Parent Chat Transcript - April 14, 2008 Topic: General Admin1: Welcome TigerFan 95 and Neel. We are waiting to see if a few other "parents" join us!! Admin1: Welcome, Razz007. We have the Dean of Students, Dr. Bill Porter, with us and Ms. Kate Howard, Assistant Director of Recruitment and Orientation. Do you have any questions for us? How is your student doing? Admin1: Oh, and Admin1 is myself, Meta Laabs, Director of Student Affairs Administration. Admin1: I wanted to be sure you all know that exams start on April 25 - soon!! Razz007: My student is doing fine. I would like to know what's going on with SGA? I understand that the election process is being repeated. Admin1: Yes, you are correct. Dr. Porter had to step out for a minute but he will answer as soon as he gets back. The re-vote is tomorrow through Thursday. Razz007: Ok. I will wait for his response. TigerFan95: When are the final exams this semester and the last day of classes? Admin3: The exams actually start on April 25th and run through Thursday, May 1st Admin1: TigerFan95, exams start on 4/25 and end on May 1. Residence hall students must move out by May 2 unless they live in Carpenter Complex. Carpenter closes on May 23 for the Spring. Is your student moving home for the summer? Razz007: Ms. Howard, have you seen a surge in interest to attend the university since the NCAA championship? TigerFan95: Yes, she is coming home for the summer. She has had a good semester and we look forward to having her back home. Admin3: Definitely, we have had some great national recognition and phone calls have picked up. We have not seen a real surge in applications at this point. Admin1: TigerFan95, if your student is a freshman just know that schedules and rules will have to be re-examined and discussed. Admin3: It is a little late for seniors this year, but I think the team's success will certainly
help in the next recruitment cycle. What a great season. TigerFan95: Is there a date by which my daughter needs to report back to college for the Fall 08 semester? Or does she need to find out the date from her Resident Advisor? Razz007: The team and coaching staff had a great year. I look forward to next season. Admin1: Classes start on August 23. She will want to move back in to the Residence Hall the Friday or Saturday before that. Where is she going to live next year? TigerFan95: Okay thank you, Admin1. Admin1: Neel, how is your student doing? Just thinking of exams right now? TigerFan95: She will be at Richardson Towers. Admin3: I think that next season will be a good one, too! Admin1: Has she considered trying to be a Resident Advisor (RA)? Admin3: Razz007, anything else going on with your student while Dr. Porter is following up on the SGA question? TigerFan95: I also share Razz007's sentiments regarding the Tigers! neel: My student is doing good....ready for the summer =) She's thinking she might want to do a sorority next year and rush as a sophomore....when does rush start? Admin1: I don't know where all of you are, but we are preparing for a FREEZE warning in Memphis tonight! TigerFan95: No, I don't believe so. We'll ask her that when she comes home this summer. Are there any special requirements to be an RA that you are aware of? Admin2: On your question about the SGA election, it's a long story so I'll try to hit the basics. There are two student parties with candidates for president and most senator position. One of the parties challenged the application process of the other party to be on the ballot. Ultimately, the SGA Student Court recommended that the election should be re-run with the party given an opportunity to correct its application. The second election is being held this week. We hope everything will be resolved soon. We try to let the students work out their own issues as much as possible with this sort of thing. About the only thing we have firmly stated to them is that they cannot have the election during Dead Week (next week), which is supposed to be a time for students to focus all their attention on finals.
Admin1: RA's need to have lived in the residence halls and be friendly and willing to help in any way they need to. They also really guide and teach our students - a wonderful learning experience and rewarding. Admin3: Neel, recruitment starts a few weeks into school. There will be ample opportunity to sign up once classes begin or she can sign up over the summer on-line http://saweb.memphis.edu/Leadership/GreekAffairs.html. Razz007: Admin2, thanks for clarifying. TigerFan95: That sounds great, Admin1. Our daughter is a Junior. Admin1: Be sure to tell your students that this week there are lots of Spring Fling activities including an outdoor fair on Saturday. neel: Ok great! Thanks for the info, Admin3. What is the outdoor fair? Admin3: In conjunction with the fair that will be happening, we are also having a recruitment event for high school juniors! Admin3: Lots of food & fun, and if you like crawfish you shouldnâ€™t miss it, Neel! Admin3: Welcome, apples! Admin3: How is your student doing? We have talked a little about exams, which start on April 25th. Admin1: Neel, great question and about all I know is that it is Noon - 3pm on West Lawn by West Hall - besides the crawfish, outdoor games for all ages. Also, Friday night there is a concert at Rose Theatre Hawthorne Heights at 8pm - tickets are $7 for students - I am too old to know of them - does anyone else? apples: I read some information in the Helms that indicated that the graduation rate for Black students is about 10 percent fewer than white students. What is being done to support the Black students and help improve the graduation rate of Black students? neel: Oh that sounds like fun! I'll make sure my daughter knows about it. Admin3: Great question, Apples! Admin1: Neel, you could even come with her! Admin3: We have tons of initiatives that help support minority students. Do you have a son or daughter?
