2 Reasons for a Farmville Road Trip: Virginia Children’s Book Festival and Richmond Symphony Concert

The Richmond Symphony is coming to Longwood Sunday, Oct. 27.

It was fun to see students filtering back onto campus Tuesday afternoon and evening after fall break. It’s lonely here without them!

We got some much-needed, heavy rain throughout the day yesterday—just in time for the first round of kids who flock to campus each year to see their favorite authors and illustrators at the Virginia Children’s Book Festival, which has been held at Longwood since it began six years ago. I could see the children trooping down the sidewalks between Lancaster Hall and the Upchurch University Center with their colorful backpacks—but mostly without raincoats or umbrellas—seemingly unconcerned by, or even enjoying, the drenching they were getting.

Did you know that the Virginia Children’s Book Festival is the largest children’s book festival on the East Coast? Did you know that the festival brings the “rock stars” of children’s and young adult literature to campus? This includes Todd Parr (The I Love You Book and many others), Victoria Kann (of Pinkalicious fame) and Katherine Paterson (Bridge to Terabithia and Jacob Have I Loved) and numerous Newbery and Caldecott medal winners.

Children can buy books by their favorite authors during the Virginia Children’s Book Festival. Often they get the books signed by the author while they’re on campus.

This year we’re expecting 10,000 elementary, middle- and high-school students—many of them on school field trips and traveling from quite a distance away—to attend. Longwood is the lead sponsor of the festival, which has grown into a nationally recognized event, drawing the attention of the Washington Post as well as regional newspapers and television stations.

And it’s all free.

For your students—especially those who are preparing to be teachers—it’s a great opportunity to see how authors and illustrators relate to their readers. Longwood students can attend any of the presentations, workshops and other activities.

Students also can get involved in the festival by volunteering. This year, more than 90 Longwood students are helping out at the festival. That’s about 75 percent of the total volunteer “workforce”—and another example of citizen leadership at work.

You can read more about the festival in this piece by Longwood Vice President and Chief of Staff Justin Pope in the Richmond Times-Dispatch titled “How Farmville Became a Mecca for Children’s Literature”.

If you’re looking for a reason to come to campus—and you still love children’s literature—consider a road trip. The festival continues through tomorrow, Friday, Oct. 18. You can find a schedule of Friday’s events here.

The Richmond Symphony is coming to Longwood Sunday, Oct. 27.

Here’s another event that might entice you to visit campus this month.

The Richmond Symphony will be giving a concert beginning at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 27. Longwood students get in free with their ID, and tickets for the general public are $20. The program includes works by Tchaikovsky, Barber and Rachmaninoff.

It’s a great opportunity to share some of Virginia’s finest classical music with your student. Plus your ticket is worth $2 off a tasting at The Virginia Tasting Cellar (valid Oct. 25-27) in Farmville. For more information and to buy tickets, go to: go.longwood.edu/symphony.

—Sabrina Brown

It’s Fall, Y’all: Fall Break Info, Involvement Fair and Coping Skills

Fall Break “Register to Stay” Deadline is Tonight

If your student plans to stay in Longwood-managed housing (including apartments) during fall break—or even if they just think they might want to—they need to “register to stay” before midnight tonight (Thursday, Oct. 10).

Fall break is officially from 6 p.m. Friday, Oct. 1, until noon Tuesday, Oct. 15. Longwood-managed housing will be inaccessible during that time period unless your student has registered to stay. Here’s the form (but your student has to fill it out): https://rms.longwood.edu:446/page/studenthousinggateway/

I apologize for mentioning this again this week, but it’s no fun to be locked out of your room/apartment!

How Do You Know It’s Fall on a College Campus?

It got a little chilly last night in Farmville, and the high today is supposed to reach only 72. The sky is blue, and there’s a light, cool breeze. From my office window, I can see a few leaves turning gold.

But there’s an even more telling sign that it’s fall: The hoodies and sweatshirts are out in full force. The majority of students were wearing them when I walked down Brock Commons yesterday. I even saw one young woman in a pair of knee-high boots. So, if your student is home for fall break, be prepared for them to pull out some warmer clothes to bring back to campus.

