I am pleased to welcome you to the first edition of MacFamily, a periodic online newsletter for parents and other family members of Macalester students.
The newsletter will include relevant information on issues that may affect students, and updates and news from around the college.
With Orientation and Welcome Week behind us, we quickly jump into the rhythm of fall term. Students are often surprised by how quickly October and mid-terms arrive. If the workload or other pressures are impacting your student, encourage him/her to use campus resources for assistance. The MAX Center, library, Health and Wellness Center, and faculty are all wonderful resources.
This promises to be an exciting few months. We will celebrate our Scottish heritage, welcome civil rights leader Julian Bond to campus, and host the 16th International Roundtable. Plus, throughout the term we have an active schedule of athletic competition.
I look forwarding to meeting parents and families and hope you can join us for Family Fest, Friday to Sunday, October 9-11. Wherever you are, please know there are many of us on campus working hard to ensure your student has a great experience. Don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or if I can be helpful to your student.
Dean of Students
STUDENT AFFAIRS NEWS
Macalester has a comprehensive plan to reduce transmission of, and respond to, H1N1 among students, faculty, and staff. For the latest information and periodic updates go to our H1N1 website.
Our policies and procedures are consistent with guidelines issued by
the Centers for Disease Control and local public health officials.
Among the steps we’re taking to prevent the spread of H1N1:
- Installing hand-sanitizer stations and posting information
about prevention throughout the campus as a public health and
- Providing information to students, faculty, and staff about
staying healthy and what to do if they have flu symptoms
- Giving first year students a “flu kit” that includes a thermometer, hand sanitizer, ibuprofen and non-asprin tablets, and information about symptoms and prevention
- Making provisions to diagnose, isolate, treat, feed, and care
for ill students on campus and to establish "flu buddies" who can
assist ill students with meals, assignments, etc.
- Additional sanitizing and cleaning in high-traffic,
transmission-risk areas, such as doorknobs, surfaces in public spaces,
Business as usual.
Classes and other activities at Macalester will
continue as scheduled, consistent with current CDC recommendations.
Macalester will continually monitor illness on campus. In the event
there is an outbreak, we will work with public health officials and
follow their recommendations for cancelling classes or other
activities on campus. Any such decision will be communicated broadly
to faculty, students, staff and parents. Our most up-to-date source of
information will be the H1N1 website.
If your student is ill. Students on campus who become ill (fever
greater than 100 degrees with a respiratory symptom) should call the
Health and Wellness Center (651-696-6275) for flu advice and should
stay in their residence until at least 24 hours after they no longer
have a fever (without fever-reducing medication). Treatment will
primarily be “self-care;” anti-viral medications will generally be
considered only for students with underlying health concerns.
Although we can’t eliminate the spread of the H1N1 virus, our
collective efforts can significantly minimize its reach and overall
impact. If you have questions about H1N1 or other health issues,
please contact Denise Ward, Associate Dean for Student Services, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 651-696-6385. For questions or concerns about your student
missing class, or course work make-up plans, contact Jim Hoppe, dean of
students, at email@example.com or 651-696-6990.
visit the site»
Family Fest is a time to reconnect with your student, experience campus life, and enjoy the surrounding community. Our website has registration information and a schedule of activities, including an address by the President, a wellness 5K run/walk, theater and musical performances, athletic events, and dinner tours of the area.
Share your favorite food
We encourage all families, even those who do not attend Family Fest, to submit a favorite recipe for our Family Fest Recipe Book. Completed books will be available at Family Fest and on the Family Fest website in mid-October.
Submit your recipe»
Mail to: Pat Traynor, Office of Student Affairs, Macalester College, 1600 Grand Ave., St. Paul, MN 55105 by September 25.
Register for Family Fest»
We look forward to being your host for the weekend. Questions regarding Family Fest can be directed to the Office of Student Affairs, 651-696-6220.
Macalester parent Stephen B. Awalt writes in the Baltimore Sun about sending his son off to Macalester. "When my family and I said goodbye to our son at the airport a couple weeks ago, it occurred to me, amid the hugging and crying, that despite all of our preparation for this stage of child-rearing - the books, magazine articles and endless college chatter with other parents - there is little that prepares a parent for the expected-yet-sudden loss of a child going to college."
