Full Steam Ahead: 2019-20 Is Off and Running

New students caught some Lancer spirit and learned about traditions during the New Lancer Days pep rally.

It began with freshman move-in last Thursday, revved up with New Lancer Days and continued through the first day of classes. Tomorrow’s First Friday Back extravaganza, which culminates with The G.A.M.E. and the distribution of the Longwood Scarf, will put an exclamation point on the beginning of the 2019-20 year.

A proud mom on freshman move-in day.
Never too busy for a photo op—even on move-in day.

The start of the year has been hectic, fun, exciting and, for some of your students, a bit overwhelming. They have been getting back in touch with their friends, making new ones, going to pep rallies and meetings, sizing up their professors, figuring out where their classes meet, going to the gym, thinking about what clubs they might want to join and myriad other activities that come with the beginning of the school year.

So, if the calls and texts from your student have been few and far between during the last few days, that’s probably why.

The pep rally and the Honor and Integrity Ceremony were high points of New Lancer Days, several days of activities introducing new students to Longwood.

This is what Lancer spirit looks like! Students fill the stands at the New Lancer Days pep rally.

Held this past Sunday, the pep rally gave students the opportunity to meet Longwood’s athletics teams and to find out about some of the university’s traditions, including The G.A.M.E., which happens tomorrow as part of First Friday Back. Please encourage your student to attend.

The G.A.M.E. stands for Greatest Athletics March Ever. It involves the entire student body walking en masse from the main campus to the athletics fields about a mile away, where students receive this year’s version of the Longwood Scarf and cheer on one of Longwood’s athletics teams. This year they’ll be rooting for the women’s soccer team as they take on UNC Charlotte.

To receive a scarf, students must pick up a wristband prior to the march. If your student wants a scarf, they need to be sure to get a wristband.

Other First Friday Back activities tomorrow include inflatables, ice cream, a DJ and more.

All new students sign a pledge to uphold the Honor Code.

The Honor and Integrity Ceremony, held Aug. 23 this year, is a time-honored Longwood tradition that emphasizes the importance of Longwood’s Honor Code, a three-part commitment to honesty and personal integrity that includes the Honor Creed, the Academic Pledge and the Honor Pledge. All new students pledge to uphold the Honor Code during the Honor and Integrity Ceremony. The text of the three components is below.

The Honor Creed
We shall not lie, cheat, or steal, nor tolerate those who do.

The Academic Pledge
I have neither given nor received help on this work, nor am I aware of any infraction of the Honor Code.

The Honor Pledge
I, ___________, having a clear understanding of the basis and spirit of the Honor Code created and accepted by the student body of Longwood University, shall at all times govern my university life according to its standards and actively work to support its principles, thereby thoughtfully accepting my responsibility for preserving the honor and integrity of all past, present and future members of the Longwood University community of scholars. I will not lie, cheat, or steal, nor tolerate those who do.

The Honor and Integrity Ceremony is a serious occasion attended by faculty and students. Members of the student Honor and Conduct Board (in the long blue robes) are seated on the stage.

Students throughout campus take the Honor Code very seriously. Alleged violations—including issues of lying, stealing, cheating, academic integrity and plagiarism—are heard by the Honor and Conduct Board, a rigorously selected group of students that makes recommendations on decisions about alleged violations.

I hope your student is off to a great start this year! Go Lancers!

—Sabrina Brown


When the FERPA Flies: Your access to your student’s education records

A lot is said about the transition young people go through as they move from high school and living at home to college and new freedoms and responsibilities. But we don’t hear as much about the wide-ranging adjustments parents have to make along with their children.

We all know it can be hard not to have your student under your roof at night, and that it’s easy to worry about how they’ll handle college life.

But we might not think about the legal implications of having a child in college, including the fact that, once their child is enrolled in college, parents are no longer the “owners” of their students’ education records.

These education records were “owned” by parents when their student was in high school. Now that their student is enrolled in college, the records are “owned” by the student and protected under the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, commonly referred to as FERPA (pronounced FUR-pah, for those who may not have heard of it before).

Under FERPA, parents don’t have the right to access their child’s education records without the student’s written permission, even if that student is not yet 18 years old. (The same is true for medical records held by Longwood’s University Health Center.)