Your Students Are Joining the Clubs

Faculty and staff at Longwood are constantly telling students that getting involved on campus is critical to having a happy and successful college experience. Judging from the crowd that turned out for this fall’s Involvement Fair, the message is getting through.

Students flocked to Brock Commons for this fall’s Involvement Fair to learn about student organizations.

During the fair, representatives of many of Longwood’s 175+ student organizations actively recruit new members. It’s a great way for other students to find out a lot in a short amount of time—and all in one place.

When you think of wild life at college, it’s usually not deer, birds and other critters. Not so for the Longwood Wildlife club.

Maybe you’ll see your student in one of the photos here. But even if you don’t, you can ask them if they attended the fair and if they saw any organizations they’re interested in. Who knows? They could take up a new sport, join the Longwood Company of Belly Dance or help Operation Smile give children with cleft conditions something to smile about.

Operation Smile provides surgery for children with cleft lip and cleft palate.
Rugby anyone?

Coping with Challenges at College

Sometimes college life—and just life in general—can be challenging. And sometimes you need help dealing with those challenges.

Have you noticed that your student seems more stressed out than usual? Have they told you they’re having a hard time making friends? Do they seem to be getting more homesick instead of less? Or something else may not seem quite right to you. If so, there is a place your student can go for help on campus.

This semester CAPS (Counseling and Psychological Services) is offering a rotating series of skill-building workshops, three weekly therapeutic groups and a weekly Ally Hour. With the exception of Ally Hour, each student will first meet with a psychologist or counselor for a 30-minute initial consultation. At the end of the consultation, a referral to the workshops or group will be made if therapeutically warranted.

Your student can find out more about these services and workshops on the CAPS website: http://www.longwood.edu/caps/.

Here’s a quick synopsis:

Counseling Workshops
The Counseling Workshops are a rotating series of three skill-building sessions that cover mindfulness, interpersonal effectiveness, emotion regulation and distress tolerance, teaching students how to become more aware of their inner thought processes, improve their relationships with others, manage changing emotional states and cope when emotions are high.
Stress and Anxiety Management Group (two groups)
This weekly group is for students who have symptoms related to stress and anxiety and are seeking support and strategies to cope more effectively. In the group, students can gain support and constructive feedback from other students who struggle with problems related to stress/anxiety.
Advocacy Communication Transition (ACT) Group
This weekly support group, a longstanding collaboration between CAPS and the Office of Disability Resources (ODR), is open to any student who has registered with ODR. Students can openly share concerns, discuss issues, gain specific skills and strategies to meet personal goals, and receive support and encouragement.
Ally Hour
Ally Hour provides a safe and inclusive space for LGBTQ+ students to learn about CAPS services and offers an ongoing discussion about resources available at Longwood and in the community.

—Sabrina Brown

The Run-up to Fall Break: Oktoberfest, Elwood Tryouts and More

Fall break is set for Oct. 14-15 and, judging from everything that’s happening between now and then, your student is going to need it. (Be sure to see the important information about housing over the break at the end of this post.)

Here are a few details about some of the upcoming activities.

The biggest fall student event, Oktoberfest got started this past Sunday with Longwood’s traditional bonfire (see photo above), where students learn about the history of the university. But there’s plenty more in store through Saturday—and it’s definitely not to be missed.

Here are some of the highlights:
*Alzheimer’s Walk (Thursday). Students walk to raise awareness and money for research.
*Color Wars (Friday). The freshmen and juniors, armed with green paint, team up against the sophomores and seniors, armed with red paint, to see how much “color” they can throw on each other. Most people wear a white T-shirt to the event so they’ll have a paint-soaked keepsake. Here’s a glimpse of the typical action: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9AzRUt0EB6k (Look for President W. Taylor Reveley IV at the 1:27 mark.)

Freshmen and juniors team up against seniors and sophomores for paint-hurling bragging rights.
Colors Wars gives a whole new meaning to the phrase “paint party.”
Paint-soaked T-shirts are a cherished keepsake from Color Wars.

*Black Student Association Ball (Friday). Students enjoy a night of food, fun and dancing. Proceeds go to local charities.
*Oktoberfest Celebration (Saturday). This is the main event, which starts with a picnic lunch and goes into the night. Time-honored activities include the Klown performance and dancers dressed in lederhosen.

