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Registration and More

Registration is this week.  It’s been going on for upperclassmen, and most first-years will begin tomorrow evening.  For those families who are new to the game:  please, please urge your students to check their Holds and Registration Status in WIN (under Virtual Campus).  If they have a hold (which could be an unpaid parking ticket, a fee, etc.) they MUST clear that before they are able to register.  Since registration happens after 5 pm, they need to clear all holds/make payments before 4 pm.

This is from the Registrar’s web site: “All HOLDS must be cleared prior to Registration Rounds appointment times. Check in WINfor any registration holds.  All holds must be cleared before Registration Rounds. For further instruction, please visit our Registration How-To page.  Offices such as Finance & Accounting, ZSR, etc. will NOT be available to remove holds after 4 p.m.  In addition, the Office of the University Registrar staff cannot remove a hold placed by another office.”

And if they have technical questions during Registration, here is how to access help after hours.

In other news, I spent an hour or two in Farrell Hall this morning for meetings with students and others.  That facility continues to impress.  During the time I was there, I saw students going to Einstein’s Bagels to get breakfast or coffee (and must admit, their egg and cheese bagel sandwiches smelled fantastic!).  A small number of students were hunkered down at tables with laptops or books.  That number grew as we got closer to 11 am.

You could tell when classes were changing by the sudden influx of people coming in doors and going up and down the stairs on either side of the Living Room.  The acoustics of that room are great, by the way – even with a ton of people there having individual conversations as they sit or walk through, you can still hear.  It’s not like the ‘beehive’ sound you get in Reynolda with a Green Room full of people talking.  The high ceiling really makes a difference.

At lunch I walked all across campus and around the perimeter.  It is a glorious day.  As cold as it had been over the weekend, today was mid 60s and sunny.  The fall leaves are still gorgeous, but starting to thin out as more and more drop to the ground.  The construction (or demolition, rather) at the old tennis courts is going along at a brisk pace.  They have removed a lot of the pavement and the old stadium seating is gone.  Several trees were cut down to allow for the construction, but don’t worry, the schema I saw for the outdoor view of the new building will be nicely landscaped.

The new field turf on what we call ‘Watertower Field’ across from Worrell Professional Center looks really nice.  It has good turf and lots of soccer goals and such out there.  Great way for students to work off some steam and get some exercise.

Forecast calls for us to cool off later in the week and the weekend.   Best enjoy the sun and warmth while it is here.

 

Messy. Beautiful. Uncomfortable. Enlightening. Worth it.

Last night was our Deliberative Dialogue exercise.  About 325 students, faculty, and staff participated.  We began in Wait Chapel with remarks from President Hatch about the importance of having face to face conversations about difficult issues, and how if some of our Wake Foresters feel on the margins or marginalized, do we as a community have a responsibility to think about that and find solutions?

We watched a video with dramatic readings from students about their Wake Forest experiences (no names or faces or other attribution to who said what).  Students had been asked “When does Wake Forest feel like home?” – and responses ranged from the very positive, where people said they felt like this was their place, the best place, etc.

Other students, though, had different thoughts – that sometimes it doesn’t feel like home, or that they don’t belong – for whatever reason.  Students were asked “When does Wake Forest not feel like home?’  Some cited discomfort at not feeling like they could conform to the majority opinions, styles of dress, or behaviors (“I can’t afford to go out to eat with all the other girls”), or because of their race.

For me personally, the most poignant response was from a young man who said (and I am paraphrasing) ‘When I am with my fraternity brothers and they are saying something sexist/disparaging about a girl and I tell them to stop, I end up being alienated from them.  But if they do that and I say nothing, I hate myself as much as I hate them.’

Wow.

Following that film, Vice President Penny Rue spoke to the group, and then we all adjorned to individual discussion groups of about 18-20 people each, plus a moderator to help direct the conversation, as well as a recorder.

