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

Fun for the Fam: Family Weekend Sept. 20-22

It’s not time yet to pack your bags, but it is time to think about registering to attend Family Weekend, which is set for Sept. 20-22. This event gives you the chance to spend time with your student as well as learn more about the university where they will be spending the next four years (give or take).

Parents and other family members can get to know Longwood better—and spend time with their student—during Family Weekend.

The cost is only $20 per person (students attend free) for a weekend of fun activities on campus, though a few events do have an additional cost. Details are available on the Family Weekend website.

When we say Family Weekend is for the whole family, we mean the WHOLE family.

You can also submit your registration on the website and find information about nearby accommodations. It’s a good idea to go ahead and make your hotel reservations if you’re planning to attend.

Here are a few of the weekend’s highlights:

  • Friday
    • Casino Night with food and cash bar
  • Saturday
      • Exploring downtown Farmville

        Be sure to take some time to explore downtown Farmville.
      • Yoga class
      • State of the University address from President W. Taylor Reveley IV
      • Picnic lunch
      • Activities: volleyball, cornhole, ladder golf and more
    Cornhole is one of the games planned for Saturday afternoon.

    Department open houses

    • Free admission to the Robert Russa Moton Museum
    • Dessert reception sponsored by the Parents Council
    • Entertainment by mind reader, hypnotist and psychic entertainer Robert Channing

For the most up-to-date information, including changes to the schedule of activities, download the Guidebook app and search for Longwood Family Weekend 2019.

You can also call 434-395-2103 if you have questions.

It’s sure to be a fun weekend. We’d love to see you here—and we bet your student would, too!

—Sabrina Brown

Happy 4th of July and Welcome to the New Members of the Lancer Family

Because the Longwood campus is relatively quiet during the summer, Lancer Parent Pipeline doesn’t publish regularly between the end of May and the beginning of August.

But I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to welcome the many parents who signed up for the blog during new student orientation last week. Thank you for joining!

Orientation introduces new students and their parents to Longwood and what lies ahead.

We are so excited that your students have chosen Longwood, and we can’t wait for them to arrive on campus next month. They—and you, too—have an incredible journey ahead.

Peer Mentors are a big part of orientation and a great resource for new students.

There are so many opportunities for students to take advantage of here:

Brock Experiences

Brock Experiences are a group of courses that take students throughout the U.S. to explore important issues. This summer students followed the path of the Colorado River as they learned about water rights.

—An incredible variety of student organizations
Intramural and club sports

Intramural sports compete against other teams of Longwood students. Club sports compete against teams from other schools.

—WMLU, our student-run radio station
—The Rotunda, our student newspaper
Music ensembles
PRISM and other research opportunities

PRISM gives students the opportunity to conduct research during the summer alongside faculty members. The program provides housing and a stipend, as well.

And there are many, many more.

Please encourage your student to get involved on campus. I know it can be hard for freshmen—and even students who have been here a year or two—to put themselves out there, but they’ll be so glad they did. They’ll make friends, meet others who share their interests, learn something new and discover their own potential. They may be surprised at how easy it is to connect with other students and faculty here.

College is a place for your students to develop their independence, so it’s fitting that we’re talking about just that on Independence Day. But don’t worry, parents of freshmen, your students will still need you—just maybe in a different way.

If you’re seeing this post as a member of the Lancer Parent Pipeline Facebook group, remember that you can also sign up for a weekly email of posts at: go.longwood.edu/pipelinesignup. (You can unsubscribe at any time if it doesn’t work for you.)

I hope you and your families have a wonderful 4th of July!

Look for the next Lancer Parent Pipeline post in August.

Sabrina Brown

A Few Reflections on Commencement and the Class of 2019

Where did the time go?

For those of you whose students graduated this past Saturday, I imagine this is a thought that has crossed your mind several times since then.

Wheeler lawn overflows with happy graduates and their families.

Being a part of commencement—even peripherally—has always been one of my favorite things about working at a university: a crowd of excited soon-to-be graduates; happy (and sometimes relieved) families and friends; witty mortarboards; loads of smiles and a few tears. What’s not to love?

You’ll get to meet some of the members of the Class of 2019 in the July issue of Longwood magazine. (If you would like to be added to the magazine mailing list, email me at browncs2@longwood.edu.)

Yahoo — all through!
Commencement means smiles all around.

I guarantee you’ll be impressed with how Longwood has prepared them for life after graduation.  Here’s a bit of a sneak preview:
—Two young women are heading off to teach in a remote village in Alaska.
—One student was inducted into the U.S. Army and will be working on a Ph.D. in emerging infectious diseases at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences.
—Another is already working as a storyboard artist for SpongeBob SquarePants on Nickelodeon.

