WESTERN CONNECTIONS

Volume 1, Issue 1 October 2010

Welcome to our Parent Connections Newsletter
Are you interested in knowing what is happening on campus but feel you aren’t always in the know of what is happening with your son or daughter? The parent newsletter is meant to be an important link between campus and your family. We have contacted some key areas to provide information for families of Western students. We hope you find this information helpful. Important Links: Student Guide 2010-2011: This guide is a definitive source of all things “Western” http://westerncalendar.uwo.ca/StudentGuide.html Academic Calendar: http://westerncalendar.uwo.ca/2010/index.html As you may be aware, the Faculty Association and one of our staff groups are approaching a strike deadline. For up to date information on the negotiations please visit: http://communications.uwo.ca/contract_negotiations/index.htm

Parents Play a Powerful Role
Some of you miss doing their laundry; others are glad that the house no longer smells. Some of you enjoy the extra space at home, others bought a pet just to fill the void. Whether I met you or not, it was my pleasure to be one of the facilitators of the Parent Program this past summer during Summer Academic Orientation (SAO). I was the guy who introduced the session by showing you my teddy bear and saying that we are not just talking about grades and textbooks, rather, we are talking about the success of human beings. In my 4 years as a Western student and 3 years as a Residence Manager, I was fortunate enough to cross paths with parents on a frequent basis. You were the people carrying containers filled with leftovers into the residence every Thanksgiving Monday when students returned to campus. You were the people who nudged your London-based child to get to school and participate in events. You were the people who pretended you weren’t crying on every move-in day (but some of you did, because I saw you). Most importantly, you are the people on the home front who indirectly place a university degree in the hands of your child. As every new student at Western shuffles through study notes, crams inside cubicles and memorizes the methods of Professorial minds, review your own notes and remember the power of your parenting subtleties. Instill confidence in your child by reminding them how proud you are of them for being part of a truly unbelievable university community. Admire your child for mastering the internet and having the ability to connect with students on campus and around the planet. Acknowledge the growth they have already made and the positive steps they are taking to feel comfortable in their new setting. Keep planting seeds of curiosity in their young minds so they continuously thirst for more education, excitement and experience while they indulge in life at Western. Facilitating Parent Program was more than an info session. It was an opportunity to cross paths with the mentors, guides and heroes of the thousands of new students who are changing the Western world. You are playing an integral role in the success of your future Western grad. Thank you.

INSIDE THIS ISSUE

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Welcome Parents Play a Powerful Role - Blake Fleischacker Internship and Co-op Opportunities at Western Student Wellness Information for Parents Campus Events and Campus Involvement Service Learning at Western

Blake Fleischacker,
Author, Professional Speaker, Former Residence Manager
Blake is the author of the new book “Campus Gets Wasted: The Life That Exists Between The Books And The Bars.” He sends thanks to the parents who have already purchased the book as a holiday gift and is offering a special price of $10.00 + FREE shipping to the first 10 parents who email him at blake@blakefly.com interested in the book (regularly priced at $15.00 + shipping). For information about Blake’s speaking programs, visit his website at www.blakefly.com.
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Internships and Co-op Opportunities at Western
Internship and co-op work terms allow students to be employed in settings that provide experiences that are directly related to their academic degree programs and career objectives. Students are discovering that applied learning, such as co-ops and internships provide the necessary practical experiences that are required to build their resumes. Employers definitely see the benefits of hiring and training students with several years of academic education, to take on major projects and responsibilities. Both students and employers may find that there is a good match of interests, leading to a full time job offer after graduation. For organizations, co-operative education work terms allow them the opportunity to train their future workforce. Internships and co-ops allow students to be experienced job applicants when seeking employment after graduation. In fact, many employers consider internship experience during the hiring process, and often look to their own interns as the best potential candidates for full-time positions. Many students end their work term with an offer to return to the organization, after they complete their studies. In some cases, a degree-related internship can count toward professional accreditation. Depending on the academic program, internships and co-ops can range from a minimum of 140 hours to a maximum of 16 months. Some employment can occur during the academic term, while other opportunities allow for students to participate in longer, full-time jobs, away from their courses and studies. While many placements are paid, some do not offer monetary compensation, but provide students with valuable experience. Co-operative education is recommended to those students who do not have any work experience in their field. It is an opportunity to “sample” a career path and obtain answers to questions about a particular career field. Internships and co-op programs have many advantages for students. gain practical experience in their chosen career field potential to earn a salary during a work term sample a career path and make decisions about job compatibility build their resume (experience, skills, contacts) gain confidence in their abilities Albert Einstein said…”The only source of knowledge is experience”. http://success.uwo.ca/index.cfm/experience/internships/

Student Wellness Information for Parents
At Western, we recognize the challenges your student faces as s/he makes the transition to university and independence. We also recognize that, as parents, you have a continuing interest in your child's progress and experience at university. This time is a transition period for you as well, and throughout this section, we've provided some suggestions on how you can help your student succeed with a new life on campus. We’ve consulted a number of valuable resources and combined them with our experience in understanding the rhythm of the year, not only in terms of academics, but of personal wellness issues as well. While every student is different and has his or her own unique characteristics, there are some common areas experienced by students overall that we identify throughout the academic year, and address through concentrated programming and support services in residence. For information on students’ particular needs and challenges throughout the year, please click on any month in the link provided below. In it, you’ll find a list of commonly experienced issues, some of the programming responses we conduct in residence, as well as ways that you as a parent can help support your student as s/he responds to these challenges. We recognize that, even though your child is now living away from home, your involvement in your student’s life continues to be an important element to his or her wellbeing and development.