Education records include but are not limited to

—Class lists
—Student course schedules
—Student financial information, including bills. (Financial aid awards will also go into the account specified by the student.)
—Student discipline files

Your student had the opportunity to fill out a FERPA release during orientation. If they did so, that means Longwood staff and faculty have the student’s permission to release information to you. However, even though Longwood can give out the information, we may not—at least not at first. And here’s why.

“Our first goal is always to get the student to talk to their parents,” said Susan Hines, Longwood’s registrar. “When a parent calls asking for information, we always encourage them to talk to their student and to get the information from them. We completely understand the parent’s role in their student’s college career, and we understand that often parents are paying the bills.

“But we also feel an obligation to help students grow and become independent. Part of that involves understanding and taking on tasks that, in the past, may have been completely handled by their parents. It’s difficult for young people to learn how the world works unless they have responsibility for taking care of the details. And we understand that this can be a major adjustment for parents.”

Hines also would like parents to know that, even if their student signed a FERPA release form at orientation, the student may rescind that release after they arrive on campus. It happens more often that you might think, she said.

“This is another time for parents and their students to talk,” Hines said. In these cases, the student must fill out another release form and bring it in person to the Office of the Registrar to reinstate permission for their parents.

If you’d like to find out more about FERPA, you can go to the U.S. Department of Education at https://www2.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco/ferpa/index.html or the Longwood website at http://www.longwood.edu/registrar/policies–regulations/family-educational-rights-and-privacy-act-ferpa/.

—Sabrina Brown

How to Be Successful at Longwood: Freshman’s Advice is Right on Target

Sometimes young people pay more attention to advice from their peers than they do from their parents. As the beginning of the 2019-20 academic year approaches, I thought it might be helpful to share these words of wisdom that came to me from a Longwood student as she was finishing her freshman year.

The words below are all hers. I promise. I didn’t even ask her to write about this topic—it was her idea. Honestly, I was more than a little surprised at how much she’d learned in just one year as a college student. I’m not sure I could come up with such a comprehensive list of do’s and don’ts.

If you can convince your student to read her pointers below and take them to heart—even if your student is a sophomore, junior or senior—you will be doing them a great service.

*Go to office hours, go to office hours, go to office hours! Your professors really want to help you and see you succeed.
*Go to the library. Dorm rooms are full of noise and distraction.
*Get involved!
*When you go to D-hall, don’t be afraid to sit with someone new—especially during the first few weeks of school. It is good to talk to new people.
*If/when you get homesick, call your family and friends!! Everyone gets homesick. It’s normal if this is the first time you have been away from home and on your own!
*Learn how to manage your time.
*Buy a planner, and write everything down.
*Read your course syllabi.
*During the first week of classes, find out where your professors’ offices are located, and go meet them in person. Find out when their office hours are scheduled.
*Don’t be afraid to do things by yourself.
*Make it a point to know people in your class so you can create study groups.
*Make time for yourself: Read a fun book, go to the gym, take a break from social media, buy a devotional.
*Go on Lancerlink to look up clubs.
*Go to Lancer Productions events and other campus activities.
*Create a routine, and have a regular sleep schedule.
*Do not procrastinate! Deadlines and exams come up fast. Don’t cram—study a week ahead of time, and study a little each day.
*Use Quizlet. It is a lifesaver!
*Start assignments when they are assigned.
*One day at a time.
*Take classes that interest you.
*Check your email daily. Download the Canvas app.
*Clean your room or at least make your bed every day. It’ll make going to bed more comfortable, and you can concentrate more on homework.
*Make time to do fun things.
*Don’t spread yourself too thin—don’t join too many clubs or organizations.
*Go to Pairet’s. You can customize what you want, and it’s way less expensive.
* Go to the Writing Center, and go to tutoring.
*Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
*Go to the CHI walks.
*Open and read your textbooks. Just because your professor doesn’t cover it in class doesn’t mean you won’t be tested on it.
*Take risks. You just might get that position that you apply and interview for.
*Work hard and stay positive.

—Sabrina Brown, with sincere thanks to Brooklynn Weissenfluh ’23