Family Connections Late FALL 2014

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Family Connections - an informational publication for parents and families of Robert Morris University students.


  • Family Connections is a publication designed for the parents and families of Robert Morris University students. It is compiled by

    the Office of Student Life and printed in cooperation with the Office of Public Relations and Marketing. Editions are printed in

    the fall, winter, and spring of each academic year. We are interested in your feedback about this publication. Email your

    comments and suggestions to




    The fall semester is already in full swing. Theleaves on campus are beginning to change colorsand students are beginning to choose their warmRMU sweatshirts and apparel for class. Some ofour traditional fall events are beginning to takeplace such as Homecoming Weekend,OktoberFest, Sorority recruitment, and the CareerExpo.

    The Office of Student Life has been promoting theopportunities for students to get involved oncampus since they arrived in August. Whether anew or returning student, there are numerousopportunities for students to complement theiracademic studies, build their leadership skills, gainnew experiences, connect with classmates, staff,and faculty, and frankly just have fun! The RMUStudent Government Association has alreadyapproved new student organization charters thissemester including Gamma Sigma Sigma servicesorority, the Mechatronics Engineering Club,

    Hillel, and a chapter of the American Society ofMechanical Engineers.

    This issue of Family Connections highlights some ofthe co-curricular opportunities available oncampus. We encourage you to review this issuewith your student and have them share more withyou about the student groups and campusopportunities that have become involved in andengaged with so far this semester.

    John MichalenkoVice President of Student Life and Dean of Students

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    RESIDENCE HALL ASSOCIATIONThe Residence Hall Association (RHA) is astudent run organization that allows residentstudents to be more involved in the decisionsthat affect their residence hall experience.Members of this organization work withResidence Life to make policy recommendations,propose hall improvements, make diningimprovements, and provide additionalprogramming throughout the year. Theresidential community annually elects theExecutive Committee, and each hall elects HallOfficers that serve to implement the mission of

    the organization. All residence hall students areencouraged to apply for these leadershippositions. All students are also invited tobecome part RHAs Dining committee orProgramming committee.

    Encourage your student to contact CharlesForrester, RHAs advisor at forrester@rmu.eduto get involved.

    RESIDENCE HALL COMMUNITY SERVICE PROJECTSThroughout September and October thedepartment of Residence Life and CivicEngagement Office is partnering to offerstudents opportunities to serve the surroundingcommunity with their Residence Hall. Ifstudents are looking for a way to connect toRMU, establish new friendships, and serve thecommunity, this program is perfect for them.

    Service partners will be assigned to eachresidence hall allowing students to sign up fortheir preferred event.

    Have your student contact Charles Forrester for more information.

    REC-BY-STUDENTS INITIATIVERobert Morris University offers a wide array ofintramural programs, club sports teams andfitness programming. There is an opportunityfor everyone to participate in intramural andclub sports at RMU through the Recreation byStudents Initiative. Through Rec-by-Students,

    residential students can plan intramural events,create teams, and participate in a wide variety ofevents put on by students and staff members.

    Tell your student to contact Desmond McCoy for more information.


    COMMUNITY ADVISOR (CA) LEADERSHIP OPPORTUNITYBecoming a member of the para-professionalstaff in the Office of Residence Life can be anoutstanding leadership experience! TheCommunity Advisor position is an importantposition at the university. Residents base muchof their perception of the university on theirresidence hall experience and the CommunityAdvisor is crucial for setting the tone in theappropriate residence hall. A CommunityAdvisor is expected to implement the policies

    and procedures of Residence Life. They will alsoneed to be a thinker and doer, and will beactively involved in decisions and activities thatwill contribute to a strong living-learningcommunity at Robert Morris University.

    Encourage your student to find moreinformation about becoming a CA on ourwebsite at

    NATIONAL RESIDENCE HALL HONORARY (NRHH)NRHH is looking for new members for the Fall2014 semester. The RMU Chapter of the NationalResidence Hall Honorary (NRHH) annuallyaccepts into membership the top one percent ofthe total number of students who live in ourresidence halls. The pillars of NRHH includerecognition, service, leadership and scholarship.

