Tuesday, June 09, 2009

NAU Orientation

My daughter & I attended the NAU orientation sessions in May. I must say that this school has put quite a program together to attempt to prepare the incoming freshman and their parents. They work very hard to try to make life a little easier when classes start in the fall. There are multiple orientation sessions to break the class down into smaller groups to allow more personalized attention, which includes a one-on-one student/advisor session, to ensure that the class schedules are correct. Parents and students were separated for many sessions and together for a few so that each group could ask questions without the other listening in.

This is a far cry from my orientation session many decades ago. Mine consisted of handing out a campus map, pointing out the gymnasium where you would get your classes, and wishing you luck.

At NAU it is almost mandatory that freshman stay on campus. Most of the freshman dorms are a male/female segregated by floors or wings. “Guests” are allowed for up to three days depending upon what your roommate says.

I had commented to my daughter that I had heard many stupid questions from parents. We have all heard the phrase, “There is no such thing as a stupid question”. I am sorry to disagree but some questions are moronic. My daughter informed me that a lot of the students were also idiots. We figured that it is probably hereditary (JK) and that it would probably be fairly easy to match them up. We could make our own version of “Match the Morons” game show!

Quite a bit of time was spent with the parents concerning FERPA among many other topics. Many of the same questions were asked again and again even though they had been covered in a previous session. The school explains something and then you ask the same question again and again expecting a different answer. I do believe there is a classic definition for repeating the same action over and over and expecting a different result. I do not believe that the definition of this behavior is moronic but we can be somewhat gracious.

Parents’ stupid questions – Answers

  • When can I call and find out my child’s grades? If your student is 18 then FERPA comes into play and we cannot release that information. We suggest that you talk to your student. This is followed by another review of FERPA.

  • Is there a laundry service? No, nor is there any maid service allowed into the dorms. There are laundry rooms in every dorm. It is suggested that if your student does not know how to do laundry that you teach them this summer.

  • When will you call us if my child is not attending classes? Never. You need to talk to your student. This is followed by another review of FERPA.

  • How do you keep the children from having sex? College students are not actually considered children and must take responsibility for their actions.

  • Is alcohol allowed in the dorm rooms? Alcohol can be possessed by a student who is 21 years old. Since this is a freshman dorm it is unlikely that anyone is 21.

  • My child has always gotten good grades but there has been almost no homework his senior year. How are you going to make sure that he does his homework? We are not going to do that. The student must take responsibility for his/her own actions.

  • Will you call us if my child is not doing his homework? No. This is followed by another review of FERPA.

  • Do you assign homework like yours is the only class they are taking? Yes.

  • Can the campus police arrest my child? Yes, they are a CALEA accredited agency that has authority on and off campus.

Students’ stupid questions – Answers

  • Where are the best parties? - Parties.... just happen

  • How can I score drugs? - Are you serious?

  • If I get drunk will the campus police arrest me? - Hahahaha - yes!

  • What if I don’t want to go to class? - You’re an adult now...it's your choice (under his breath: dumbass)

  • If this school was founded in 1899 then how old is it? - Were you honestly admitted here?

  • What is the name of Louie the Lumberjack? - Ummmm..... Louie

  • What grade are you in? (Says one freshman to ANOTHER STUDENT at freshman orientation) - Blank stare and a walk away

  • Where are you from? (We all have name tags with our names, place of residencies) - Points to the name tag on her chest and then says, "Stop looking at my breasts!"

  • Who is your orientation leader? (Once again, see name tag places visible on my chest) – Points out leader on name tag and then says, "Stop looking at my breasts!"

  • When is lights out? - No lights out. This is college, not day care.

  • Are there private showers? - Yes at 5 AM when no one else is in there

These were just a sampling of questions asked. Keep in mind that the NAU website is extensive and covers all this along with handouts that have been sent previously. I should have taken further notes on this topic, as I am sure that I have missed a few good ones. I was busy paying attention to other items such as tuition due date, move-in day, etc.

It was great weather with a high of 69 degrees and a low of 48 in the morning. I could take that all year long but I do believe that it gets a little colder in the winter.


Vickie B said...

Love your June 9th post! At the risk be adding the list of stupid question examples (which I too really detest), am I correct that the students stay overnight in the dorms ONLY for one night between the first and second days of orientation. I haven't been able to find an answer to this yet. Also, do parents get to participate in any one-on-one session regarding the student's class selection? (At the risk of sounding like a helicopter parent, it would be nice to at least sit quietly in the background while the first semester his first semester classes confirmed/chosen.) Thanks in advance for any insights you can provide!

Mighty Hoyer said...

Hi vicki! My name is heidi sue moyer and I am an oprientation leader at nau! I am also donald's daughter.

To answer your first question, yes it is only for the one night that youyr student will be staying in sechrist residence hall. This is only offered for your student, you yourself will need to find a hotel for the night. There are many hotels that will do discounts for you if you say you are coming for nau orientation.

To answer your second question. Parents are not allowed in gateway into the advising sessions. This is the students opportunity to really take their first big step away from the nest and become a responsible adult. They will be receiving a printout of their schedule, however, which you can look out and discuss with them.

I hope this helped answer your questions! Please email me at hsm25@nau.edu if you want more information :)

Anonymous said...

Dear PaPa:

I am going with our son to the June 9-10th orientation. I wish we were attending the same day as you were.... we all could've sat in the back and chuckled at the "three ring circus" together.

I totally believe what you witnessed. I attended a few local community college courses and got the SAMETHING from adult students. I have forwarned my boys (future college students) about this.

Wish us luck.

Primeval Papa said...

Good luck New NAU-Mom. My daughter still loves NAU and we do think it is a fine school. We were thinking of adding to the "stupid comments" section since she has more to add having been an orientation leader for a couple of years now.