Hello, Badger Parents!
I hope that both you and your student have had a terrific summer. Campus is abuzz as we prepare to welcome students for the fall semester. I encourage your family to also do some preparation for what we hope will be a successful year in Madison.
At the Division of Student Life, we believe that parents and family members are the greatest allies and resources in our efforts to support the success of our students. I hope you will help us get off to a great start by familiarizing yourself with several important campus matters, and by talking with your student about these issues before he or she gets to campus.
Encourage your student to consider how he or she would like to get involved in university life outside the classroom. Students have significant opportunities to integrate in-class and out-of-class learning experiences through active, creative, and entrepreneurial engagement in real-world problems — we call this the Wisconsin Experience. For more information, visit The Wisconsin Experience website.
As you may know, the number-one problem on college campuses across the country is high-risk drinking. Consequences can range from missed classes and poor grades to long-term health risks. We are implementing a new educational tool for our students, AlcoholEdu for College, which you will be able to view beginning August 12. I encourage you to become familiar with it by visiting the AlcoholEdu for College website (passcode: P240444PARENT). The university is asking all incoming undergraduate students and all students returning to live in University Residence Halls to complete the program by August 23. Students will receive more information via a message sent to their campus email accounts. Talk about alcohol use with your student, reflecting your own family’s values and expectations, and revisit the topic throughout the semester.
To help make our campus safer for everyone, this year we are instituting a universal violence- prevention effort by requiring all first-year students to complete Tonight, an online education program. This step is in accordance with new requirements from the federal government and is among the country’s most proactive stances against sexual assault and dating violence. Tonight is designed to help students understand and address sexual assault and dating violence before, while, and after they happen. Students will be told about the program during SOAR this summer and will receive more information via email. Please take a moment to talk with your student about Tonight, and encourage him or her to complete the program prior to arriving on campus. Students who do not complete the program by mid-October will not be able to register for Spring 2014 classes. If you would like to review the program, visit the EVOC website. More information is available at the University Health Services website and questions can be emailed to email@example.com.
Madison is generally a safe community in which to live and work, but it isn’t immune to the challenges of a growing city. UW–Madison views safety as a shared partnership among students, staff, police, and our community. Please remind your student to walk with friends or use SAFE Nighttime Services, let others know where he or she is going — and when to expect him or her to return, and always lock doors and windows. For additional safety resources and information, visit UW–Madison's Campus Safety website.
For parents of students — especially first-year students — living in our residence halls, it’s important to recognize that living with roommates can be a period of transition and negotiation. Families are an important foundation for students during this time. Empower your student to problem-solve on his or her own behalf, and communicate the expectation that it can take some time to settle into a new living situation.
Please review what the university expects of students, and encourage your student to uphold our values. We expect that all students:
- Are positive representatives of the University of Wisconsin–Madison, reflecting the ideals of the Wisconsin Idea. (For more information, visit the Wisconsin Idea website.)
- Conduct themselves with the highest level of personal and academic integrity.
- Demonstrate respect for other members of the university and local community.
- Take pride in themselves as student scholars and community members.
- Demonstrate a strong work ethic and capitalize upon the many opportunities and challenges they have as students.
- Leave a positive legacy on campus and continue to live the values of the university as alumni.
Your student is now a part of the Badger community, which is committed to upholding the values of the university. Badgers are ethical and curious in their academic work, seeking opportunities to engage critically and deeply. I am particularly proud of the way that Badgers incorporate their education into their lives, applying the knowledge they learn and sharing it with the world. I am excited that your student is a part of this growing legacy.
Please keep in touch with us, and don’t hesitate to let us know if there’s anything we can do to help. You can learn more online about the Division of Student Life. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can follow me on twitter @LoriBerquam.
Thank you for being a partner in reinforcing these important messages with your student. I look forward to welcoming another safe and successful year at UW–Madison!
Lori M. Berquam
Vice Provost for Student Life and Dean of Students