MADISON family newsletter September 2019

In this issue:

  • Madison Cares
  • Financial Aid Disbursements and Starting Classes
  • A Program to Help Your Second-Year Duke
  • Campus-Wide Career Fair September 23-24
  • JMU Graduate and Professional School Fair
  • Handling Common Student Stress Experiences: The First Three Weeks
  • Quitting Nicotine? The UHC can help!
  • Be the 1 Without the Flu!
  • Celebrating Wellness and 30 Years!
  • Students Looking for Meaningful Job Opportunities
  • Fraternity and Sorority Life
  • New Bus Service: Abbott Home Ride
  • Eating Well on Campus
  • Family Weekend Study Abroad Reception
  • RSVP for Free CAP Brunch to Learn About Career Resources for Your Duke
  • Join Us for Family Weekend!
  • Honors College Family Breakfast

Madison Cares

Concern. Consultation. Care.

Submitted by: Ashley K. Stovall, Assistant Dean of Students

This fall, Dean of Students is excited to implement a platform for the JMU community to support students in distress and crisis. Madison Cares is a centralized program for departments, students, parents, and community members to refer or consult about students of concern. We will operate as an extended arm to students experiencing varying levels of social, emotional, academic, or mental-health stressors.

We all have the responsibility to be a pillar for our students especially during adverse and difficult times.

Madison Cares is not a crisis hotline and will not function as first responders. We will provide an online Care Referral system where faculty, staff, students, family, and community members can submit a report about a student displaying distressed or disturbing behavior. We want our campus partners and students to understand the potential at-risk indicators, to refer students of concern to Madison Cares, and to respond to the call of reaching out and caring for our students in need!

Beginning this semester, you can visit the Dean of Students website for a list of potential reportable behaviors and additional information.

How can you be involved? These efforts will not be successful without your help! Madison Cares may ask a university staff member to reach out to a student in distress and provide them with resources, be a listening ear, or help them develop an action plan towards safety and wellness. We also want you to spread the word to your staff and students on how to refer!

How to refer?

  1. Submit a Care Referral online beginning of the semester.
  2. Call us at (540) 568-6468.
  3. Visit our office in Student Success Center, Suite 3010.

At the beginning of the semester, anyone will be able to submit a Care Referral through our website. You can always consult with us if you are unsure on how to navigate a situation.

We empower all university faculty, staff, and students to intervene, express care, and give resources to our students. Let’s us be the bridge and help them get the support they need to be successful!

If you would like to be more involved with Madison Cares or would like more information about the program, please contact Ashley K. Stovall, Assistant Dean of Students and Madison Cares Chair at stovalak@jmu.edu or (540) 568-6468.

Financial Aid Disbursements and Starting Classes

Submitted by: Brad Barnett, Financial Aid Director, Financial Aid & Scholarships

Fall Financial Aid Disbursements:

Financial aid disbursements generally occur during the first week of each semester if all paperwork has been submitted in a timely fashion and the student is registered for the amount of hours used to determine financial aid eligibility. If you want to learn more about the disbursement process, timeframe, and financial aid refunds, you can read Section 8: Financial Aid, Disbursements, Your Bill, and Refunds of the Financial Aid: Terms and Conditions – Consumer Information document on our website at www.jmu.edu/financialaid.

Beginning Enrollment:

It’s important to note that students must begin attendance in the classes for which they receive financial aid. Reading the “Beginning Enrollment” portion of Section 1: How Financial Aid is Awarded at JMU and General Eligibility Requirements of the Financial Aid: Terms and Conditions – Consumer Information document at www.jmu.edu/financialaid will explain what constitutes “attendance” for the purposes of meeting this eligibility criterion. Students who do not begin attendance in classes for which financial aid is awarded may be subject to a reduction or cancellation to their financial aid package.

A Program to Help Your Second-Year Duke

Submitted by: Cassidy Persson, Career & Academic Advisor, Career and Academic Planning

"When a student enters college as a first year student, they are provided with amazing experiences through Orientation, First Year Orientation Guides, Residence Life and other programs and events. However, when a student returns for their second year, they often can feel forgotten, lost and “on their own” now that they are no longer a new student. At JMU, we always want a Duke to feel that they are welcome, connected and engaged on campus.

Through a grant funded through the Division of Student Affairs, we are piloting a Second Year Success Program that we would love for your second year student to be a part of. This program’s mission is to provide an experience for second year students to explore their goals and strengths, identify helpful resources on campus, and engage with other students so they can be successful in their years to come at JMU and beyond.

Second year students can apply on a rolling basis from August 26th to October 4th. The program will meet every Friday afternoon from 2:30-4pm from October 11th-November 15th of the Fall semester. For more information and for the application visit: www.jmu.edu/cap/events/secondyearsuccess/

Please encourage your second year student to apply; space is limited. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to the program coordinator, Cassidy Persson at lawsoncj@jmu.edu.

