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Break Is a Good Time to Think of Emergency Preparedness

Several times a year, I try to remind parents of the procedures we have in place in the event of some sort of crisis on campus. One of my fine colleagues on the Crisis Management Team has some good language around what we do at Wake Forest, and what parents should know. It is provided below.

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For many years, Wake Forest has had a Crisis Management Team (CMT) comprised of representatives from a wide range of University offices.  The CMT meets off and on through each year for training and other purposes, either in its entirety or in smaller groups. It is important for parents and families to understand what would happen if there was a campus crisis.  We have a Wake Ready web site, which provides information on emergency preparedness.

On the Wake Ready website, at the left hand side is a list of menu items that are linked to pages with greater detail on what alert methods are used, building evacuation procedures, etc.   We urge all Wake Forest families to read through this web site carefully and to make sure your students do as well.

The name used the for the University’s entire emergency communication system is Wake Alert. It refers to all means that may be used to communicate with the campus, depending on the situation. These methods include the Wake Alert web site, a banner at the top of the University home page and many other Wake Forest pages (including the Parents home page), an outdoor alert system, a cable TV alert system, an indoor alert system in many buildings (but not all), e-mail, voice mail (University offices), and the University weather/emergency phone line (336-758-5935). Social media can be used, too, including the Wake Alert Twitter account. The University would also keep news media up to date, regularly.

In situations of imminent danger to campus, a text message would be sent to the campus community directing all to follow the Wake Alert web site for details and updates. We do not text message or e-mail parents. Our first concern is the safety of those on campus.

At Wake Forest, all campus community members are encouraged to follow the Wake Alert site for alerts and updates in situations threatening imminent danger to the campus. It is the primary go-to source for alerts and updates. All means used to communicate in such situations will refer people to the Wake Alert web site.

The Wake Alert web site may be used for less threatening situations, on occasion. For instance, the University uses the site each year to announce weather-related closings and delays on campus.

The University, in less threatening situations, often depends on other means to communicate, such as e-mail and social media.

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— by Betsy Chapman

New and Improved Campus Dining Site

I was in a meeting this morning with a colleague from ARAMARK, our food service provider.  They have an enhanced website that I think might be useful to students – but might also be informative for parents.

The main address is http://wakeforest.campusdish.com/ and like most web pages, it’s pretty easy to navigate.

12 16 15 campusdish 1You’ll see some headers across the top, and the one that might be the most helpful is the Eat Well menu.

If you click on that, the first item in the dropdown menu is View Menus, and your students (or you) can look at all our dining venues and see the options for breakfast, lunch, or dinner that day.  So if your student is trying to decide where he/she wants to eat on a given day, this web site can show what is on offer.

12 16 15 campusdish 2Once you pick a venue and look at the menu, there is a handy chart on the right side of the web site with icons that show which menu options qualify as low sodium, low fat, vegan, whole grain, etc.

There is a Calculate button that allows you to preselect which items you will eat and calculate the calories in that meal.  ARAMARKs food items are also listed in MyFitnessPal, so if your Deac uses that to track nutritional information, he or she can search on ARAMARK and the food item and log it into the MyFitnessPal app.  You can also use the Compare button to compare two different foods.

All these tools are there to help your students have the information they need to make the best food choices and to let them see the range of options – especially healthy ones – being offered.  And if they say to you ‘there is nothing good to eat’ or ‘I can’t find healthy options,’ you can see for yourself what is available :)

12 16 15 campusdish 3The rest of the site has other added benefits. Under Eat Well there is a Wellness item that gives links to articles, information from nutritionists and more.  We also have a nutritionist on site, and students can see the On Campus Resources heading under Eat Well for contact information.

— by Betsy Chapman

 

 

Happiness Is Being a Deacon Coed – 1966

All our Deacs have departed for their Winter Break destinations and campus feels empty indeed.  I imagine that most of them arrived home tired but happy to see you, and glad to let you climb Laundry Mountain for them :)

As you might imagine, it can be a slow stretch for the Daily Deac with students gone from campus.  Fear not – today I bring you some pure gold from the archives.  Adam Goldstein, Dean of Students, found this booklet, “Happiness is Being a Deacon Coed” and let me scan a copy of it.

This is a booklet from 1966 that apparently was sent to all new freshmen girls to give them the scoop about life at Wake Forest.  Think of it as the prequel to “Forestry 101.”