apples: I have a daughter who is a junior. She should be graduating next year. The information from the Helmsman has caused me a bit of concern. Admin1: Apples, Dr. Porter will tell you about some of the programs, but just today I noticed that our retention rates for Blacks are improving. For example, a 3% increase in one-year retention rates from Fall 04 to Fall 06 (that is the rate from Fall 06 - Fall 07) that number does sound big but it is a good increase. neel: Sad, I would but I'm in Wyoming. By the way, thank you for doing these chats! It really helps us parents who are soooo far! Also, my daughter has had some trouble in English this year and I tried to tell her to see if she could get some help on campus, but I didn't know of anything. For future reference, does the University offer any sort of English tutoring or proofreading of papers, etc? Razz007: Admin1, I think it's wonderful how the university keeps the parents in the loop. Admin1: Apples, many students all over the country do not graduate in 4 years - most comparative research looks at six-year graduation rates. Admin1: Thank you, Razz007. That helps a lot. Are there other ways we could help you even more? Admin2: Apples, this is a subject of concern for us. We have several programs in place to address this and we are always looking for ways to improve. For example, our Student Support Services program is in its third year of providing support to students. They are having good results which should improve graduation rates in the long run. Also, this year our Minority Student Affairs department received a grant to establish a peer mentor program which is designed to improve retention and ultimately graduation rates. Admin3: Neel, we do offer tutoring for students in all disciplines. The Educational Support Program has an English learning center that is Mon-Thu 8am -7pm and on Fridays from 8am-noon. It's located in Patterson Hall, the English Building. Razz007: Admin1, I don't believe so. However, keeping lines of communication open is a constant biggie. neel: Great! Thanks! I'll pass that along to her....it's easier to make a suggestion to her when I know what to tell her =) Admin1: I was at an event yesterday where our Police Services said that once again last year we were the safest campus in the state of Tennessee - that is really something to be proud of! apples: I am aware that many of the universities are now focusing on five or six years for graduation, but if my daughter only has 30 hours, shouldn't she actually graduate. She has
worked very hard to try and finish her degree within the four years of matriculation. Admin1: yes, that should definitely be her goal - 15 hours each semester. Especially if she doesn't have to work a lot, it should be possible. My second child is graduating next month in 4 years and that is a HUGE relief!! Admin3: It is very realistic for students to graduate in 4 years, and if she is only lacking 30 hours, 15 hours per semester is doable. Razz007: Admin1, I think it's great regarding the university being the safest in the state. I know that my student spends a lot of time at the library and utilizes tiger patrol all the time. neel: My daughter is coming home this summer after her freshman year and she's my first child in college....any advice since I know it may be different for her being back home for the summer after being away for so long? Admin1: That is great Razz007 - I am glad to hear of Tiger Patrol being of service. TigerFan95: Our daughter reports that construction on the new student university center seems to have picked up. When is it scheduled to be completed? neel: My daughter uses tiger patrol too and I'm so thankful for that service! Thank you! Admin3: Neel, just be aware that your student will be accustomed to much more freedom than she was probably used to at home. It may take some adjusting on both parties. Just keep that in mind. Admin2: Apples, I will add to Admin1's comment that she should stay in close touch with her advisor to make sure she is on target to graduate in four years. Many students who graduate in four years find that they have to go to summer school a time or two to make that goal. But it can and is often done so it is certainly reasonable for you to keep encouraging her to make sure she is on target. Admin1: Fall 09, TigerFan95. Dr. Porter works with it every day and things are getting exciting. Have you looked at the on-line web cameras of the construction project http://saweb.memphis.edu/uc/newuc/ConstructionWebCam.htm? apples: Will the U of M ever offer a parent weekend early in October or November during one of the game weekends? Even though my daughter has only one year left, I would love to come for a Parent Weekend. TigerFan95: Glad to hear that! What are the highlights of the new student center that are aimed at improving student experiences?