Read the article »
On Sept. 12 two Macalester students and one citizen were assaulted by a group of five teenagers riding bikes on Snelling Avenue. This was a very senseless, unprovoked crime and it is very unusual in Macalester's neighborhood. The St. Paul Police Department is investigating. We have alerted the entire campus community and are encouraging students to use the campus escort service, walk in pairs, and be aware of their surroundings at all times. If you have questions about these incidents, do not hesitate to contact Jim Hoppe, Dean of Students.
This year's class comes from 54 countries, 44 states and 447 different high schools. Thirty-nine different languages are spoken in their homes, 58 of have lived in another country for six months or more, 67 percent were in the top 10 percent of their high school class, and 434 report doing community service.
Read more about our impressive new class »
Markim Hall opened this summer and will be dedicated in early October. Named for Mark Stricker and Kimberly Stricker Griffin ’87, son and daughter of Ruth Stricker Dayton ’57, Markim Hall is the home of the Institute for Global Citizenship, which serves the enduring values upon which Macalester was founded—internationalism, multiculturalism, and service to community.
Markim Hall is the college’s first green building, designed to be LEED-platinum certified. It is also the first building in the City of St. Paul to be built to these standards, and only the second such project on a college campus in the state.
Ruth Stricker Dayton has long been deeply involved with the college as a generous donor and leader on the Board of Trustees. She and Bruce B. Dayton made the lead gift for Markim Hall.
Read more about the Institute for Global Citizenship and Markim Hall
Step Forward is Macalester’s ambitious $150 million campaign. Publicly launched last year, the campaign has raised $108 million to date.
Campaign priorities will strengthen every part of the college:
- The Annual Fund represents the cornerstone of the many qualities that define and distinguish the college: rigorous academics, exceptional faculty, longstanding commitment to equity and access, and a globally conscious education. The campaign aims to increase support to the Annual Fund because it does more than just keep the lights on--it helps sustain the foundation of excellence upon which Macalester flourishes.
- New facilities include the recently completed and fully funded Leonard Center and Markim Hall, home of the Institute for Global Citizenship. The focus is now on raising $24 million for the first phase of a complete renovation and expansion of the Janet Wallace Fine Arts Center.
- Scholarships and financial aid support will help ensure Macalester continues to be accessible to students from all economic backgrounds.
- Increasing endowed chairs and scholarships to help recruit and retain top faculty and students. The campaign aims to create 10 new named chairs for a total of 31--a nearly 50 percent increase.
Macalester families and parents are an important part of the Step Forward campaign. Since 2007, parent participation in the Annual Fund has increased 31 percent.
Learn more about the Step Forward campaign and how you can get involved»
This fall, Macalester is welcoming 16 new tenure-track faculty members to campus. This is the largest cohort of new faculty to begin in at least 30 years.
Read about the new faculty members »
Read or listen to President Rosenberg's Opening Convocation address, "What Am I Doing Here?" Rosenberg describes his role as college president and passionately articulates the importance of creating a climate in which all viewpoints are welcomed.
Read or listen »
Keep up-to-date with campus events by viewing the campus events calendar (you can also add events to your online calendar from here)
Key dates this semester:
- Sept. 18
Last day to add/drop a class
- Oct. 2
Last day to designate a grading option
- Oct. 9-11
- Oct. 8-10
- Oct. 29 – Nov. 1
Fall break, no classes
- Nov. 6
Last day to withdraw from classes
- Nov. 26 – 29
Thanksgiving break – Meals are available on campus and many students stay to complete final papers and projects
- Dec. 17 – 21
Final exam period. Some classes have final papers and projects due, rather than exams; students should check their syllabi and talk with faculty before making winter travel plans
- Jan. 25
Spring classes begin
- Both returning and first year students often have difficulty managing their time. In September, it’s common for students to have a false sense of comfort because papers and projects aren’t due until October, and this may lead to procrastination
- They’re learning about opportunities to get involved with campus groups.
- They're beginning or continuing to question their identity, pushing boundaries, and experimenting with new things. Experimenting may include challenging previous beliefs about religion or politics.
- First year students are learning that what worked for high school academics won’t necessarily work for college, and that a new level of work is expected. This may result in feelings of inadequacy and they may ask themselves, “Can I really make it here?”
- Some may be experiencing roommate or other interpersonal conflicts.