If you want to get a sense of how things used to be many, many moons ago, this is a fun read.  Happiness Is a WF Coed Happiness Is Being a Deacon Coed

— by Betsy Chapman

The Herd Is Thinning

There is definitely a big drop in the number of students here.  Walking across the Quad midday, I only saw two or three students.  In Reynolda Hall, where they often find couches and tables and spots to study, there were far fewer students than earlier in the week.  I’m not saying it’s so silent that you hear crickets chirping, but we are getting close.

To add to the strange feeling on campus is our weather.  It doesn’t feel at all like December – it’s nearly 70 today and sunny.  Students are in short sleeved shirts, or shorts.  I saw several students dragging luggage to cars, or waiting for a ride to the airport.  Sometimes I’d get a glimpse of folks hugging goodbye.

The expressions on students’ faces are also pretty telling.  Once finals are over, they stop looking so tired, and start to look pretty cheerful.  Believe me, I get it.  Finals are hard.

Enough about general campus impressions.  On the sports front, kudos to our men’s soccer player Jack Harrison:

jack harrison“This week, he was named a NSCAA All-South Region honoree. A semifinalist for the MAC Hermann Trophy, Harrison won the fan vote online by more than 1,000 votes over the second place finisher, Julian Buescher of Syracuse. Finalists for college soccer’s top honor are scheduled to be announced Friday night by the organization.” (via wakeforestsports.com).

My love for our soccer team is well documented; my Class of ’27 Deac thinks they hung the moon.  Many thanks to all of you who follow our Parents Facebook page and saw my (frequent) posts about helping Jack out in the MAC Hermann Fan Vote.  Winning by over 1,000 votes tells me that the Wake Forest family rallied in huge numbers to get him there.  Thanks for being a part of that!

Hope you have a great weekend and safe travels home to all your Deacs.  Bring on Winter Break!

— by Betsy Chapman

Report from the Field

One of the most crowded places during Finals Week is the ZSR Library.  There are many reasons to be there – books, Starbucks, librarians who can help you find sources, but also because of Wake the Library.  Wake the Library is the ZSR’s way of providing food, fun, and frivolity to break up the stress of studying.

12 10 15 soccerAnd the ZSR librarians are not the only ones who are spreading the love to studying students.  Our men’s soccer team was there a few nights ago distributing cookies.  (If you aren’t following our awesome team on Instagram, they are wakemsoccer.)

Lastnight I saw this on the ZSR Facebook page:  12 10 15 counseling fairies“The #counselingfairies are here and they are passing out snacks to keep you fueled! Thank you WFU Counseling Center!”

My inside source at the ZSR tells me that Wake the Library is serving wraps at midnight tonight (Thursday) and hot dogs tomorrow night (Friday).

As is typical of Finals Week, there are lots of people with their feet up, snoozing on seats, and wearing comfy clothes.  (I saw several people at the Late Night Breakast in pajama bottoms and sweatshirts, which was awesome).

12 10 15As the week has passed, there are gradually fewer students, but the place is far from empty.  My source said that there are lots of business exams tomorrow (Friday), so lots of students still studying.  Here’s a shot of the Atrium.

I’m also told “there are more smiling faces as the end draws near” :)

Study hard, Deacs.  Do your best and let it rest, as we like to say.

— by Betsy Chapman (with thanks to my inside source!)

 

Worrying and Perspective

Finals and the stress of finals tends to get students stirred up.  That’s pretty normal.  Add to that a lack of sleep, iffy food choices, and/or a lack of exercise, and you can have the perfect storm for anxiety, worry, melodrama, etc.

You know that students worry about their grades.  And they worry about them on a number of fronts:

What will my parents’ (or family members) reactions be to this bad grade/a bad overall semester?  

What if I don’t pass the class?

What if this one grade tanks my GPA?

What if this means I can’t get into the business school/med school/law school etc.?

And – by extension – what if this means my whole life is going to be messed up?

As adults, you and I both know that there are very few things in the world that have irrevocable consequences.  You can get a bad grade, have a bad semester, fail out even – and still go on to recover and turn things around.  Your students might not realize that because they haven’t been through it.

If you think your student might be tipping over into this Worry Territory, you may want to help bring some perspective into the situation.  Which is not to suggest that you downplay their worries or tell them “you don’t know what worrying is! Wait till you have to worry about [insert dreaded thing here, layoffs or cancer or money woes, etc.]”  Instead, it may be that you acknowledge their stress but help put it into perspective in any of the following ways.