There is a certain amount of trust and confidentiality that has to be present within these discussion groups (as one of my fellow moderators said, ‘It’s sort of like an AA meeting; you don’t disclose what people say there’), so I won’t go chapter and verse about my particular group’s conversation.  However, having talked to some other moderators, I can make some observations about the evening.

Each group talked about three potential perspectives on how we might address ways to be a more inclusive and diverse community.  One perspective was that we might focus efforts on recruiting and retaining more diverse faculty, staff, students, and even volunteer leaders.  In other words, if we have greater diversity (racial, socioeconomic, gender identity, religion, etc.) we will have a greater opportunity to understand and celebrate difference and be a more cohesive community.

A second perspective is that we might focus efforts on reviewing or revising policies and practices that might promote inequity (things like policing policies at parties – which has already been revised, actually -,  how lounge spaces are allocated, or whether we need to revisit admissions policies so we go back to being ‘need blind’ – or admitting all qualified applicants regardless of parental income).

The third perspective to consider was that community change has to begin in the classroom, at the heart of the academic mission of the school – to include classes and co-curricular opportunities to discuss the thorny issues of race, class, gender, sexuality, difference – and if we better prepare our students to wrestle with these issues, community will follow.

There are many tough parts of these dialogues.  Each discussion group is intentionally formed so that there is representation from lots of different areas of campus.  One student’s negative experience with party management might be something another participant has never experienced.  Or the perspective a faculty or staff member expresses about the Greek system might be hard for a current Greek student to hear.  The intent is not to cause tension, but to be sure we can hear from as many areas of our community as possible.

Across all groups, I am sure, people shared personal experiences that ran a broad spectrum from positive to negative, to being aware of issues to having no idea they existed.  Some people might be aware of ‘lightning rod’ major issues, while others see or experience ‘microagressions’ that you might miss unless you are part of the group those are directed toward.  I’d be willing to bet there were discussions of privilege, of lack of understanding about other people’s struggles, whatever those may be.

Those things are messy.  Hard to hear.  Uncomfortable to talk about.  Potentially dividing and divisive.  And if you just stopped there, it would be a dreadful exercise.

But – and here is where it gets beautiful – Deliberative Dialogue is civil discourse at its best.  Instead of people just voting on which of the three perspectives might be the best for Wake Forest, every group had to weigh pros and cons of each.  Talk about the compromises and trade offs that could come if we did X as an institution over Y.  For example, if a group said that one way to optimize our community is to ensure a wider socioeconomic section of students is recruited, the tradeoff is that it will require a lot more money in financial aid or scholarships.  Do you siphon that money away from somewhere else? If so, where?  Resources are finite.

In each of the groups, we were asked to see if we could come to common ground anywhere – whether that was agreeing that one of the three perspectives might make the most sense for Wake Forest, or if some of each perspective was viable and valuable.  Common ground for some might have been that the group could agree that we want a better, stronger community and it was worth working for.  In my group, we had many items of common ground that I was really proud to hear.

At the end of the discussion, each group had the opportunity to look at the common ground items and recommend action items – both what we think could/should happen institutionally, and also what each of us pledge to do individually to make a difference in our community.  I suspect/hope that many folks left the dialogue with an idea that they are going to take some new or different actions now that will help the greater good.

And that is where it is enlightening and worth it.  People’s minds can be opened or changed by chewing on thorny issues.  People can pledge to be different in ways that matter.  I know I have my own set of personal action items.  As I told my group, my Wake Forest is broader now that I have heard some of their voices and perspectives.

Now the million dollar question: where do we go from here?  All the group moderators/recorders are charged with writing up discussion notes from their group.  Those get funneled to the exercise organizers, who will analyze the results and look for common themes or calls to action.  And then all the people who participated in the discussions will be invited to join an Action Team if they want to continue to work toward an identified goal or outcome.  The conversation can continue and people can get their hands dirty and do more if they wish to.

