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Updates for UVA Parents

September 19, 2016
To: 
Parents of All University Students
From: 
Susan M. Davis, Acting Vice President and Chief Student Affairs Officer

Dear Parents:

It is with pleasure that I write to say hello and introduce myself. Between now and mid-January, I will be filling in for Pat Lampkin and serving as UVA's Acting Vice President and Chief Student Affairs Officer. Pat is taking a brief, but well-deserved, sabbatical from her day-to-day duties. You may be interested in reading the recent Cavalier Daily article about Pat's plans while she is away this fall.

My time with Student Affairs goes back to 2004 when I moved from the General Counsel's office to join Pat and her team. As an attorney, I have worked over the years on many legal issues intersecting with student life, as well as had the pleasure of working directly with many student leaders. I am looking forward to temporarily taking on the vice president's duties and will do everything possible to maintain a high level of responsiveness to parents and students.

Safety and health remain our top priorities, and we value your help in this regard. For students, especially those who are living on their own for the first time, some reminders from you can be very important in reinforcing the safety messaging that we send throughout the year. We recently created an all-in-one Student Safety Guide, where you and your student can find safety reminders and complete information about resources and programs.

Please read on for more background on the many activities taking place in the next few weeks.

Family Weekend
Nov. 4-6

Family Weekend is scheduled for November 4-6. The weekend features dozens of events, from open classes and open houses to concerts, special tours, receptions, and exercise classes. A final schedule will be posted by Sept. 30, but in the meantime, you can review last year's schedule, which will resemble this year's.

Please note an October deadline for one special event, the Dome Room Dinners. Hosted in the historic Dome Room of the newly renovated Rotunda, the dinners (one on Friday evening and one on Saturday evening) feature talks by premier faculty members. Due to the popularity of the event and because space is limited to 100 guests, a lottery is held to select participants at random. To enter the lottery, please register online by the deadline of October 14.

Housing Seminars for Students
Sept. 26 or 27, 5:30 to 7 p.m., Alumni Hall
While it seems much too early for students to be thinking about housing for next year, we know that some students begin looking at off-Grounds apartments and houses as early as September and October. We continue to advise students and parents not to make quick decisions. In order to help students understand the process and options for both on-Grounds and off-Grounds housing, the Office of Housing & Residence Life hosts seminars each fall. Please encourage your student to attend one of the sessions coming up in late September (food will be provided as an added incentive for students to attend). In addition, Dean of Students Allen Groves sent a letter to parents of first-year students about this often challenging decision.

If you plan to attend Family Weekend in early November, a Housing Fair for both on-Grounds and off-Grounds locations will take place on Friday, Nov. 4, between 11:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. You and your student will have an opportunity to talk with staff in the upperclass housing areas on Grounds and with representatives from several off-Grounds properties in the area.

Flu Shots Available to Students at Immunization Clinic
Oct. 6, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Newcomb Hall Ballroom

Students are encouraged to get the flu shot so they can stay healthy, keep up with their studies, and protect others in the community—or in their family—from getting sick. Students can drop by anytime during the one-day clinic in Newcomb Hall; no appointment is needed. For more details, including costs and methods of payment, please see the Student Health website.

Virginia Film Festival
Nov. 3-6

This year's Virginia Film Festival coincides with Family Weekend. Dozens of films and programs, including a number of family-friendly events, are planned. The festival will announce its full program on Sept. 27, and tickets will go on sale Sept. 30.

Invitations from Student Academic Honor Societies
Students who meet certain criteria, including minimum grade point averages, often are invited to join national and international academic honor societies. If requested, the University provides honor societies with non-confidential information regarding eligible students. No grades are ever divulged.

We advise parents to consult with their students to decide if membership would be beneficial or desirable. Membership fees nearly always are required. All honoraries operate independently of the University, but membership in a limited number of honor societies is recorded as part of students' transcripts. Most honor societies recognized by the University belong to the Association of College Honor Societies. To learn more, please see the ACHS website. If you have specific questions about honoraries with chapters at UVA, please write parents@virginia.edu.

Housing for Finals Weekend 2017
If your daughter or son will be graduating in May and you need lodging, the University offers the option of convenient on-Grounds housing. Registration is now open for parents and students. On-Grounds housing offers affordable accommodations in residence halls with the flexibility to stay from one to four nights. Continental breakfast will be provided on Saturday and Sunday. Free parking, available on a first-come, first-served basis, will be available for registered guests in the S6 lot next to the Student Activities Building and in the S9 parking lots at Hereford Residential College.

Finals Weekend reservations are first-come, first-served as well. For more information, contact Housing & Residence Life's Conference Services at 434-924-4479 or visit the Finals Weekend Housing Web page.

Request a Copy of the 2016 Parent Handbook
The UVA Parent Handbook has been updated for 2016-2017 and is available online in Chinese and Spanish in addition to English. A limited number of printed copies also are available. If you would like one, please email Virginia Carter, director of communications for Student Affairs, with your mailing address. We will be happy to send one to you.

In Case You Missed It...

If you have just sent your first student to UVA, or if you are now an empty-nester, I hope that you, like your student, are beginning to adjust to this time of transition. If you or your student needs assistance in any way, please feel free to contact me.

Sincerely,

Susan M. Davis
Acting Vice President and Chief Student Affairs Officer


Upcoming Dates
Oct. 1-4: Fall Reading Days
Oct. 14: Deadline for Dome Room Dinners Lottery
Nov. 4-6: Family Weekend
Nov. 3-6: Virginia Film Festival
Nov. 23-27: Thanksgiving Break
Dec. 6: Fall classes end
Dec. 8-16: Exams
Dec. 17: First-year residence halls close at noon
Dec. 17-Jan. 17: Winter Break
Jan. 3-13: January Term
March 4-12: Spring Break
May 19-21: Finals Weekend
May 20: Graduation Ceremony for College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences
May 21: Graduation Ceremony for all other schools
May 18-20, 2018: Finals Weekend for Class of 2018
May 17-19, 2019: Finals Weekend for Class of 2019
May 15-17, 2020: Finals Weekend for Class of 2020