I know you are worried about this grade, but I want to be sure you know we love you unconditionally.

I have been in a similar situation where it seemed like things were really bad.  Here’s how I turned it around…[or, I failed at X, and it was hard.  Here is what I learned…]

I can see that you seem really worried about X.  I want to assure you that one grade/one semester will not determine your future.  

You get the idea.   You can also encourage your student to celebrate his or her successes – and surely there have been many this semester.  Your students tackled large textbooks, learned languages, read great works of literature or studied art or dance, got involved in extracurriculars, etc.  They probably had moments where they struggled, but grew from that.  They probably had to wrestle with decisions – or ethics – and made choices that felt right to them.  They hopefully learned more about themselves as well as other people.

Your students are are evolving into Who They Will Be When They Grow Up.  That’s something that is hard to measure or quantify, but is very important nonetheless.  Help them see that while the grades are important certainly, the rest of their experience is as well.  And they ought to give themselves a pat on the back.

Again, hearing your unconditional love for them – especially when they are stressed – might be the best possible answer.  And have their favorite foods at the ready when they get home :)

— by Betsy Chapman

 

 

 

Late Night Breakfast

Was lastnight. What a blast!  Tons of students, all of whom had hearty appetites for eating breakfast at 1o or 11 pm :)

Got to see lots of Chem students, Econ students, Philosophy students, some student-athletes, and a fantastic group who did the Electric Slide.

Hats off to Campus Life for making it happen!

— Betsy Chapman

Preview of Coming Attractions?

Some of our Deac parents and families have already seen snow this season.  We’ve got none of it in the forecast, but if you want a glimpse of what life looks like on those occasions where we do have snow, a few pics are below.

So, what happens when it snows here?  One of the first things is that students get all amped up hoping to get a phone message saying that class is canceled.  The most popular guy on campus in those moments is my friend and colleague Kevin Cox, who is the voice that brings students the blessed “weather related announcement” they were hoping for.

Depending on the amount of snow, there will be snowmen, snowball fights, and – yes – the occasional irreverent word or symbol traced via footprints (these are college kids, after all).

Another fascinating thing about snow on campus is the reaction of our students who come from places where it rarely or never snows.  For most, it is sheer delight and the kind of glee you have as a little kid when you get the gift you’ve been dying to have.

There is no snow in the forecast, by the way.  It’s going to be getting progressively colder at night, but we are supposed to be in the 50s to near 60s for the next ten days.  Still, for those who wish they could see the campus under a blanket of white, these pics will have to do.

— by Betsy Chapman

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A light blanket of snow covers the Wake Forest campus on Friday, January 18, 2013.  A snowman stands in Manchester Plaza.

A light blanket of snow covers the Wake Forest campus on Friday, January 18, 2013. A snowman stands in Manchester Plaza.

Views of the Wake Forest campus after a light snow on the morning of Tuesday, February 24, 2015.  Students cross Hearn Plaza in this aerial photo from Wait Chapel.

Views of the Wake Forest campus after a light snow on the morning of Tuesday, February 24, 2015. Students cross Hearn Plaza in this aerial photo from Wait Chapel.

A snow man stands on Hearn Plaza on the campus of Wake Forest University after a light snow on Monday, February 20, 2012.

A snow man stands on Hearn Plaza on the campus of Wake Forest University after a light snow on Monday, February 20, 2012.

A light blanket of snow covers the Wake Forest campus on Friday, January 18, 2013.  A view of Hearn Plaza and Wait Chapel.

A light blanket of snow covers the Wake Forest campus on Friday, January 18, 2013. A view of Hearn Plaza and Wait Chapel.

Last Week of Classes

And the grey, drizzle has not really let up.  We need some relief and some sunshine to brighten up what is already a stressful week (last week of classes).

Hopefully all our parents and families remembered that tuition was due yesterday, December 1st.  If not, here’s information you need to take care of that.

In addition to the long list of events posted in yesterday’s blog, we’ve got two other potentially cheerful and fun activities to mention.  Many thanks to an intrepid Daily Deac family for passing this on: the University Concert Choir will be performing in the Holiday Choral Concert on Thursday, December 3rd at 7:30 pm in Brendle Recital Hall.