I must admit I see commencement a bit differently now that my own daughter has walked across the stage at her university. It’s one of those occasions that marks an end and beginning, so I’m wondering if we’ll be together next Thanksgiving and Christmas. I’m wishing I’d spent more time talking to her about things that matter. I’m wanting to know a little bit more about the person she became during her college experience. And, of course, I’m very excited about what lies ahead for her.

It’s a Longwood tradition for faculty to greet students after they cross the stage.
The identities of seniors who portrayed Longwood’s mascot, Elwood, are revealed at commencement.

So, for those of you whose students have a year or three or four still to go here at Longwood, this is my advice. Resist the temptation to wish for your student’s remaining college years to pass quickly. Instead, savor every experience—the amazing, the not-so-good and the unexceptional. All of these experiences will help your student grow. Spend time with your student when they’re home for a break or on the weekend. Do a little talking and a lot of listening.

Family members get to celebrate, too!

Parent Pipeline is wrapping up for the school year with this post. I will have an additional post coinciding with Orientation, and then resume regular Thursday posts in August.

I hope you have found some useful information here as well as content that makes you feel more connected to your students.

Finally, I would be extremely grateful if you’d share any ideas you have for posts in next year’s Parent Pipeline. This blog is for you, so please let me know what you would find most helpful and/or meaningful. Or you could let me know what your favorite posts were this year.

You can email me at browncs2@longwood.edu or post your ideas in the comments section on the Parent Pipeline Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/groups/LancerParentPipeline/.

Have a great summer!

—Sabrina Brown

Ask the Experts: Answers to Some Hard Questions

Campus security, costs and successfully transitioning to college are among the serious and sometimes difficult topics being discussed at colleges and universities today.

Longwood has addressed some common questions related to these topics with the help of the people who work most closely on these issues.

Below are some of the questions we asked these Longwood experts as well as links to the websites where you can find their answers to these questions and more.

Campus Security
Col. Bob Beach, chief of campus police

—Is the Longwood campus safe?
—How does Longwood communicate with students and others during an emergency situation?
—We live in an age of understandable worry about active shooter scenarios in public places like college campuses. What does Longwood do to prepare for such situations?

College Costs
Justin Pope, vice president and chief of staff to President W. Taylor Reveley IV

—Why does college, and Longwood in particular, cost so much?
—What about all those new buildings I see on campus? Are my tuition and fee dollars paying to build them?
—What is Longwood doing to keep tuition increases down?

Transition to College Life
Dr. Emily Heady, senior director of student success and retention

—If you were to list the three biggest obstacles students face in transitioning to college, what would they be?
—What are some things parents should do—and should avoid doing—to help a student transition to college?
—What happens if a student struggles to make friends, or with the college workload, or with academics in general? What support systems do we have?

—Sabrina Brown

I will be on vacation next week, so Lancer Parent Pipeline will return May 23.



Dog Day Afternoon Helps Take the Stress Out of Exam Week

Longwood went to the dogs yesterday afternoon.


Here a dachshund. There a pair of Westies. Several Labradors and retrievers. Some with pedigrees and some without. But all of them intent on giving students a break from the stress of final exams. A total of 37 dogs belonging to faculty and staff were registered to participate in the twice-yearly event, which is known as Study Paws and is organized by the student Therapeutic Recreation Organization (TRO).

Sophomores Kaitlyn and Molly were among the students who came out for a little canine-induced relaxation.

Molly said she needed a break from preparing for her first exam, which was at 8 a.m. today. Cash (a small poodle mix), Sunny (a Chihuahua mix) and Gizmo (a Pomeranian) gave up lots of hugs and sloppy kisses—just what the doctor ordered.

Gizmo the Pomeranian

Kaitlyn, who was particularly fond of Gizmo, sent her father a text saying she wanted one of the small, fluffy dogs. He wrote back saying he wanted one, too.

Other students giggled and laughed as they took photos with their new furry friends.

Making a new large, furry friend

“Studying for finals is stressful, and this is a great opportunity for students to take a break and decompress while surrounded by puppy love,” said Dr. Ann Bailey, assistant professor in the Therapeutic Recreation Program and faculty sponsor for TRO. “It’s also another unique opportunity for faculty and staff members to have some fun and interact with students outside the classroom.”

This event, like many others on campus, shows off the close-knit family atmosphere at Longwood. Some dogs and their owners are Study Paws regulars, including yellow lab Maggie and her human, Dr. Jake Milne ’99, a sociology professor and organizer of the first event several years ago. Milne was there with his wife, Heather Milne ’99, a staff member in communication studies.