It seems especially fitting to me that our Deliberative Dialogue took place the night before election day.  Whether it is through discussion groups or your ballot at the polls, we have the ability and freedom to make our voices heard and to effect positive change where we live.   In my mind, being part of the process is always better than sitting on the sidelines.

Many thanks to everyone who came out lastnight, to the organizers, moderators, and recorders.  Can’t wait to see what we can do working together for the best Wake Forest.

 

 

Impressionism Monday

It’s been a busy day for the Daily Deac.  I’m  prepping to be a moderator for the Deliberative Dialogue event tonight, and there have been several meetings and forays across campus.

So I thought today we’d do an Impressionism Daily Deac: “The term Impressionism has also been used to describe works of literature in which a few select details suffice to convey the sensory impressions of an incident or scene” (from Wikipedia).

– Cold in the morning

– Benson food court at noon – seemed like long lines for everything except Shorty’s and the Grab N Go

– Glitter Headband Girl walking on the sidewalk, silver glitter glowing in the sun.  (Rock on that you have the confidence to be that bold!)

11 3 14 construction- Construction truck near Reynolds Gym.  What had been the tennis courts looks nearly unrecognizable now.

– “Burning bush” – bushes turning red in the stadium near the track

– Warm sun closer to noon.  Jackets off but still see girls in long sleeves and scarves.  Equestrian boots aplenty.

– White and red small stop signs in crosswalks now, saying it is state law to let pedestrians cross.  SO much easier to cross streets now.

11 3 14 hawk- Hawk circling above campus, making wide swooping soars in the sky.  Terrible picture but if you zoom in you can see him.

– Hoodies.

– Water bottles in backpacks – either via carabiners or in mesh pouches.

– Big, blue sky

 

 

– by Betsy Chapman

 

Fall Friday

For those of you who were just here for Family Weekend, you got a glimpse of the beautiful fall that is unfolding here.  Thought I would close out this week with some more pictures of the gorgeous reds you can see lately, as well as some good old fashioned fun-on-the-Quad pics.

Also, I found out an interesting piece of trivia from one of my good friends at Reynolda House.  My gushing about the stunning stretch of Reynolda that is tree-lined has a backstory, as told by my friend: “Katharine Smith Reynolds paid to have Reynolda Road paved, making it one of the first paved roads in the state. She also had the original maple trees planted along the road, creating the canopy of color each fall.”  City planning and an artist’s eye at once!  My thanks to Katharine Smith Reynolds for her vision.

Before you let the weekend begin, take time to call your students.  Hope you dressed for Black and Gold Friday today, and hope you have a great weekend, Deac families!

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- by Betsy Chapman

Thursday Roundup

We’re coming close to the end of the week, and it’s going to be a cold (and rainy) one this weekend.  High of 47 predicted?  Enjoy the nice days today and tomorrow while you still can.

Project Pumpkin was yesterday, and the News Service has a great recap of it here.  I did not make it up to the Quad to see it (though I did peek on the Quad Cam when I could).

I didn’t make it to Project Pumpkin because I have been in the middle of academic advising for my group of 20 freshmen and sophomores (as have the other lower division advisers on campus).  From chatting with some of my other adviser friends, it seems like there are some common stress points and themes:  Accounting 111 seems to be on the top of many hopeful business majors’ minds; worrying about ‘do I have time to take all my basics and divisionals? (short answer – YES! you can do those plus electives and most finish before end of sophomore spring); angst about not knowing a major yet (that’s OK – we want students to have time to think and explore); and ‘what do I do with a major in X?’

That last question is a timely one, because we have a new story on the WFU home page “What Can I Do with an English Major?”  This is near and dear to me as an English major myself.  My answer when asked this is “what CAN’T you do with an English major?” – but your students should read the story and learn more.

