notes to Brandon's parents. A candlelight vigil was held two days later
that concluded with ten minutes of silent reflection. Vice President Carney-Hall and
I and five students represented the University at his funeral in the Bronx, New York.
Those who spoke at his funeral affirmed Brandon's life, citing his service to others
as an important value.
The death of someone so young is hard to accept, especially on a campus the size of
Illinois Wesleyan. Some of Brandon's close friends will carry their grief over this
tragedy for a long time. We are doing what we can to help these students through the
services of staff in the Counseling Center and Office of the Dean of Students.
One of the ways that we honor Brandon's memory is to do everything possible to prevent
something like this from ever happening again. In a separate article in this newsletter,
Vice President Carney Hall outlines the steps being taken with this goal in mind.
We will provide you with a report on our progress in the near future. In the meantime,
please keep the Landau family and Brandon's many friends in your thoughts and prayers.
Karla C. Carney-Hall, Ph.D.
Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students
IWU Responds to Campus Tragedy
As President Wilson shared in his letter, the last month has been extraordinarily
difficult for students, faculty and staff at Illinois Wesleyan. As a newcomer to the
IWU community, I can share with you that if communities are measured by their strength
during crisis, the Illinois Wesleyan community is very strong. I believe that communities
should also be evaluated on their willingness to respond to crisis and learn from
tragedy. Responsiveness and growth are certainly core values here.
In response to the tragic death, President Wilson has appointed a task force to review
our policies and practices regarding off-campus events. Currently, organizations are
required to register any events off campus, which allows us to advise students about
appropriate risk management considerations. The task force will review our registration
procedures, off-campus risk management protocols, and any additional educational activities
that may be appropriate for off-campus events.
Unfortunately, this tragic incident requires a judicial investigation into the events
surrounding the fraternity social event. Based on our preliminary investigation of
potential campus policy violations, an interim suspension of the chapter is warranted
and has been supported by their national organization. A deliberate and timely investigation
will be conducted and a formal hearing before the All-University Judicial Committee
(AUJC) will occur.
Planning for the Future —
Fall Class Advising and Registration Information
What should I be registering for? What general education requirements will my classes
fulfill? Will I get the classes I need? Is this truly the right major for me? These
are just a few of the questions that may be going through your student's mind as academic
advising appointments occur and the registration period approaches. It can be a stressful
time for students, but there are two main activities they can do to make the process
go as smoothly as possible:
- Generate a degree evaluation on their my.iwu account. This is a tool that students
and advisors utilize to determine what graduation requirements have been met, and
which are still left to fulfill. You can ask your student to show you this tool so
you can be informed as well.
- Prepare questions for the academic advising appointment. Every student is required
to meet with their academic advisor at least once a semester before registering. This
is the ideal time for discussions regarding curricular planning, when to study abroad
or fit in an internship, and how they are progressing academically. If you have questions,
please add them to your student's list for his/her advising meeting.
For first-year students, this advising appointment may be the last with their First-Year
Advisor. In this appointment, the students will be confirming or updating the major
that they indicated on their admissions application. Many of our first-year students
make a change to their major, do not worry! The students will then transition to their
major department in the fall for advising. If the student is undecided, they can either
choose to stay with their First-Year Advisor or be assigned to me, the Director of
Academic Advising, until they declare a major.
Not only do students meet with their advisor once a semester, they also register each
semester. All students were notified of a change this spring to the registration procedures
that we believe will improve our system response time to make registration more efficient
and effective for students. The Office of the Registrar assigned times for students
to register spaced throughout the days of April 4, 6, 9, and 11. The times assigned
are based on credits earned, and will no longer be associated with class standing.
Students may register beginning at their assigned time or anytime thereafter until
registration closes in the fall. Students can access their assigned registration time
through their my.iwu account.
It is important for students to complete their academic advising appointment before
registration, to know their registration time and to be as prepared as possible in
order to register for the courses they need and hope to take. In addition to their
academic advisors, the Office of the Registrar and the Academic Advising Center are
resources that are available to all students to assist in the advising and registration
process. Even though this time might bring about a bit of stress, it will also hopefully
bring a sense of excitement for the classes your students will take in the fall, as
well as getting one step closer to their goal of completing an IWU degree.
Future Housing: A Commitment to Students Needs and the Residential College Experience
As a residential college, Illinois Wesleyan is committed to creating a quality residential
experience for all students. Our two-year residency requirement currently offers four
different styles of housing: traditional residence halls, suite-style housing, theme
houses, and limited apartments. For the past three years, Student Affairs has been
working on a proposal to enhance our residential offerings by providing high-quality
student apartments. We know that living on campus helps students academically, interpersonally,
and to continue to develop life-long friendships while in college.
As parents, you know that many of your homes have given them single rooms, double
beds, unlimited technology and lots of comfortable space. Although they love their
traditional residence hall experience because of the great community that develops,
they often crave independence and, frankly, a bit more space. Currently, we have approximately
500 upper division students who live off campus in apartments or houses in the area.
We would love to provide options for students that will keep them on campus, maximizing
their growth and contributing their leadership throughout their four years.
So, what are we building?
- Four-bedroom, two-bath apartments (24 units total or 96 beds) ideally located only
one block from The Ames Library on McLean and Empire. The site plan includes two buildings,
three stories each.
- Each fully-furnished unit will include full-sized beds, a washer and dryer, a full
kitchen, and a full living room including a 40" flat screen TV.
- Security features include building card reader access and security cameras, regular
walk-throughs by security, and maintenance features consistent with the residence
- Internet, cable, and utilities included in the semester rate and a year commitment
(no 12-month lease required).