What Families Can Do:
- Listen to your student’s concerns and be reassuring. Be prepared for the “dump” phone call late at night. Students need to vent frustrations or fears, and you may be the dumping ground. In most cases, he/she will feel much better after having vented.
- Encourage your student to get involved with campus groups. It’s easy to meet new people at college if students make the effort.
- Provide them with time-management techniques or refer them to the MAX Center or the Health and Wellness Center for time management and strees-reduction information.
- Continue conversations about alcohol use. In the first six weeks first-year students are vulnerable to pressures to fit in, and sometimes they perceive this to mean drinking. Keep the lines of communication open, and avoid being judgmental.
- Help keep disappointments (such as not being selected for a particular activity or not reconnecting with old friends) in perspective. Refer him/her to support services on campus if additional support is needed.
- They’re stressed about tests and midterms. They may have fallen behind in September because they didn’t adjust or readjust to the type of time management skills required to be successful.
- They may receive grades on papers and projects. This helps students to understand what professors expect. It also means that students realize that they are no longer "top of the class," and students who once got all As now get Bs and Cs. Students may feel like a failure or lose self-esteem because they are unaccustomed to receiving lower grades.
- They’re facing competing social demands. Students who got involved in too many campus organizations may have trouble balancing the demands of the organizations with the demands of coursework.
- As they begin to work on papers, first-year students must learn to navigate a college library system. The library is an important campus resource, but because it is different from libraries that they have used in the past, it may be intimidating.
- They are learning to manage their own money and may have trouble sticking to a budget. College presents many pressures to spend money—pizza, movies, clothes, etc.—and they may run out of money sooner than expected.
What Families Can Do:
- Be sympathetic, but try not to fix problems for the student. By letting them fix their own problems, you will demonstrate that you have confidence in them, and help them have self confidence.
- Help them be realistic about academic achievement in a college environment. It is common for Macalester students to experience a full point drop from their high school grade point average.
- Direct your student to college resources for assistance with papers and assignments. There are many resources designed to help students be successful academically. You can also encourage them to meet with professors and preceptors during office hours, or to seek help from librarians or MAX Center staff who are trained to assist students with college-level work and expectations.
- Visit during Family Fest, October 9-11 but don’t expect them to drop everything for your weekend on campus. Plan to attend some events alone.
- Help your student to establish a budget and teach them how to stick to it. Most students have a limited understanding of money management. Continue to educate them on financial responsibility before the lack of responsibility becomes a problem.
WHO'S WHO IN STUDENT AFFAIRS
The Office of Student Affairs staff help students navigate college life. Specifically, we:
- Provide guidance and support to students about personal or academic issues
- Serve students with disabilities
- Hear and respond to student concerns or grievances about college policies, procedures, or members of the college community
- Support victims and investigate allegations of racial or sexual harassment, assault, or discrimination of any kind
- Answer questions about campus policy, procedures, expectations
- Advise Macalester Student Government, student organizations, and campus activities and programs
- Coordinate sexual violence prevention education
Laurie Hamre, Vice President, Student Affairs
Childhood Home: Lisbon, N.D., a small town in the southeastern corner of the state
Pastimes: Golfing, gardening, and boating. Most of my spare time comes in the summer!
What I wanted to be when I grew up: Announcer for the Minnesota Twins (this aspiration came only after I was told I couldn't be the next Mickey Mantle)
Favorite Book: The Last Lecture (currently)
Best part of working at Mac: Without a doubt, working with the interesting, engaged, diverse, and gifted Macalester students
Jim Hoppe, Dean of Students
Childhood home: St. Louis, Mo.
Undergraduate education: University of New Mexico
Favorite pastimes: What is this thing called a “pastime”? I have two kids under 10.
What I wanted to be when I grew up: An architect who designed cities
Best part of working at Mac: The students! In particular, I enjoy working with Macalester College Student Government
Lisa Landreman, Associate Dean of Students
Childhood home: Milwaukee, WI
Schools Attended: University of Wisconsin-La Crosse (BS), Indiana University (MS), University of Michigan (PhD)
Favorite pastimes: Movies, crossword puzzles, theater, improvisational comedy
Twin Cities highlights: Restaurants, art fairs, Fringe Festiveal, and swing dancing in the caves
Best part of working at Mac: Students are passionate, intelligent, and thoughtful…they make my work rewarding
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