In other news, an email recently went out to students from Residence Life and Housing about spring room changes and students returning from studying abroad this semester.  You can read the full email here, but this one section might be of particular interest to parents of juniors who are abroad:  “If you are returning from abroad and are not being pulled in by someone, living in a Theme or Greek Block, or petitioning to live off-campus, you will select housing online the week of December 15th.  If you wish to petition to live off campus when you return from abroad – whether for a medical reason or any other reason (including simply preference to live off campus) – you must fill out this form to be considered: http://rlh.wfu.edu/petition-to-be-released/”  Petitions should be submitted by Monday, November 3rd at 5 pm.

Finally, a reminder about your sartorial choices for tomorrow.  Every Friday is Black and Gold Friday in the Daily Deacdom – so please bring out your best WFU apparel, or just wear black and/or gold to show your support for WFU from wherever you are.

 

– by Betsy Chapman

Upcoming Events

There are a few events coming up this week that might be of interest to your students:

Maurizio Barboro, piano – Guest Artist Recital – Tuesday, October 28 at 7:30 pm in Scales Fine Arts Center, Brendle Recital Hall.  World renowned Italian pianist Maurizio Barboro to perform at Wake Forest. Performance will include masterpieces from the music repertory of composers: Schumann, Chopin, Debussy, Liszt. 

Project Pumpkin – Wednesday, October 29 at 3 pm on the Quad.  Project Pumpkin, an event sponsored by the Volunteer Service Corps, is an annual service event at Wake Forest University that was started in 1988 to bring together the campus and Winston-Salem communities.  Each year more than 1,000 children from local agencies are escorted to the Reynolda campus where students and faculty combine to provide a safe environment for trick-or-treating, carnival games, clowns, and entertainment.

The LGBTQ Community Forum – Thursday, October 30th from 4-6 pm in Annenberg Forum, Carswell Hall.  Hosted by the President’s Commission on LGBTQ Affairs, this event is an opportunity for students, faculty, and staff at Wake Forest to share their experiences as LGBTQ people or allies. Members of the President’s Commission on LGBTQ Affairs will be on hand to listen to feedback and gain a richer understanding of the climate for LGBTQ individuals on campus. Commission chair and Vice President for Campus Life Penny Rue will moderate the event. All community members, including straight allies, are welcome to attend. The forum will be followed by a reception with Commission members.

Frightfest: Haunted Barn – Thursday, October 30 from 8:00 pm to 12:00 am at The Barn.  Get your scares in early the night before Halloween. Food, haunted trails, and scary movies await you at the Haunted Barn.

Midnight-20th Annual Halloween Orchestra Concert- Friday, October 31 at 11:59 pm, Scales Fine Arts Center, Brendle Recital Hall.  David Hagy, conductor.  New freshmen and returning upper-classmen will find new forays into flights of fearful and fateful fancy that will haunt the entire Halloween audience. Faculty will plan a plot the students know nothing about while students prepare tricks the faculty know nothing about, all while performing haunting, comedic, and triumphant music. It is rumored that time-travel will be a part of this year’s plot! Come join in the hijinks!

As always, this is by no means an exhaustive list – just a smattering of things to come.  Your students should check out the Events Calendar to see all the activities (lectures, athletics, volunteer activities, spiritual, Student Union and more) that take place each week.

 

 

– by Betsy Chapman

Hope It Was Fun for You

Family Weekend is over, sadly.  It was wonderful to see so many smiling faces, families hugging their Deacs hello, and people walking in the beautiful sunshine and enjoying the breathtaking fall leaves on display.  From the Daily Deac’s vantage point at least, everyone seemed happy.  Hope that Family Weekend was as fun for you as it was for your Deacs.

My colleagues at Student Union – both administrators and student volunteers alike – have to be tired today.  They did so many things to make the weekend come together seamlessly.  Many of those things you might have seen as you checked in to Benson, but a lot of them you may never know about.  So a great big THANK YOU to everyone who helped make the weekend happen.

The weather could not have been better in my opinion.  Not too hot, not too cold, sunny and glorious.  And while we didn’t end up beating Boston College, we sure did make it an interesting game until almost the last minute.  Our Deacs are young, but there is talent there and I have great hope for the future.