- Optional meal plan.
- 24 parking spaces will be provided immediately behind the apartments (essentially
one per unit) with additional parking within one block of the apartments.
We plan to open these beautiful apartments in fall 2013, with the first residents
as this year's sophomores and first-year students. Our proposed pricing will be slightly
higher that the Harriett rate, but not higher than the super single rate.
The Career Center Staff Can Reduce Parents' Stress!
As students navigate their way through college, deciding majors, courses to take,
clubs to join, internships, campus and summer jobs, they frequently seek your advice
and assistance. Parents have their own path to negotiate, wanting to be helpful, wanting
to encourage your students to seek resources independently, while not being fully
knowledgeable about everything. Aaaaauuugh?! This can be tricky for you to navigate,
too! Let the Career Center staff partner with you to best support your student. Believe
me, we feel your pain and we're here to support your students!
Majors/Minors: Encourage students to explore majors by taking classes. IWU's curriculum and liberal
arts philosophy is structured such that students have ample time to explore most majors
and complete their education in four years. Encourage your student to pursue majors/minors
that interest them. Students who are engaged in classes and interested in the reading/class
material are typically more academically successful and happier.
Students interested in nursing, music education, education, and biology (pre-med)
should be encouraged to rule those majors in or out before continuing very far into
their IWU career. Those majors have more requirements and need to be selected earlier
for students to give themselves adequate time to complete.
Are minors helpful? Maybe, maybe not. We ask employers this question yearly and the
typical answer is, "It depends." Suggest that your students talk to professionals
in their field of interest and the Career Center staff for more specific information.
Students can use practical experience to explore as well as to strengthen their skills, deepen their experience and ultimately
enhance their candidacy for jobs and/or graduate school. As Assistant Director of
the Career Center Laurie Diekhoff indicated in her article in the February e-parent
newsletter, practical experience is critical. Frankly, practical experience is AS,
and sometimes MORE important than the actual major a student selects.
Encourage your student to have some level of involvement on campus. It doesn't have
to be extensive; at least one or two pursuits is important. The senior who has focused
exclusively on academics to the exclusion of campus involvement, substantive summer
jobs and/or internships does not position him/herself well when applying for employment
or graduate school. Even the most introverted students can find one or two campus
activities within their comfort zone.
Professional polish: IWU students demonstrate clear accomplishments prior to coming to campus, and most
continue to have high levels of performance across all arenas: academic, campus involvement,
jobs and internships. It is critical that a student present those accomplishments
articulately and professionally. THIS often proves challenging in a society that has
become increasingly casual, in terms of communication, professional attire, and interaction.
Ask your student if s/he has had a resume reviewed by the Career Center staff (NOTE
parents: student and new graduate resumes do look different than a seasoned professional's
resume.) Encourage your student to do a practice interview offered by employers at
the Career Center. Tell your student that those who have done a practice interview
feel significantly more confident (though still nervous!) in an important internship
or job interview.
You don't need to be current on all majors, professions, and industries to support
your student's exploration, decision-making, and professional development. The Career
Center staff do this on a regular basis!
Just to remind you parents, a few of the reasons students use the Career Center staff
- to identify a major and/or explore minors and careers connected to those majors
- to explore opportunities for practical experience on and off campus that can help
them further identify areas of interest
- to connect with professionals to learn more about a career, shadow, and network
- to identify and apply for part-time internships in Bloomington-Normal for which students
can receive academic credit
- to identify and apply for summer internships in their home communities
- to practice and strengthen interview preparation and skills
- to search for and apply to graduate and professional programs
- to search for and apply to jobs
Have your student call the Career Center (309-556-3071) to schedule an appointment.
You have students' ears! We can support your student, and serve as your ally.
Below are links to additional helpful information.
https://www.iwu.edu/career-center/parents/Tips.html Books to guide parents supporting students in career development.
www.collegeparents.org has a range of articles directed to support parents during their students' journey
Counseling and Health Services
As April is upon us, we are happy to report that Health Services has been a bit slower
than usual, due to an absence of flu outbreak. Current educational efforts are highlighting
personal hygiene and self-examinations regarding cancer detection. Skin care (MRSA,
acne, sun exposure, frostbite and shading) was the campaign of educational efforts
prior to spring break.
At Counseling and Consultation Services, we often see students who are extremely stressed
this time of year, as the end of the semester is in sight, but there is still a great
deal of academic work to complete by the end of April! Often students can benefit
- Assessing how they spend their time (studying versus socializing, using social network
- Making daily and weekly schedules to keep them on task and prevent themselves from
- Setting limits and saying no to extraneous demands or opportunities that are not consistent
with their short-term goals of finishing the semester strong
- Prioritizing responsibilities and demands in A, B and C tiers. Those that need to
be done today (A) are more important than those that need to be completed by week's
end (B) or over the next few weeks (C).
Seeking Parent Board Members from the First-Year Class
The IWU Parent Board provides several key functions for the University. As its primary
purpose, the Parent Board assists in raising funds to support IWU students who experience
a significant change in their family through the death of a parent while in college.
The Board has been committed to helping those students stay at IWU and continue their
education. Additionally, the Parent Board assists in welcoming new students and their
families during campus events like Orientation, Family Weekend, and Commencement.
There are several opportunities to serve on committees including areas like career
services, new student support, and more.
We are currently seeking Parent Board members from this year's freshman class (Class
of 2015). The Board meets 2-4 times a year and serves primarily as a fundraising and
advisory group. Please let me know if you'd like to serve on the Board (Kcarneyh@iwu.edu; 309-556-3111). Thanks in advance for continuing your involvement with your student