Did someone say “fetch”?

Other staff members who participated included Lauren Whittington and JoDee Stringham from University Marketing and Communications, Paula Ellison from psychology, and Wendy McMillian and Suzanne Stetson from the registar’s office. Among the other faculty members who participated were Dr. Sarai Blincoe, assistant dean for curriculum and assessment, and her husband, Dr. Adam Blincoe, an Honors College faculty member.

The Brock Commons fountain is a great place to cool off—for dogs and humans

Temperatures yesterday approached 90 degrees, but neither the students nor the dogs seemed to mind—not even the Great Pyrenees or the Maremma-Abruzzese sheepdog, huge white dogs that easily weighed 150 pounds. That may have been due to the proximity of the Brock Commons fountain, which provided a great spot to cool off for humans and dogs.

—Lauren Whittington, senior writer in University Marketing and Communications, and Sabrina Brown contributed to this post

Acting Naturally: 60 Students Turn Out To Help With Annual BioBlitz

Earth Day was on Monday, but Longwood celebrated a little early with its annual BioBlitz, a full-on day of nature exploration held this year on Saturday, April 20.

That morning, about 60 Longwood students joined biology and environmental sciences faculty at Lancer Park, where Longwood’s Environmental Education Center—BioBlitz headquarters—is located. Suited up in BioBlitz T-shirts and hip waders, with binoculars, nets and clipboards at the ready, the students had no complaints about getting up early.

Hip waders are standard attire at BioBlitz.
Children were fascinated by the different plants and animals they encountered.

As it got closer to the 9 a.m. starting time, community members began to gather, excited to get going on a guided, down-and-dirty tour of local flora and fauna.

“If you aren’t afraid to get your hands dirty—and even if you are—BioBlitz is always fun for the whole family,” says Dr. Sujan Henkanaththegedara, a Longwood biology professor and one of the leaders of the event.

William Kish (left) is Dr. Henkanaththegedara’s research student.

Before the day was over, the Longwood students and faculty had helped BioBlitz participants to identify and catalog about 240  plant and animal species. Turtles, crayfish, salamanders, insects, flowers and fungi are among “usual suspects” cataloged each year.

Back at the Environmental Education Center, “touch tables” gave the 100 adults and children in attendance the opportunity to get an up-close look at both live and preserved specimens of local wildlife. A scavenger hunt rounded out the day’s agenda.

BioBlitz is one of the many ways that Longwood students give of their time to enrich the Farmville community—and that’s what citizen leadership is all about.

Lancer parents have good reason to be proud.

—Sabrina Brown















Eggs-citement in the Air: Egg Hunt Brings Out the Kid in Students

College students officially became adults when they turned 18. But is there still a lot of kid in there?

Today’s campus egg hunt, masterminded by Longwood’s police department, left no doubt about the answer to that question.

Students crowded onto Brock Commons just before noon, soaking up the sun and waiting impatiently for the starting signal. More than 500 eggs were “hidden” in the grass, shrubs and flower beds, most of them filled with candy and a few with slips of paper noting a prize.

In just a couple of minutes, students had scooped up all the eggs on Brock Commons.

When it was “go” time, squeals and cheers rose up from the crowd as students scooped up eggs and cracked them open. One lucky student found the golden egg, which entitled her to a crisp $100 bill.

Another 500 or so eggs were given out to students by officers.

“I haven’t gone to an egg hunt since I was a kid,” said one student, her face lit up with anticipation and a smile.

“Yeah, it’s pretty cool,” agreed another.

Mine! No, mine! All’s fair in egg hunting.
It’s more fun to hunt eggs with a friend—or two or three.

LUPD Chief Bob Beach said the goal for the event was to build community between students and the police department.

“We heard the voice of the students that they want a closer relationship with LUPD. We have worked hard on that in the past, but we need to do more,” he said.

LUPD Chief Bob Beach with the winner of $100 golden egg prize.

Previous similar events have included officers “feeding the meters” on High Street—where students often park—during exam week; and a take-a-selfie-with-a-cop contest with prizes.

When weather and staffing permit, officers head to Brock Commons in the afternoon to meet and talk to students, Beach added. Beach also regularly gathers with students for coffee and conversation.

For the egg hunt, candy-filled eggs were donated by Wal-Mart. Athletics, the Barnes & Noble Longwood Bookstore and others donated prizes. Seniors at the event could also register to win a full set of regalia for commencement and a diploma frame.

It was a BYOB event—bring your own bag.

—Sabrina Brown