It's a beautiful spring day at UVA – the time of year when the Lawn and gardens are filled with students enjoying the sunshine and warm weather. Conversations about deadlines, papers, and coursework also fill the air since classes will end in less than two weeks, followed by exams and then the launch of summer plans. Given all the year-end activities, I am writing to share several updates and reminders for your general awareness and for planning ahead with your student.
Opening of 1515 Student Space on the Corner
One highlight of the spring has been the opening of a new student center at 1515 University Ave. on the Corner. The building officially opened on Saint Patrick's Day, and whenever I visit – whether at 10 a.m. or 10 p.m. – students are enjoying every nook and cranny of the 15,000-square-foot space. From the loud game room in the basement to the quieter rooms on the second floor, the center is providing students with much-needed performance and rehearsal space along with space for small group meetings, studying, and simply unwinding. The center is alcohol-free and open late, factors that student leaders who were involved in the planning agreed were important. If you are in Charlottesville, I hope you will drop by to see 1515 for yourself. You can read more about it in a recent UVA Today article and photo-essay.
Family Weekend: Nov. 3-5
Please be sure to mark your calendar for this year's Family Weekend. For the first time in a number of years, the weekend will include a football game, this year against Georgia Tech. For more information, including links to websites for accommodations and the purchase of game tickets, please see this recent message from University Dean of Students Allen Groves.
Student Safety at the Foxfield Races
Scheduled this year for April 29, the Foxfield Races attract large numbers of students from UVA and other schools on the East Coast. The steeplechase races, held several miles from the Grounds, are not sponsored by UVA. While this can be a fun spring event, the excessive use of alcohol and related arrests are deeply concerning. If your student is going, please talk with her or him about safety and responsible behavior.
Students who are going to Foxfield are urged to plan ahead with regard to transportation, food, and safety. Uniformed law enforcement officers will be present on the roads leading to Foxfield and within the event grounds. In conjunction with a private public safety team, they will focus on providing a safe environment for all spectators, assisting individuals in need of help, and deterring and responding to illegal activity. Students will be receiving University messages next week encouraging them to:
- Know how to get to and from Foxfield safely. If a group is driving, one member should serve as the sober driver.
- Use the buddy system while at the races. In a large crowd, it is easy to lose track of friends, and most students report problems with their cellphone service due to the location and number of attendees.
- Bring enough food and water for the day. Sunscreen is important as well.
- Alcohol use: Students who are under 21 and drink alcohol are engaging in unlawful behavior. Students who are of legal age and choose to drink should follow Foxfield's alcohol policies. All students are urged to know the symptoms of an alcohol emergency and how to access medical services. This infographic provides more details.
Next week, students will receive a safety-related message from Dean Groves, and they will have a chance to participate in the "Savvy Fox Honor Pledge" campaign sponsored by UVA's Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention Team (ADAPT) peer educators. During the races, UVA students can visit ADAPT's safety tent for information as well as free food, water, and sunscreen.
Bicentennial: UVA is Turning 200!
The University will launch its Bicentennial celebration this fall. Events planned for October 5-7 will mark the 200th anniversary of the laying of the cornerstone at Pavilion VII, and the commemoration will continue through the anniversary of the University's charter on January 25, 2018. Parents are invited to join in the celebration, including those events hosted around the world by UVAClubs.
Students graduating between now and 2020 will receive a special keepsake: a commemorative bicentennial zipper pull to wear as part of their academic regalia.
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 nonconfidential information regarding eligible students. No grades are ever divulged.
Deciding whether membership would be beneficial or desirable is something you and your student should jointly determine. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Student Health: Summer Access and Hard-Waiver Requirement
Student Health remains open during the summer. If students are not enrolled in classes over the summer, they will pay $10 per visit per clinic for services. Otherwise, visits by enrolled students are covered by their payment of the comprehensive fee.
Please watch your mailbox in May. Student Health will be sending out information to your student regarding the annual Health Insurance Hard-Waiver program requirement. Please encourage your student to be mindful of this requirement and the summer deadline.
Hoos ReUse: An Easy Way for Students to Recycle and Benefit Others
On-Grounds Collection: May 3 through 13
Off-Grounds Collection: May 22 and 23
As students finish up the year and move out of their residence halls or apartments, they can donate their unwanted (but usable) furniture, appliances, nonperishable food, and clothing to local charities through the Hoos ReUse program. Two drives take place each year, one for students living on Grounds and the other for students living off Grounds. For complete details, including times and locations, please check the Hoos ReUse website.
Corks & Curls Available for Purchase
Corks & Curls, the University's longstanding yearbook, is available for purchase as a way to commemorate the 2016-2017 academic year. More information, including a link to purchase online, is available on the Corks & Curls website.
Closing of Residence Halls
Students in first-year areas (Alderman Road, Gooch, and McCormick Road) must move out by noon on Saturday, May 13. Students are advised to move out within 24 hours of their last exam or by noon on May 13, whichever comes first. Students in upperclass areas, except for the Lawn and Range, must move out by noon on Monday, May 22. Lawn and Range residents must move out by noon on May 23. For additional information regarding closing, please consult the Housing & Residence Life website.
As the semester winds down, please let us know if we can be of assistance to you or your student. We recognize that the period from now through mid-May can be especially stressful, and we want all of our students to end the year on a positive note.
Patricia M. Lampkin
Vice President and Chief Student Affairs Officer
May 2: Spring classes end
May 4-12: Exams
May 3, 7, 10: Reading Days
May 3-13: Hoos ReUse (on Grounds)
May 13: First-year residence halls close at noon
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 22: Upperclass residence halls close at noon (with exception of Lawn and Range)
May 22-23: Hoos ReUse (off Grounds)
July 6-7: Summer Orientation begins
August 18-19: Move-In Days
August 22: Fall courses begin
September 30-October 3: Reading Days
October 5-7: Bicentennial Celebration
October 20-22: Homecomings
November 3-5: Family Weekend
November 3: Third-Year Ring Ceremony
November 3: Fall Convocation and Intermediate Honors (Third-Year Students)
November 22-26: Thanksgiving Break
December 16-January 16: Winter Break
January 2-12, 2018: January Term
May 18-20, 2018: Class of 2018 Finals Weekend
May 17-19, 2019: Class of 2019 Finals Weekend
May 15-17, 2020: Class of 2020 Finals Weekend