Campus-Wide Career Fair September 23-24

Submitted by: Emily Blake, Communications Coordinator, CAP

Encourage your Duke to come out for JMU's 2-day Campus-Wide Career Fair to meet potential employers for jobs and internships. The office of Career and Academic Planning (CAP) offers many events to help your Duke prepare their resume, practice their interviewing skills, and get a professional outfit at a low cost (or free!) Check out the CAP website for more information on our events and resources available throughout the year.

JMU Graduate and Professional School Fair

Submitted by: Emily Blake, Communications Coordinator, CAP

On September 24, graduate schools from across the country will be sending representatives to JMU to tell students about their programs during the 3-6pm event in Hotel Madison. Students are invited to bring their questions about specific programs and graduate school in general.

Handling Common Student Stress Experiences: The First Three Weeks

Submitted by: Alicia Lamb, Social Media and Marketing Coordinator, Office of Residence Life

After your student moves into their residence hall and begins to get settled, encourage your student to explore their new home-away-from-home. Each new student who lives on campus has a Resident Advisor (RA) who lives on the floor and is a great resource for them. RAs are trained to help students get acclimated, learn about JMU, the campus culture, and the values and norms of JMU. Your student’s RA will reach out to each student on the floor to get to know them and provide assistance if necessary, and they are accessible to each student as needed.

Your student should get to know their roommate(s) and suitemates. Taking the time to get to know each other and to openly talk about the room environment and suite in the beginning will help in the future after the “honeymoon” period or newness wears off. A good way to start is for each roommate pair to discuss and answer questions from a roommate agreement. This conversation starter can help set up some guidelines for how the students will live together and create ways to settle differences when they arise. Roommates and suitemates can be a wonderful addition to your student’s experience at JMU and some may even become life-long friends.

Early on your student should walk around and learn the various academic buildings, eating and exercise facilities, residence halls, and offices. They can walk around with their Mappy and plot a course to their classes finding the fastest way to make it to each class on time (or even early) even though they may think it is “not cool.” Roommates, suitemates, and hallmates are great people to walk around with and as they walk and talk together they will get to know each other. As your student gets to know JMU any fears they had about the campus (where they will eat, sleep, exercise and go to class) will begin to dissipate.

Your student should check their @dukes email and MyMadison frequently. Most communication from the university are sent out via these two methods. Students can miss important deadlines, events, club or organizational meetings, scholarships or extra credit opportunities if they fail to check and read their messages.

Also, encourage your student to get to know include the housekeeping staff who clean their building, dining hall staff, University Police, student employment supervisors, and our professional Office of Residence Life staff. They can introduce themselves to their professor and schedule a visit during office hours for additional face time. These professionals will help enhance your student’s experience in many different ways and it only takes a little step outside of their comfort zone to make it happen. They will have their ups and downs, but with the connections they make here and the ones they have back home, they'll be successful.

If you have any questions about anything related to residence life, feel free to check out the rest of our website, give us a call at (540) 568-HOME, or email us at res-life@jmu.edu.

Quitting Nicotine? The UHC can help!

Submitted by: Angela Ritchie, Assistant Director of Communications and Marketing, University Health Center

As of July 1, Virginia enacted a new law prohibiting purchase or possession of tobacco products, nicotine vapor products, and alternative nicotine products by a person under 21 years of age. If your student has been thinking about quitting and doesn’t know where to start, or has tried to stop using nicotine and just can’t seem to stay nicotine free, the University Health Center can help. Consultation appointments are available for students to discuss their reasons for quitting and explore resources to support them along the way. They can schedule online at MyJMUHealth or by calling 540-568-2831. The UHC pharmacy also has Nicotine Replacement Therapy products (nicotine patch or gum) to help minimize withdrawal symptoms.

Be the 1 Without the Flu!

Submitted by: Angela Ritchie, Assistant Director of Communications and Marketing, University Health Center

A flu shot clinic will be held on campus for all students, faculty and staff and their families:

  • Tuesday, October 8 | 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. | Festival Highlands Room
  • Wednesday, October 9 | 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. | Student Success Center 1075

The cost is $30 and may be billed to insurance. Visit the Health Center website for a list of participating insurers.

Celebrating Wellness and 30 Years!

Submitted by: Morgan Paixao, Marketing & PR Specialist, EJC Arboretum

2019 marks the Edith J. Carrier Arboretum’s 30th year as a public garden institution, honoring as the Year of the Trees. A 125 acre public garden located on East Campus, the Edith J. Carrier Arboretum provides all students and community members with an outdoor classroom, a forested green haven that is home to a rich oak-hickory forest habitat of flora and fauna, flowering gardens, and native wildflowers.