LINK TO WELLNESS CALENDAR:
WWW.HAS.UWO.CA/HOUSING/RESIDENCE/ PARENTS/CALENDAR_INDEX.HTM

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CAMPUS EVENTS
Here is a sample of some of the upcoming events and information weeks happening on campus. For more events see the Event Calendar at: http://events.uwo.ca/cgibin/events.pl?Op=ShowIt&CalendarName=WesternEvents and http://westerncalendar.uwo.ca/pdfs/calendarpages.pdf

Campus Involvement
Here at Western we encourage all incoming students to get involved. Whether they join a club, a council, a sports team, or volunteer in the greater London community, participating in an extra-curricular activity or two is a great way to meet new people and reduce any stress brought on by the academic challenge. While it is important to recognize that academics should take precedence, a well-balanced lifestyle will enrich the first-year experience and set the bar for years to come. Western’s Clubs week will help students gain understanding of some of the activities they can get involved in. Involvement can be accomplished in many many ways. Students often just need to discover their own niche! Here are some of the popular links: University Student Council: http://usc.uwo.ca Residence Involvement: speak with staff member in residence Service Learning: www.westernserves.uwo.ca or http://cslnetwork.uwo.ca Alternative Spring Break: www.asb.uwo.ca Leadership and Mentorship Program: http://lamp.uwo.ca Society of Off Campus Students: http://socs.uwo.ca Leadership Education: http://lep.uwo.ca/ Western’s Volunteer Program: http://wvp.uwo.ca Student Development Centre: http://www.sdc.uwo.ca/ Student Emergency Response Team: http://www.sert.uwo.ca Foot Patrol: http://www.uwo.ca/footpatrol Gazette Newspaper: http://www.gazette.uwo.ca/volunteers.cfm Campus Recreation: http://www.westernmustangs.ca/

IMPORTANT DATES
INTERNATIONAL EXCHANGE FAIR: NOV 12TH
UNIVERSITY COMMUNITY CENTRE – ATRIUM TIME: 9:00AM-3:00PM

HIV/AIDS AWARENESS WEEK: NOV 22-26
UNIVERSITY COMMUNITY CENTRE

WHITE RIBBON CAMPAIGN: NOV 29-DEC3
UNIVERSITY COMMUNITY CENTRE

MID-YEAR EXAM PERIOD: DEC 10-21 FIRST DAY OF CLASSES (WINTER TERM): JAN 3 OSAP PICK-UP: JAN 4-7 & 10-14
THE GREAT HALL, SOMERVILLE HOUSE TIME: 9:00AM-4:00PM *JAN 14 – TIME: 9:00AM-12:00PM

Below: Students on a trip to Mexico as part of the Alternative Spring Break Program.

USC NOMINATIONS OPEN: JAN 13
MORE INFORMATION AT HTTP://WWW.USC.UWO.CA/ELECTIONS/

CAREER WEEK: JAN 31-FEB 4 JOB FAIR: FEB 3
WESTERN STUDENT RECREATION CENTRE

MULTICULTURAL WEEK: FEB 14-18
UCC ATRIUM

READING WEEK: FEB 21-25
NO CLASSES THIS WEEK

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SERVICE-LEARNING – What’s the hype?
While your child studies at Western, we want their resume to be full of rich experiences, both within and outside the classroom. Service-learning provides an opportunity for your son or daughter to engage in meaningful community development activities that connect with their academic learning and encourage their personal growth. Increasingly, Western faculty members are offering courses that include a service placement in the London community. Students are encouraged to relate their experience with a non-profit agency to concepts explored in lectures and assigned readings. This practical, hands-on experience helps students to makes sense of class material, and feel like they are able to make a difference. Additionally, Western offers co-curricular service learning programs in which all students can participate including Western Serves, a one-day community service program on September 25 that had faculty, staff and students volunteering together at local agencies. Stemming from Western Serves is a brand new initiative called the Community Service Learning Network (CSLN). Based on feedback from Western Serves, it became apparent that Western students were interested in more long-term volunteer opportunities. The CSLN provides these opportunities and allows students to get more involved in the greater London community on a yearlong basis. Upperyear student volunteers, Service Learning Facilitators, are paired with various community partners (e.g. The Boys and Girls Club of London). Interested students are then given the opportunity to sign up for the experience that most appeals to them. Alternative Spring Break is an annual program that sends 150 students around the world during Reading Week to participate in service projects such as building homes with Habitat for Humanity, providing medical clinics to underserviced communities in Nicaragua, or working with orphaned and abandoned children in the Dominican Republic. Visit www.westernserves.uwo.ca , http://cslnetwork.uwo.ca , and, www.asb.uwo.ca to learn more about these exciting programs! No matter your child’s interest, he or she will be able to find a service-learning program that fits. You can help encourage your son or daughter to seek out these experiences as they will undoubtedly add value to their Western degree, and enhance the sense of belonging they feel to the London community!

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