It just wouldn’t be Oktoberfest without students in lederhosen.

There are also student organization and novelty booths; student performances by musical  ensembles, the Longwood Company of Belly Dancers and more; and lots and lots of bands playing on a large outdoor stage.

Student organizations set up booths to raise awareness and money at Oktoberfest.

Everybody loves Elwood, Longwood’s mascot, and each year a few talented students are chosen to bring Elwood to life.

Basketball games wouldn’t be the same without Elwood.
Everybody loves Elwood.

This year’s tryouts are scheduled for 4-6 p.m. Oct. 8 in the Willett Hall dance studio. The identities of the students who are selected are closely guarded until their graduation day, where they are revealed and celebrated.

Is your student still in the process of deciding on a major? Or maybe they’d like to add a minor or a second major? This is the place to get information about all the options. It’s set for 3:30-5 p.m. Oct. 8 in Blackwell Ballroom.

The title of this event, scheduled for noon-4 p.m. Oct. 9 in Blackwell Ballroom,  just about says it all. More than 30 companies and organizations and more than 15 graduate programs are expected to be at the fair to talk to students. Currently signed up to recruit employees and/or interns are the National Ground Intelligence Center, MassMutual Commonwealth,  the cities of Richmond and Roanoke, Cetera Financial Group and Charlotte County Public Schools. Graduate programs to be represented include the University of Virginia, ODU, George Mason, James Madison and Drexel.  Students should bring copies of their resumes and be prepared to work the room.

The Job, Internship and Graduate School Fair brings employers and university representatives to campus.

No undergraduate classes will be held on Oct. 14 and Oct. 15. For housing, fall break is considered to be from 6 p.m. Friday, Oct. 11, to noon Tuesday, Oct. 15. Longwood-managed housing will be inaccessible during that time period unless your student has registered to stay.

Students who live in Longwood-managed housing, including apartments, and want to have access to their housing over fall break must register to stay. Even if your student isn’t sure about their plans, they should register to stay. Here’s the form (but your student has to fill it out): https://rms.longwood.edu:446/page/studenthousinggateway/

The deadline to register to stay on campus during fall break is one week from today: 11:59 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 10. 

Whether your student comes home to be with you over the break or decides to stay in Farmville, these days off are a great opportunity for them to relax and recharge—or maybe to get caught up on assignments and prepare for upcoming tests. Mid-term grades should be posted no later than the end of October.

—Sabrina Brown

Seniors Get Serious—and Silly—at Convocation

The beginning of senior year is cause for celebration and reflection. At Longwood, a longtime tradition known as Convocation marks this rite of passage. There’s a lot that’s serious about Convocation, but it ends with a lot of laughter and silliness.

First the serious side. The academic regalia the students and faculty wear as they process into Willett Hall indicates that this is an auspicious occasion.

Faculty process to Convocation in full academic regalia.

“Today we honor two groups,” President W. Taylor Reveley IV said at this year’s ceremony earlier this month. “First our seniors … the great class of 2020. Second we honor those who have guided our seniors from their arrival at Longwood to this point: Our remarkable faculty, whose commitment to their students is, I believe, our institution’s most valuable resource.”

Softball Coach Kathy Riley, who has inspired hundreds of students to greatness during her 22 years at Longwood, was the keynote speaker.

Softball Coach Kathy Riley, who has inspired hundreds of student-athletes to greatness during her 22 years at Longwood, aimed her motivational prowess at the seniors and other students in attendance. Her message was one of self-actualization, self-confidence and a reminder of the responsibility every member of the Longwood community has to better the world around them.

She pushed Longwood’s students to pursue social justice and equality. And she encouraged them to fight. “Fight for your self-worth and everything that is important.”

Then it was time for the caps—those towering, nostalgic, silly, intensely personal caps.

Ready, set, CAP! You can feel the love behind every custom-made cap.

Custom-made by someone close to the senior—a friend or sometimes a family member—and placed on the senior’s head by that person, the caps are a visual representation of who the senior is, where they’ve been and where they’re going. They’re history, hopes and dreams.

She’s got the whole world on her cap! It can be a challenge to keep the gravity-defying creations balanced.

You can feel the love in every fluttering strand of photographs, every tiara, every bow tie, every set of cardboard Greek letters and every crown of No. 2 pencils (think future teacher). Bottom line: The capping ceremony is a massive amount of fun.