Admin1: Apples, I love that question. We have had years with a parents weekend and years without. We had a Family Weekend this past weekend and are already talking about something in the fall, possibly during homecoming! It is hard to find the right "fit" for this event for our campus. Truthfully, when parents come to campus, they may come to one event and then they mainly want to see their child - which usually means going out to eat, to the grocery, to Target, etc.! TigerFan95: Thanks for the link, Admin1. We'll be sure to check it out. apples: Thanks for the reminder about my daughter staying in touch with her advisor. She says so little about an advisor that I actually forget to remind her to check with her advisor. The last time that I heard her talk about her was during her sophomore year. Is the advisor the same person for all four years? Admin2: Apples, I think I misunderstood you about the 30 hours. I thought you meant she only had 30 hours instead of 30 hours to go. That's great that she's so close. But it's probably even more important for her to talk to her advisor soon to be sure she will make her goal. Admin1: And be sure her Intent to Graduate forms are all filed WAY in advance with the advisor! Admin3: Her advisor is likely the same if she declared a major early on, if not she may have started with a general advisor and now has one within her major. Admin1: We have very impressive Commencement programs, Apples. Hope you will be here! We still have the students walk across the stage with their names called individually. Many schools do not still do that. Razz007: What are the university do's and donâ€™ts for keeping a car on campus? (besides having it registered) Admin1: Apples, what is her major? Admin2: TigerFan95, we are so excited about what the new UC will bring to students on the campus. Starting with the first floor, we will have a large food court, a sit-down restaurant, a 350 seat theater, as well as student lounge space. The other two floors will have a state of the art computer lab, post office, print/copy service, and some great space for student organizations, and several meeting rooms of varying size, including a large ballroom. Admin3: Razz, students can have cars, but they often have a hard time parking in the specified areas! Always remind your student to only park where her permit allows. That way there won't be any lingering parking fines at the end of the semester. Beyond that,
there are very few do's & donâ€™ts. Razz007: Admin3, thanks. TigerFan95: That does sound very exciting, Admin2. Hope my daughter will get to experience some of that before she graduates! Admin1: Just be sure she doesn't break the parking gates, etc.!! We now have cameras!! Admin1: Just kidding, Razz007. Admin3: I have enjoyed chatting with you all! I have another commitment and have to head out a little early. Razz007: Admin1, lol. Thanks. Admin1: Any final questions or suggestions? apples: My daughter is a Manage Information Systems (MIS) major. My husband and I certainly do plan to attend the graduation ceremony. We can't wait. We have one graduating from Vanderbilt May 9th this year, and we can't wait for the U of M next year. neel: I didn't get to go to the parents weekend this year....what all does it include? TigerFan95: We were also told that there are other construction projects underway on campus. Would you list what some of those are? Admin1: Congratulations, Apples! I went to Vanderbilt - a LONG time ago!! My son graduates from UNC on May 11, Motherâ€™s Day! Admin1: Apples, she should have lots of career options with MIS - impressive! Admin1: Neel, parents weekend included some athletic events, a leadership awards program, a reception with the President and other administrators, and a great closing event called All-Sing where fraternities and sororities pair up and perform - this year the theme was Broadway and the winning team performed songs from "Hairspray"! Admin2: TigerFan95, we have two other big projects. The university has taken over the historic post office building downtown and a major renovation project is underway for our Law School to move there. We have also started on a major new 495 bed residence complex on campus, which will be ready for fall 2010. Razz007: Admin1, I know you are very proud of your son? UNC is a great school as well. My student was born just up the road from Tar Heel country.
apples: My daughter there at the U of M is a MIS major. Is she suppose to have an advisor in the MIS department? I just spoke with her, and she doesn't. Admin1: Well, I was sort of relieved that the final game was not UNC vs. Memphis would have been tough. I was glad I could just pull for my Tigers!! Admin1: Apples, she should have an advisor in the Business College for sure. If she wants to contact me, I'd be glad to talk with her about it - Meta Laabs @ 678-5271 or firstname.lastname@example.org. neel: Great- thanks for the info! TigerFan95: Wonderful news, Admin2. Thanks. Razz007: Admin1, I think it would have been a great game. I would have been conflicted myself due to tied in NC. Admin1: We have enjoyed being "with" you all tonight. We'll announce our next chat in the parent e-news. Any topic suggestions? If not, GO TIGERS!!! apples: Thank you so much, Admin1. neel: GO TIGERS!! We're cheering for them all the way in Wyoming! Razz007: It's been great! Have a good evening. Bye. neel: Thank you all! Good night! Admin1: Well, that is great, Neel!! I think we have like 60 alumni clubs around the country! Admin1: We all say Good Night and Good Evening, whatever of it is left!! TigerFan95: Thanks again for your time! Have a great evening. Admin1: You also, TigerFan95 - and thank you!!