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Dean of Students

Dean of Students
phone: (208) 885-6757
fax: (208) 885-9494
Teaching and Learning Center
Room 232
P.O. Box 442431
Moscow, ID 83844-2431

Vandal Parent Newsletter: October 21, 2013

October 21, 2013

Dear Vandal Parents,

Bruce-Pitman-Dean-of-Students-University-of-IdahoDuring the first weeks of the semester, new students are learning the ABC’s of campus, and those challenges are literally about learning the jumble of letters … TLC, CNR, SUB, LLC, the JEB, and many others. You almost need a “decoder ring” to translate the abbreviations for building names and short hand references for programs. New students soon learn “the language” and many of the other skills needed to navigate important tasks of campus life.

The big campus news is that the final candidates for the UI Presidency have been announced, and the candidates are coming to campus for their interviews this month. The finalists will meet with student leaders, faculty, and staff during these interviews. The candidates will also travel to our centers in Coeur d’Alene, Boise, and Idaho Falls to meet our faculty and staff in these important locations. The names and qualifications of these candidates can be found online. On campus interviews will be completed by late October. 

It has been a very good semester thus far…

The first round of tests have been completed and mid-term exams are being taken this week. While many students are feeling good about the results from the first tests, some are disappointed and needing to seek help. We are proactively contacting those who did not do well so they will get support. We know that many of the students who most need the help are also the least likely to take action to get it. The next few weeks are some of the most important of the semester. Please talk with your Vandal about their test results and urge them to meet with their academic advisors if you feel that changes need to be made. 

A major feature of these early weeks has been our many programs that have been promoting campus safety. We have repeated messages about making good choices, consequences and caring for others. We have held a “campus safety week”, an alcohol awareness week, numerous presentations in living groups, and have required all new students to take an on-line safety course called, “Think About It”. We are promoting bystander intervention programs that urge students to take action when they feel that their friends are in distress. Our theme is, “I Got Your Back”, and we have created a three-minute video that you may want to view.

Earlier this month we celebrated Homecoming. It was great fun. I am always impressed with the simple traditions that make this a joyful gathering. We really do have a bonfire with fireworks the night before the game. We also have a Homecoming Queen and King. We also have an hour-long parade down Main Street with bands and floats on the morning of the game. Living groups still create Homecoming themed decorations for their houses and residence hall lawns. This weekend would have been familiar and heart-warming for someone who had been in school 50 years ago. We also won the football game…

Please urge your Vandal to get free flu and meningitis shots. Immunizations will be offered on October 28th and 29th in the TLC 143 Lounge. You can learn more about our immunization services online

Students still have time to make adjustments in their academic schedule. The last day to drop a class for fall semester is November 1, 2013. Dropping a class may be the best strategy if your Vandal is getting a D or F at mid-semester. Generally the course work only gets more difficult near the end of the semester simply because the last half of the semester typically builds from information that was mastered early in the semester. Please see this attachment for other IMPORTANT DATES for your student’s academic activities.

You will soon be planning holiday travel. Please consider the U of I Holiday Bus Service to southern Idaho and the Portland, Oregon, area. It is safe, dependable, and convenient service. You can review the schedule and make reservations online

If you are planning flights to and from Spokane, you may want to consider the Wheatland Express bus service that goes directly to the Spokane Airport. PLEASE DO NOT make winter break airline ticket reservations until you know the date of your Vandal’s last final exam. 

Finding motel accommodations in Moscow has become a little easier this fall with the opening of a new Fairfield Inn and the remodeling of an older motel that is now called the Idaho Inn. Both are located on the north edge of campus on the Moscow Pullman Highway. You may also want to consider a “hometown solution” to limited hotel space on busy weekends. It is called Pullman Moscow Bedfinders. Local residents with nice homes will offer their homes much like bed and breakfast for high traffic weekends. A list of area hotels can be found online

Did you know that Forbes magazine rated the University of Idaho as the 25th “best value” among public universities in the United States?

In July, my daughter was married in Bozeman, Montana. It was a joyful occasion as family and friends gathered for a simple but beautiful western-themed wedding. Bridget graduated from the University of Idaho in 2007, and many of the guests were Vandal friends. During the wedding reception, a “Joe Vandal look-a-like” appeared and led the 200 guests in the Vandal Fight Song. Her non-Vandal husband had dressed up like Joe Vandal. He secured his place in the family with that act of Vandal patriotism. It was a high moment of the summer. 

I hope that your Vandal is thriving at the University of Idaho.
Go Vandals!

Bruce M. Pitman
Vice Provost for Student Affairs/Dean of Students