Family are welcome to attend Convocation, so if you’re interested and your student will be a senior next year, try to wrangle an invitation. I’ve worked at several universities, and I’ve never seen anything like it.

—Sabrina Brown







Funding Available for Life-Changing Experiences: Undergraduate Research

“Studies show that undergraduate research is one of the most meaningful and high-impact experiences a student can have, profoundly shaping their learning, their work habits and sometimes even their lives.”

The person who said this knows what she’s talking about. Dr. Larissa Smith is Longwood’s provost and vice president for academic affairs as well as a longtime history professor.

But Longwood does more than just talk about the transformative power of undergraduate research—we put some serious cash behind it. And your student could be on the receiving end of those funds—and the life-changing experiences they support.

There are two opportunities your student can look into:
—PRISM, Longwood’s summer research program
—Fall and spring disbursement of research funds based on proposals submitted by students

For this fall, funding will be distributed in two rounds. The deadline to apply for the first round of funding is 5 p.m. Friday, Oct. 4. Applications for the second round of funding are due at 5 p.m. Friday, Nov. 1. Projects from all disciplines are eligible for funding consideration—everything from theatre and art to business and the sciences. Students can work individually, or they can collaborate in groups of two or three.

One full day each semester is devoted to student research. This past spring, students made 374 poster presentations and 85 oral presentations representing more than 25 academic disciplines.

Awards for successful proposals can be as much as $500 per student.

That “pot of gold” lies at the end of an application process that includes detailing a well-thought-out project and getting a recommendation from a faculty member. It also includes submitting a project budget of eligible expenses (this is a learning experience in and of itself) that can include things such as lab equipment, art supplies, software and travel.

So, if your student is interested, tell them to get going on that application. It’s available at http://www.longwood.edu/office-of-student-research/news/articles/student-research-and-travel-funding-fall-2019.php

Also coming up in early November (exact date TBA) is the deadline to submit an application for Longwood’s eight-week summer research program, PRISM, which stands for Perspectives on Research In Science and Mathematics. With a focus on intense research and tangible results, PRISM puts students at the center of the research process, working alongside a faculty member.

Sarah Elsakr’s PRISM research project this past summer could have been ripped from an episode of the forensic crime drama television series CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. Elsakr (foreground), a rising senior, worked with Dr. Sarah Porter, associate professor of analytical chemistry, testing burned carpet samples to determine which petroleum product was used as the ignitor. The goal was to research alternative testing methods for use in arson investigations, as well as other areas of forensic and environmental chemistry. PRISM provides a $3,500 stipend plus free room and board for students selected to participate.

Students who are chosen to participate receive a $3,500 stipend plus free room and board. Funding is also provided for equipment, supplies and travel. Your student can keep an eye out for the summer 2020 application on the Office of Student Research website: http://www.longwood.edu/studentresearch/

So many Longwood students have said that doing research was a defining experience that set them on a life/career path they wouldn’t otherwise have known existed. Maybe your student would be just as profoundly affected.

—Sabrina Brown


Sound Bites: New Rankings Yield Impressive Talking Points for Longwood

So you’re hanging out with some friends whose children also are in college, and the conversation winds its way around to a comparison of the universities your sons and daughters are attending.

Here are some new talking points about Longwood you can have ready to drop into that conversation, just out from U.S. News & World Report and RNCareers.org.

In the annual U.S. News & World Report rankings:
*Longwood ranks No. 6 among the Best Public Universities, South Region, moving up two spots from last year. This continues a steady climb from Longwood’s No. 12 spot in 2013.
*In the South, Longwood is recognized as the “Best Value” among Virginia public universities.
*Longwood ranks No. 13 in Best Universities, South Region (a list including all public and private institutions)—up from No. 25 last year.
*Longwood is included in the ranking of Best Undergraduate Teaching, South Region.

In the national ranking of nursing programs by RNCareers.org:
*Longwood ranks No. 1 in Virginia and among the best in the country. This achievement is thanks to Longwood’s 100 percent licensure pass rate for the last three years—an accomplishment few other schools in the country can claim.