For those of you who stayed at the game until the bitter end, you would have seen a really beautiful golden sunset, topped off with just a sliver of a crescent moon.  Picture perfect.

Deac families, thank you to all those who were able to make the trip and give your students some much-needed post-midterms TLC (and a couple of nice dinners out, no doubt).  For those who couldn’t make it, you were with us in spirit.  On a personal note, my profound appreciation for all the Daily Deac readers who took the time to speak to me and tell me you enjoy the Daily Deac.  It was a joy to be able to put faces to names and I thank you for your kind words.  Connecting you to your students’ WFU experiences is a highlight of my day every day.  Thank you.

 

– by Betsy Chapman

Happy Family Weekend!

fam weekend group shot 2 20091030family9670 20091030family5049Welcome to campus, Deac families!  We are delighted to have you here this weekend and hope you have a wonderful time with your students.

Student Union has put a lot of time and effort into planning fun events for you to enjoy, so if you see any of their staff or their student volunteers, give them a big ‘thank you’ for all their hard work!

Bring out your best black and gold clothes for the weekend and cheer hard at the football game.

GO DEACS!

 

 

 

- by Betsy Chapman

To Get You Ready For Fall’s Beauty

We are getting excited about having 1,000+ families here for Family Weekend.  To give you a taste of the beauty of Wake Forest in the fall, here’s a few shots from our University Photographer, Ken Bennett.

- by Betsy Chapman

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Top 10 Things to Do While Your Deac is Sleeping In on Family Weekend

For all our parents and families coming to campus for Family Weekend, you might discover that your idea of an ‘early morning’ is vastly different than your student’s.  So for any of our Deac families who have some time to kill in the morning while your students are still abed, here’s a Top 10 Things to Do While Your Deac is Sleeping In.

[in no particular order]

1. Go up to Farrell Hall and tour the building.  You’ll be amazed at the vast, open, welcoming Living Room – but you can also go upstairs and peek at the various classrooms.

2. Visit the ZSR Starbucks or Campus Grounds to get that morning cup of coffee.

3. Take said coffee and drink it in the rocking chairs on the Mag Patio, just outside of the Green Room of Reynolda Hall.

4.  Go in the Green Room of Reynolda Hall and look at some of the University Art Collection’s works.  There are brochures in the room to tell you what you are seeing.

5. Continuing the art theme, walk through the 3rd and 4th floors of Benson Center and look at the artworks collected there from past student buying trips.

6. Wander up to Davis Chapel (which is on the back side of Wait Chapel facing big parking lot Q) and go inside.  The chapel has been recently renovated to be more of a multi-denominational space and it is beautiful.

7. If you’re feeling especially funloving, head down towards Scales Fine Arts Center and sit on the swings hanging from the nearby trees.  Swinging is great fun.

8.  Explore some of the academic buildings.  Your students taking artistic type classes?  Go into Scales.  Humanities classes?  Go into Tribble or Carswell.  Romance languages or psychology?  Go into Greene.  Science classes? Winston, Salem, or Olin’s your place.

perioidc table spirit walk9. Speaking of Salem, visit the periodic table bench that was a student art project.  It’s a picnic table with ceramic tiles in the shape of the periodic table.  And a nice place to sit outside.

10. Go to the Spirit Walk between Tribble and Benson and look at all the bricks that have been purchased in years past by and for our students.  See which bricks you like the most.

And this is a gentle reminder for something to think about before you come to campus.  Particularly if you are the parent of a first-year student, consider talking to your student about whether there are people on his/her hall whose families can’t come for Family Weekend, and include that student in your plans.  Some of our families live at a great distance, others may have younger siblings at home or work commitments that they can’t leave.  To help make everyone’s Family Weekend a good one, think about leaving no man (or woman) behind when you are planning group meals, tailgating, etc.    Imagine how you would feel if the shoe was on the other foot and you couldn’t attend.  And offer a kindness to another student if you can.

 

- by Betsy Chapman