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Spring Break and Other Reminders for UVA Parents (Fourth-Year Parents)

March 1, 2018
Parents of Fourth-Year Students
Patricia M. Lampkin, Vice President and Chief Student Affairs Officer

Dear Parents:

With Spring Break starting this weekend, we are nearing the mid-way point in the semester. Many transitions begin to take place at this time during the academic year. For graduating students, we recognize the bittersweet transition that lies ahead for them as their time at UVA draws to a close and they chart new pathways. Additional information regarding Finals Weekend is below to help you and your family plan to celebrate this important milestone with your graduating student.

Speaking of a more immediate celebration, next week the Hoos will open ACC Basketball Tournament play on Thursday, March 8, at noon. Prior to the game, all parents are invited to join the Virginia Club of New York for a pre-game social beginning at 10 a.m. at King's Beer Hall (84 Saint Marks Place, Brooklyn, New York). Tickets ($10 per person) are available on the website.

Please read on for other important reminders that I hope you find helpful.

Spring Break Safety
In a message to students earlier this week, University Dean of Students Allen Groves summarized basic safety measures for Spring Break (March 3-11). Please remind your student to:

  • Lock all doors and windows during break, draw curtains, and take all valuables with them.
  • Report any suspicious or threatening activity to 911 if staying in the Charlottesville area.
  • Sign ADAPT's pledge this week to have a "Safe Spring Break."
  • Know the health and legal risks of using illicit drugs.
  • Look out for each other.

All on-Grounds housing will remain open during Spring Break. Housing & Residence Life's Spring Break page offers more information and tips for the break. Some services, such as University Transit Services (UTS) and Dining, will operate on limited schedules.

If your student is participating in Alternative Spring Break or similar programs, please make sure you have their itinerary and know how to get in touch with them. While many trips during this time may include other UVA students or faculty members, the University sponsors very few official trips, and we do not maintain rosters or contact information. Alternative Spring Break operates as a contracted independent organization (CIO) and is not a part of the University.

Any students who are traveling abroad should be familiar with all aspects of the areas they are visiting. The U.S. Department of State provides important information on its Students Abroad website.

Extremely important: Students should be aware of health, safety, and security risks associated with international travel. The extent and nature of these risks vary greatly among destinations. Key travel resources that all travelers should consult include the U.S. Centers for Disease Control Traveler's Health resources, the U.S. Department of State Travel Advisories website, and the U.S. Department of Treasury Sanctions Program and Country Information webpage.

The State Department uses a four-tier advisory system to alert travelers about potential danger. Level 4, the highest tier with a “Do not travel” warning, has been assigned to 10 countries. Examples include Yemen and Syria. Twenty nations have an advisory of Level 3: Reconsider Travel. Examples include Honduras and Pakistan. More information is available on the State Department's Travel to High-Risk Areas website. The CDC use a three-tier notification system. The highest level of concern is Level 3: Warning.

Experts on international travel recommend purchasing international health and emergency assistance insurance. Travelers may also want to consider purchasing trip insurance that can be used in the event of travel delays.

Educational Tax Benefits
With tax filing day approaching in a few weeks (April 17, 2018), please remember federal educational tax benefits for which you may be eligible. More information is available through IRS Publication 970, available through a link on the IRS Tax Benefits for Education website.

Finals Weekend
May 18-20
The Class of 2018 recently sent a message to parents and guardians about Finals Weekend. Included were details on events, security, tickets, parking, weather plans, and more.

Everyone attending events on the Lawn (Valedictory Exercises and Final Exercises) should be aware of the clear bag policy being implemented this year, along with metal detectors at entrances to the Lawn. These security enhancements mirror those used for large athletic events at the University. The Major Events website provides more information.

Valedictory Exercises will take place on Friday, May 18, at 3 p.m. on the Lawn (in the event of rain, at John Paul Jones Arena). Tickets are not required.

If your daughter or son is graduating from the College of Arts & Sciences, the Final Exercises ceremony will take place on Saturday, May 19, at 10 a.m. on the Lawn, followed by department graduation ceremonies scheduled throughout the afternoon. Graduate students in Arts & Sciences also will graduate that day.

If your daughter or son is graduating from any of the other schools (Architecture, Batten, Continuing and Professional Studies, Curry, Engineering and Applied Science, McIntire, Nursing, Darden, Law, Medicine, and the Data Science Institute), then the Final Exercises ceremony will take place on Sunday, May 20, at 10 a.m. on the Lawn followed by school graduation ceremonies that afternoon.

Teresa A. Sullivan, who is retiring as the eighth president of UVA on July 31, will speak at Final Exercises on both Saturday and Sunday.

Each student will receive six guest tickets for the Final Exercises ceremony this year. Complete details about the weekend's festivities, updated as they become available, can be found on the Major Events website.

On-Grounds Accommodations Available for Finals Weekend
For families of graduating students looking for an affordable alternative to a hotel for Finals Weekend with no minimum stay requirement, the University is pleased to offer student-style accommodations in our air-conditioned, first-year dorm rooms located in the Alderman Road Residence Area. This is not a hotel, but an economical lodging option within a 15-minute walk to the Lawn, where Final Exercises take place. Continental breakfast will be provided. Availability is limited. For more information or to reserve a room, please visit the Housing & Residence Life website.

Best wishes to you, your student, and your family. As always, please do not hesitate to contact me or a member of the Student Affairs team if we can be of assistance to you or your student.

Warm regards,

Patricia M. Lampkin
Vice President and Chief Student Affairs Officer

Upcoming Dates

May 1: Spring classes end
May 3-11: Exams
May 2, 6, 9: Reading Days
May 18-20: Finals Weekend
May 18: Valedictory Exercises
May 19: Graduation Ceremony for College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences
May 20: Graduation Ceremony for All Other Schools
May 21: Upperclass residence halls and residential colleges close at noon (May 22 for Lawn and Range rooms)
October 13: Homecomings Weekend (UVA vs. Miami)