Longwood’s nursing simulation lab gives students practical experience in a controlled setting. Longwood’s nursing program was named the top program in Virginia and among the best in the nation by RNCareers.org.

Here’s how Longwood President W. Taylor Reveley puts the rankings into context:

“Rankings can fluctuate year to year, and they aren’t the focus of our goals at Longwood. But when an institution rises over time, it’s because of a rise in underlying numbers that do matter. Those include survey results on how others view our academic reputation, our success in helping students graduate and continuing to add full-time faculty to keep classes small at a time when most institutions are doing the opposite. All those things count in the formula but they aren’t just numbers—they shape the college experiences and lives of our students.

“I’m especially proud to see the excellent value of a Longwood education recognized,” Reveley said. “We know that our work in recent years to have among the very lowest annual tuition increases in the state—including a freeze this year—makes a real difference to students and families.”

Among the factors that account for Longwood’s sustained rise in the rankings: a graduation rate that exceeds expectations and a strong freshman retention rate—the number of students who return for their sophomore year. Both were points of emphasis in Longwood’s 2015 Strategic Plan.

Also, Longwood continues to invest heavily in full-time, tenure-track faculty— offering students smaller classes taught by professors who are making their career at the institution. Since 2012, Longwood’s ranks of tenured and tenure-track faculty have increased by 43 faculty members, amounting to growth of 25 percent.

That comes as universities across the country have scaled back full-time faculty hiring, relying more on adjuncts, graduate assistants and part-time staff to teach classes. Longwood has capped Civitae core curriculum classes—the general education requirements that make up the foundations of citizen leadership—at 25 students, a far cry from the 100+-seat lecture halls that are common on college campuses.

In its rise in the rankings, Longwood has moved ahead of several well-respected institutions, including the Converse College and University of Mary Washington. On the list of regional public universities in the South, the top three Virginia schools included are James Madison, Christopher Newport and Longwood.

The Best Value ranking system compares overall ranking with total cost, factoring in the amount of need-based aid and the average discount given. Longwood is the only public university ranked in that category this year.

So you can be proud of the university your child selected (with help from you, of course), and you can feel confident that the investment you’re making in your child’s education is a good value.

—Sabrina Brown


TGIFFB—First Friday Back and The G.A.M.E.

They’re not Longwood’s oldest traditions but they’re definitely some of the most fun.

The fifth annual First Friday Back and The G.A.M.E. (Greatest Athletics March Ever), which celebrated its 10th anniversary this year, brought out students in droves last Friday, Aug. 30. About 1,000 Lancers turned out, and Elwood, Longwood’s mascot, got in on the action, too, busting a move in front of an adoring crowd.

The events provided a welcome time to relax and take a break after the first week of classes.

Students found out even land sharks are terrifying.

They took their best shot at putting their fellow students under water.

And they satisfied their carnival cravings with cotton candy, snow cones and popcorn.

A highlight of the afternoon was the big reveal of the design of this year’s Longwood Scarf, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary as a must-have Longwood accessory. About 1,400 scarves were handed out.

Then it was time for the milelong march to the Athletics Complex, where students received their scarves, enjoyed a picnic and rooted for the women’s soccer team in a match vs. UNC Charlotte.

Each year Rochette’s Florist donates roses for students to pass out to community members along the route of the march—or to keep themselves.

Some students make it a point to collect a set of scarves, one from each year they attend Longwood.

Students enthusiastically supported the efforts of the women’s soccer team, one of Longwood’s more successful sports. The team finished in the top three of the Big South Conference last year.

A big shout-out to the organizers and sponsors of these First Friday Back and The G.A.M.E.: University Center and Student Activities, Fraternity and Sorority Life, Athletics, Lancer Productions, SGA, Marketing and the Office of the President.

FINALLY DON’T FORGET ABOUT FAMILY WEEKEND, which is coming up Sept. 20-22. Registration at the early bird price goes through tomorrow, Friday, Sept. 6, but you can still register online after that date or on campus at the event. Family Weekend is a great opportunity to share the Longwood experience with your student.

For details, go to http://www.longwood.edu/events/calendar/?view=fulltext&month=9&day=20&year=2019&id=d.en.8258225 .
To register, go to https://studentaccounts.longwood.edu/C20122_ustores/web/store_main.jsp?STOREID=2


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