I also got an email today about something the Traditions Council will be hosting this Friday:

“Chris P. Day” is a celebration of Wake Forest Traditions, both old and new. Like Arnold Palmer Day, held in the spring around the time of the Masters Tournament, Chris P. Day celebrates an athlete and a “treat” dear to us all in Winston-Salem. Rather than the famous “Arnold Palmer” drink that we share with hundreds of Wake Forest students on Arnold Palmer day, we will give out Krispy Kreme donuts, which originated in Winston-Salem in 1937, on Chris P. Day – playing off the phonetics of “Chris P.” and “Krispy.”

The Traditions Council hopes to spread enthusiasm about athletics around campus as intensely and as often as possible. We know the addition of “Chris P. Day” will raise awareness and appreciation for Wake Forest Basketball and all of our athletic teams, while simultaneously enjoying a Deacon-favorite dessert. This year, Chris P. Day will be on Friday, December 4th, the day Wake Forest plays Arkansas. This is the last day of class for students, and the last game before students leave for Christmas Break.

We will be pairing up with Sports Marketing to have fun activities for passersby to participate in, Wake Forest gear to pass out, and will also be offering special “Chris P. Day” T-Shirts for sale. Chris P. Day will be a spectacular addition to Wake Forest Traditions; our hope is that this will be an annual event to celebrate Wake Forest’s amazing athletics. 

Please stop by and grab a Krispy Kreme donut, and feel free to order an awesome t-shirt via this link. We hope to see you all this Friday. Go Deacs!

Corey Washburn (’16), Ben Roberts (’16) and Elizabeth King (’17)
Traditions Council Co-Chairs

If a Krispy Kreme can’t help you feel better as you head into finals, nothing can :)

There’s also Wake the Library to look forward to.

Tell your Deacs to hang in there.  We’ll see sun again, and they’ll get through all their projects, papers, and finals.  Then back home to you for a long break!

— by Betsy Chapman

 

Lots of Good Things Coming Up

Yesterday and today have been cold, gray, and drizzly.  Unless your home area sported worse weather than this, your Deacs were probably not happy to get back here to this kind of climate.  Especially because it is so close to finals starting.  Students always have a ton to do at the last week of classes, and then prep for finals starts to get all-consuming.

Happily, there are many good things coming up this week to offset the finals – so we’ll try to cover them as best we can.

Tonight (Tues) at 7 pm is the Lighting of the Quad.  This is a lovely tradition – with music, candles, some remarks, and normally some hot cocoa and cookies.  It’s also a time to give back: Student Union will be collecting socks, hats, gloves, or blankets to donate to the Potter’s House for Children.

Tomorrow afternoon (Weds)  from 5:00-6:00 in Greene Hall 145 is the Learning Assistance Center’s “Study Smarter, Not Harder” workshop series.   This workshop will focus specifically on preparations for final exams, and will introduce students to a number of helpful strategies that will improve academic performance.

Tomorrow night (Weds) at 8 pm in Wait Chapel is a free a capella Christmas Concert featuring Chi Rho and Minor Variation, two of our much-loved groups on campus.  Admission is free and all are invited!

12 1 15Friday afternoon from 12-3 pm in Benson offers an opportunity to de-stress – with PUPPIES among other things.  The flyer tells you more details.  I repeat: puppies!

Saturday at 7 pm in Spry Stadium is our joyous men’s soccer team in the Elite 8 against Stanford.  Urge your kids to show their support for our Deacs.  And let me brag on this team just a moment.  After every game, not only do they high five anyone who wants it (I stood with prospective Class of ’27, ’28, and ’29 Deacs last Saturday), but as they do they often say things like ‘thanks for coming out’ or ‘thanks for your support’ – and they stay and clap for the fans en masse.  This is a classy, special team.

Hanukkah begins in the evening of Sunday, December 6 and ends in the evening of Monday, December 14.  At 5 pm Sunday in the Hillel Lounge, there will be a First Night candle.  Finals are from December 7 to 12. Hillel and the Office of Jewish Life will have formal candle lighting and songs every evening from 5 – 5:15 pm in the Hillel Lounge (Collins A001) (except for Saturday night) so students can still have time to study. Occasional evenings will also have latkes and souvganiyot (jelly donuts).

Also on Sunday night at 8 pm in Wait Chapel is the Lovefeast.  This is a not-to-be-missed beautiful candlelight ceremony.  You can take part in the livestream video of it too!

 

Help remind your Deacs that they need to have some study breaks and some fun and relaxation to bring their best selves to their finals.  Some of these events above might be just the thing.

— by Betsy Chapman