    This group has recently moved to be a more active organization on campus and this semester will be working on recognizingexceptional students, groups and staff on campus. We will also be involved in communityservice projects with area organizations, including Animal Friends.

    This year, a large number of our members will begraduating, so we are in need of new membersboth in the fall and spring semester.Requirements for membership include a gradepoint average of at least a 3.25 on the RMU 4.00grade scale; students must have lived in theresidence halls at RMU for two consecutivesemesters, including the present semester.

    Students are asked to attend meetings every other Monday at 8 P.M. NRHH hasregional and national opportunities for studentleaders to serve. Once an active NRHH member,students can serve on the regional board ofdirectors and even seek and hold a position in the national organization.

    The application and reference form can also befound at Formore information like our page on Facebook atRMU National Residence Hall Honorary orplease contact their advisor, Liz Holt, Tell your student about thiswonderful opportunity.

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    Its that time of year! Influenza is a virus thatinfects the nose, throat, windpipe and lungs. It is highly contagious and is spread from oneperson to another by coughing, sneezing or eventalking.Symptoms occur suddenly such as fever,chills, muscle aches, congestion, cough, runnynose and difficulty breathing. Because influenza is a virus, it can't be successfully treated withantibiotics. Individuals who have the followingmedical conditions should consider receiving the influenza vaccine:

    Asthma, Chronic lung diseases (COPD and CysticFibrosis), Cardiac disease, Blood disorders (sicklecell disease), endocrine disorders such as diabetes,Kidney disorders, Liver disorders, Metabolicdisorders, Weakened immune systems due toHIV/AIDS or cancer.

    The following locations near campus offer the vaccine:

    Students and families are encouraged to contactyour insurance company by way of the 1-800number on the back of the card to determine ifyour insurance is accepted by these providers.Remind your student to wash his/her handsfrequently, cover his/her coughs, eat a wellbalanced diet with adequate fluid intake and getat least eight hours of sleep per night to assist thebody in maintaining good health.


    Kmart 825 Beaver Grade Road, Moon Twp., PA 15108412-262-1570

    Rite Aid5990 University Blvd. Moon Twp., PA 15108412-262-2161

    Walgreens Take care clinic6906 University Blvd. Moon Twp., PA 15108412-269-2501

    Giant Eagle5990 University Blvd. Moon Twp., PA 15108412-269-0254


    The Nu Gamma Chapter of Kappa Kappa Psi,national honorary band service fraternity, isgearing up for a great year in service and music.The mission of Kappa Kappa Psi is to promotecollege bands, create well rounded leaders, and toprovide service to college bands. In 2012, thischapter was formed under the guidance of 11students who wanted to serve the Robert MorrisShow Band. And they did just that, whether itwas setting up rehearsal spaces, providing snacks,or being there for a fellow band member, NuGamma stepped up to the plate.

    Since its conception, the Robert Morris chapter ofKappa Kappa Psi has grown in numbers andthese brothers participate in many activitiesthroughout the university. This year alone thechapter is planning service for the band,university, and community.

    The Robert Morris Show Band is an importantpart for Nu Gamma because it is where themembers got their start. The chapter has a pepbin this year that includes face paint, beads, hairspray, and signs to enhance the atmosphere atfootball, basketball, and hockey games and createmore spirit overall. They also provide water andsnacks and hold social activities for the band.A big project this year for the chapter will be theMonth of Music which takes place in November.

    This month is dedicated to raising awarenessabout music and promoting its existence. Thebrothers of Kappa will be hosting a radio showthat focuses on the teaching of music. NuGamma also helps recruit new students to cometo Robert Morris through working with highschools or working during registration days. Service to the community is also very important.This year, the Nu Gamma chapter adopted ahighway in Coraopolis that they will clean severaltimes a year. This keeps the community lookinggreat, and also provides service opportunities forband members. The chapter also helps with theannual Hair Cut-A-Thon which raises money tosupport muscular dystrophy. Every year, brothersgo to Coraopolis Days to make crafts with thekids. They also perform in small ensembles there.