We invite you and your Duke or Dukes to visit this fall! Our focus for the coming academic year is outdoor wellness and we’ve partnered with several amazing community members to offer unique and inspiring programs including Forest Bathing, Yoga, Sound Bathing, and Tai Chi.

Find out more about our ongoing events and activities at www.jmu.edu/arboretum or sign up for our seasonal newsletter (located within the ‘About’ Tab).

Students Looking for Meaningful Job Opportunities

Submitted by: Misty Newman, Associate Director, Community Service-Learning

We hope your student is settling into a great rhythm! As they dig deeper into their Madison experience, Community Service-Learning continues to focus on connecting them with the community both on and OFF campus in very significant ways. Last issue, we shared about the leadership opportunities with our Alternative Break Program, and now we’ll share another prospect:

America Reads and Community Federal Work Study Programs (FWS):

  • Students work 8-10 hours per week serving at a local non-profit or area school with one of our community partners.
  • Students serving in the FWS programs participate in an on-campus group orientation prior to beginning their position and then participate in partner-specific orientation and training on-site. FWS students also meet monthly to connect with each other, reflect on their experience, and enhance skills. Each semester, each student meets 1:1 with the Graduate Assistant who coordinates workshops to ensure students feel supported and have a space to process individually. Additional topics that may be covered include: Emotional Intelligence & Resilience, Leadership, Resume & Interview Preparation, Danger of a Single Story, and Communication.
  • More than 90% of students agree or strongly agree through their FWS experience, they built a strong relationship with their community organization, connected more with the community, and are better prepared to be an engaged member of the community after graduation.

Some thoughts from students who participated in the program:

“I enjoyed going to my position. The hours were manageable and I never had to do work that was too difficult or exhausting. Having a position in the community is much more interesting and fulfilling than on campus, you never know what you'll be doing, but you know that the work you do matters to someone.”
“It has been a great experience learning more about myself and my community partner. I believe I grew to love my community partner and serving vulnerable populations. I also like how flexible FWS is with hours and how they make school the priority.”
“I had a great time during my experience. It shaped part of my college experience and was valuable for my resume. I became more connected with the community.”
“It was the best part of my JMU experience and I feel so prepared for the future now because of it. My experience was more than amazing. It solidified what I want to do in the future, and has given me access to resources I would've never discovered had I not entered this organization. The staff are like my second family and I've grown to know and love the community even more than before. I am more than grateful to have been part of this position and organization.”

If your student is eligible for Federal Work Study through their financial aid package and is looking for a transformational job opportunity, please encourage them to check out our website (www.jmu.edu/csl), stop by our office (2100 Student Success Center) Monday – Friday between 8am and 5pm, or email us at csl@jmu.edu. Jobs are filling quickly, so make sure they check in with us soon.

Fraternity and Sorority Life

Submitted by: David Chew, Coordinator of Fraternity and Sorority Life, Fraternity & Sorority Life

Dear JMU Family Member,

As a new semester begins, you may learn from your student that they are interested in joining a social fraternity or sorority. Fraternities and sororities are great ways for students to get connected on campus, develop interpersonal skills, find leadership opportunities, and cultivate a life-long spirit for philanthropy and service. Here in the Office of Fraternity & Sorority Life, we provide programs, resources, and services that empower fraternal achievement for the 31 social fraternities and sororities that call JMU home.

There are some organizations that are not a part of the JMU community – we call these groups unrecognized organizations. Unrecognized organizations are groups that have lost recognition from JMU, their inter/national headquarters, or both, or were formed outside of JMU policy. They receive no support from the University in the form of advising/support or access to campus resources, however some of these groups continue to operate around our campus community. Some unrecognized organizations claim that they are “working on becoming recognized by JMU” but that is simply not true – all new fraternities and sororities to JMU are thoroughly vetted and establish themselves with the support of the Office of Fraternity & Sorority Life and their inter/national headquarters.

When a student comes to our office demonstrating an interest in joining an unrecognized organization, we strongly discourage them from doing so. Unrecognized organizations are not accountable to any sort of governing body and do not possess liability insurance; in addition, many have been implicated in behaviors that threaten students’ safety.

Here is a list of all known unrecognized organizations, as well as the reason that the organization is not recognized by JMU:

  • ACACIA –Acacia’s national organization disregarded JMU’s policy on fraternity expansion and recognized a group of students locally that operate separately from JMU. This group is not a JMU fraternity and is not associated with the University.
  • Alpha Tau Omega (Also known as: The Alpha Society, Alpha Omega, JMU Taus) – Alpha Tau Omega lost its recognition in Fall 2015 due to multiple violations of probation.
  • Delta Chi (Also known as: Pi Beta Chi, Crosskeys Society) – Delta Chi lost its recognition in Fall 2013 due to hazing with forced calisthenics and underage drinking.
  • Sigma Chi (Also known as: Iota Chi, Sigma Iota Chi) – Sigma Chi lost its recognition in Fall 2014 due to hazing, issues with drugs/alcohol, and multiple risk management concerns.
  • Tau Kappa Epsilon – Tau Kappa Epsilon lost its recognition in Spring 2019 due to violating probation and sanctions levied after a hazing violation.