    Through this service, brothers learn how to begood leaders, how to plan events, or tocommunicate with others, and how to be the bestthey can be. Whether its out in the community,around campus, or right in their own band, theNu Gamma chapter of Kappa Kappa Psi is alwaysready to help.


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    RMU launched the Womens Leadership andMentorship Program (WLMP) this fall. TheWLMP seeks to attract, retain and empowerwomen students so they can achieve leadershiproles both at RMU and in their lives aftergraduation.

    Through a four-year enriched experience for 20-25women undergraduates each year, the WLMPteaches leadership skills and providesopportunities that foster young womens ability tocontribute, lead, and engage in mutuallybeneficial mentoring relationships. Each cohortmember is partnered with an upper-class peermentor and faculty mentor for her four years atRobert Morris University; when they reach theirjunior year, cohort members will have theopportunity to partner with an RMU staff mentorand RMU alumnae.

    The WLMP welcomed 22 first-year students to itsinaugural cohort this fall. These young womenhave outstanding academic records, work in theircommunities, and are interesting! One student hasher own nonprofit organization; another trains

    Labrador retrievers; three students play the flute;and another student built wells in Niger, Africa.They represent each of the schools at RMU andare paired with 22 bright and supportive peermentors. Each cohort member and her peermentor attended an orientation at the BayerCenter for Nonprofit Management in August tokick off the 2014/15 academic year and to begindialogue about leadership and gender.

    The WLMP is committed to all women at RMUand serves the larger campus community ofwomen through a series of leadership, mentoring,and networking events throughout the year. Markyour calendar now for the Celebration of WomenLuncheon, to be held at noon on Friday,November 7th in the Sewall Center. This event issponsored by the Womens Leadership AdvisoryCouncil and is open to faculty, staff, and students.



    The Office of Engaged Learning is a great placefor your student to learn about opportunities forcampus involvement. The objective of engagedlearning is to provide a more holistic learningexperience for your student, encouraging anactive connection between classroom and extra-curricular activities. It is our goal to enrich yourstudents undergraduate experience withengaged learning opportunities that supportpersonal growth, community engagement, andprofessional development. Your studentsengaged learning activities are documented onthe Student Engagement Transcript (SET), acompanion to your students academictranscript and a graduation requirement for allundergraduate students.

    Oftentimes, the SET documents activities yourstudent is already involved with. Does yourstudent enjoy volunteering in the community?Is your student planning to study abroad, writea thesis, or complete an internship? Does yourstudent hold a leadership role in any clubs ororganizations? All of these activities and more are recorded on the SET.

    As you see the many opportunities forinvolvement across campus detailed in this issueof Family Connections, remember that many ofthem can also help your student complete theSET graduation requirements. Whether yourstudent is already very involved on campus, orjust starting to seek out opportunities, we arehere to help! Encourage your student to stop by

    the Office of Engaged Learning to explorehis/her options for completing the SETrequirements and learn about the new onlinesubmission process for SET activities.

    Anthony Moretti, Ph.D.Director, CITADELPatrick Henry

    Terri ByrnesAssistant Director, Engaged LearningPatrick Henry

    Samantha MoikEngaged Learning SpecialistPatrick Henry

    Renee LylesSecretaryPatrick Henry


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    Every resident will go through a bumpy patchwith their roommate sometime this year. Weknow as a parent you on the on frontline, fieldingthat call from an upset student or getting a textthat concerns you. As a parent, you have animportant role in providing your student withsupport but also letting your student workthrough their own situations so they can developtheir own coping strategies and find their ownresolution. Here are some tools that can help youdeal with this phone call/text/facebook messagefrom your student:

    Has your student talked to his or her roommate about his/her concern? If so, how did your student approach their roommate(s)? Did they have a calm demeanor?

    The roommate(s) is/are not going to know what is upsetting your student unless the roommate(s) are told of the issue. Stress your son/daughters communication with their roommate. Suggestion they calm down before talking to his/her roommate(s) so the conversa...