Should your student indicate that they may be interested in one of these organizations, we recommend that you direct them to our website (www.jmu.edu/fsl) for information on recognized fraternities and sororities. Here you and your student will find a wealth of information for you as a family member, ranging from talking with your student about membership in a social fraternity and sorority to a scorecard on each chapter.

Thank you for your on-going support for your student. Please reach out to us with questions. Our goal is always to help students make informed decisions.

The Office of Fraternity & Sorority Life

James Madison University

(540) 568-4195

New Bus Service: Abbott Home Ride

This service will operate from JMU on the 1st and 3rd weekends of the month beginning in September, 2019. It will also operate during Thanksgiving, Winter, and Spring breaks.

The buses feature several amenities including Wi-Fi, electric plugs at each seat, DVD players, Satellite TV, restroom, seat belts, reclining seats and overhead storage.

The buses will depart from Godwin Hall on Friday afternoons at 5:00 PM and stop at Charlottesville, Richmond and Hampton. They will return on Sundays and arrive back at JMU at 9:00 PM. The one-way fares will be: Charlottesville $40, Richmond $56, and Hampton $69. MasterCard and Visa will be accepted.

For more information, or to purchase a ticket please call Abbott at 800-433-1111.

Eating Well on Campus

Submitted by: Nicole Jackson, Marketing Manager, JMU Dining

There's still time for your students to purchase a meal plan and get rewarded. All purchases are pro-rated and billed with tuition. If your student purchases a meal plan prior to September 30th, they will receive 10 Complimentary Guest Passes to treat you to a meal when you visit! Email dining@jmu.edu with any questions or to sign up your student for a plan!

Family Weekend Study Abroad Reception

Submitted by: Judy Cohen, Director of Communications and External Relations, Center for Global Engagement

The Center for Global Engagement welcomes you and your students, family, and friends to a Family Weekend Breakfast Reception on Sunday, October 13th. Come join us in the Hall of Presidents in JMU’s new D-Hall from 9:30 to 11 am. On hand to greet you and talk about JMU’s 90+ study abroad programs will be our Study Abroad staff, Global Dukes (study abroad alums), and Semester Program Directors. A world of experiences awaits, and we can help your students find their direction.

RSVP for Free CAP Brunch to Learn About Career Resources for Your Duke

Submitted by: Laura Hickerson, Assistant Director of Employer Engagement, CAP

Coming to Family Weekend? The staff in Career and Academic Planning (CAP) want to meet you and your Duke! CAP is hosting a brunch event on family weekend to meet families and students. Come learn about CAP resources and how your students can get involved. CAP staff and some employer partners will be present and would love to meet you.

Join Us for Family Weekend!

Submitted by: Alli Pinello, Graduate Assistant, JMU Duke Club

Join us at Bridgeforth Stadium for the Family Weekend football game on Saturday, October 12 at 1:30 p.m. as the Dukes take on the Villanova Wildcats! Tickets are available at JMUTickets.com. Interested in a reserved game day tailgate parking spot for family weekend? Make a Proud and True gift to the Duke Club to support JMU student-athlete scholarships and the general operating budget. Donors can receive access to game day experience benefits including parking, while supplies last. For more information on how to become a Proud and True member, visit JMUDukeClub.com.

We’ve got the perfect Friday night event for you! Join us in Bridgeforth Stadium on Friday, October 11 at 7:00 pm for Friday Night Flights, the Duke Club’s premier beer and wine tasting event in the stadium, on the field, under the lights of Bridgeforth.

Tickets are $35/person and include one full-pour, five tastings, heavy hors d’oeuvres, live music, games, and more! To purchase ticket, visit jmudukeclub.com/fnf.

Honors College Family Breakfast

Honors College Freshmen and Families are Invited to Attend

Submitted by: Tammy Steele, Executive Assistant, Honors College

Join the Honors College faculty and staff as we kick off Family Weekend with a breakfast before the big game!

We'll have warm breakfast sandwiches, strawberry fruit parfait, fresh fruit, coffee and juice.

All Honors College Freshmen and their families are invited to attend. The event will be held at Shenandoah Hall outside the multi-purpose room underneath the large tents.

Please RSVP by Friday, October 4.

The Madison Family Newsletter is put together each month by the Office of Parent Relations in partnership with many members of the JMU community. It's designed to help parents & families keep up with what's going on here at JMU! Please email Heather Davis at davis2hr@jmu.edu with any questions regarding the newsletter.

Created By
Heather Davis


JMU Photography Services