FSU's Family Connection is the first resource for family members looking to stay connected to the Florida State University experience. Join the FSU Family Connection to learn more about events on campus, connect with university staff and faculty, and communicate with other FSU family members.
As students take on the spring semester, there are many opportunities for students to get involved in Greek life here at Florida State University. For students that are interested in the Multicultural Greek Council (MGC) or National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC), the two councils are hosting orientation sessions later this week.
The Multicultural Greek Council (MGC) consists of 10 culturally-based fraternities and sororities here at FSU. The mission behind the MGC is to serve the FSU community with their philanthropy and additional volunteer work, as well as observe their diverse identities.
The National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) consists of 9 predominantly African American fraternities and sororities, also known as the “Divine 9.” The organizations beneath the NPHC are dedicated to values concerning their education, culture, and community service.
MGC and NPHC are hosting two Orientation Sessions for those interesting in rushing in the Spring.
Friday, January 17 at 1:00pm to 4:00pm
Saturday, January 18 at 1:00pm to 4:00pm
Students only need to register for one of the two dates. It is noted that attending an orientation session this semester is mandatory if students plan on continuing with new member education.
As students become adjusted to their new Spring schedule, there might be a desire to get more involved this semester. If your student is curious about sorority life or rushing in the spring, the Panhellenic Association at FSU is hosting two Spring Informal Recruitment Orientations this month:
January 15th in SSB 203 at 6:30 pm
January 16th in Union Ballrooms at 6:30 pm
At these Orientations, students can expect to learn about the chapters participating in Spring Informal Recruitment and what this process will look like. If your student is interested in rushing this spring, attendance at one of these Orientations is mandatory in order to participate in Continuous Open Bidding. No pre-registration is required in order to attend the Orientations listed above.
For more information about the Panhellenic Association at FSU or sorority life at FSU, visit the Panhellenic website here.
An additional resource for parents and students is the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life website here.
For parents looking for additional information, you can visit the Information for Parents page on the Panhellenic website here.
It’s the time of year that most students look forward to: going home for the holidays. After a semester of completing projects, writing essays, studying for exams, and eating a scarce diet of dining hall food or microwaveable meals, it’s not a big surprise that your student is ready to see some old friends, relax, and have a nice, home-cooked meal. But, there are some things your student should take care of before jumping in the car and driving straight home. Whether they live in a dorm or an apartment, your student should consider the following prior to leaving Tallahassee for the holiday break.
Clean their room. Let’s face it, your student’s room might be a total disaster after the last week of classes and exam week hit. Between turning in those final research papers and cramming for exams, cleanliness doesn’t exactly take priority. And while it may not bother them now, they’ll want to come back home to a clean room so that they have one less thing to worry about by the time the spring semester rolls around. Students should make sure to throw away trash piled in their room, return dishes to the kitchen, make their bed, and put everything in its place. As far as laundry goes, make sure to get it done before they leave, or take it home with them to finish while they stay with family over the break.
Clean the kitchen or eating area. While dorms aren’t always equipped with kitchens, chances are there could still be some perishable food items that need to be thrown out or dirty dishes that need to be cleaned. Students should avoid letting dishes pile up in the sink all month long while they’re gone because they’ll come back to an even grosser mess than it was to begin with- and I can assure you that their roommates won’t appreciate it either. Additionally, take the time to throw out or take home any food items your student has that could possibly expire while they’re gone. Things like bread and milk can join them on their journey home, but if they don’t plan on using it (or if it’s already expired), consider just tossing it out before leaving. Advising your student to take out the trash might be beneficial as well.
Clean the bathroom. Similar to both mentioned above, make sure your student cleans their bathroom too. This act goes along with being able to leave for the holidays and knowing they can come home to a nice and fresh dorm room or apartment and not have to worry about spending their last day cleaning before the spring semester. Clean your shower, sink, countertop, and toilet; even though they won’t be there to use these things, it is still best to clean them now so they don’t have any gross or germy surfaces after they come back.
Bring home valuables. While this seems like a very obvious part of packing up for the break, you’d be surprised at what students might overlook. The best way to advise your student on what to pack is if they wouldn’t want it to be taken or lost, then they should probably keep it in their possession. Some expensive and valuable items to consider bringing home are laptops, headphones, watches, jewelry, phones, and video game consoles, just to name a few. It’s best to avoid a potential disaster by bringing these things home versus leaving them behind in their dorm or apartment.
Some final pieces of advice include making sure your student has their necessary medicines or prescriptions, a plan in place for mail or bills, returned any rented textbooks, and locked their doors and have their keys before they leave. For Florida State University dorms, University Housing closes the halls at noon on Saturday, December 14 and reopen them at 9 am on Friday, January 3.
As the excitement about coming home over Thanksgiving Break approaches, FSU’s Sustainable Campus wants parents to take the initiative to remind their students about last minute tasks that should be completed prior to leaving home. Not only will these tasks help out the students as they spend time away from dorms and apartments, but they also have the opportunity to benefit our environment.
Prepare your student for the break by passing along the following reminders:
Bring home shorts and t-shirts. If your student is coming home, encourage them to bring their warm weather clothes since it will be chilly in Tallahassee for the next several months. They can swap out their wardrobe again during spring break when the weather warms up again.
Donate unwanted items. Holiday breaks are a great time for students to gather up items they no longer need or use and donate them to local thrift shops or drop off locations around Tallahassee. There are several Goodwill donation bins around town where students can drop off items at any time. If students comb through their belongings now, it’s less they’ll have to organize and pack when moving out in the spring.
Pack strategically. If your student is coming home, encourage them to bring home Halloween/fall decorations, this semester’s textbooks, and anything else they won’t need next semester. This will also save time and space when packing in the spring.
Power down. Remind your student to unplug all their appliances except their refrigerator and turn off any power strips. They should also turn off their heat/AC and shut off all their lights.
Reduce food waste. Encourage your student to eat any perishable food still in their fridge and to donate any non-perishable food to the Food for Thought food pantry on campus.
Trash and recycling. Remind students to take out their trash and recycling before they leave.
Lock up: Remind students to lock their doors and windows, and secure their bike if they have one.
Share. Share these reminders with other parents to help students be prepared.
Sustainable Campus wishes you a Happy Thanksgiving!
Hosted by the Center for Leadership and Social Change, the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Book Stipend Scholarship is open and currently accepting applications.. The stipend is made possible through the collaboration of the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs, the Family Connection Council, and the Black Alumni Association.
Thirteen chosen students will receive awards of $350 that will be issued by the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs, the Family Connection Council, and the Black Alumni Association. If chosen as a scholarship recipient the student will receive the award as a check or direct deposit during the fall semester of the following year. The purpose behind the stipend is to assist students in completing their education here at Florida State University. This stipend is awarded on a competitive basis and both undergraduate and graduate students are welcome to apply.
This stipend has two sets of eligibility criteria: those who receive the FSU Black Alumni Association awards must identify as African America/black and those who receive the Awards from the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs and the Family Connection Council can identify with any racial or ethnical background.
For undergraduate applicants, the criteria to apply is as follows: undergraduate students must have at least 15 credit hours of college work here at FSU before they submit their application for the stipend and have a minimum GPA of 2.5. A full-time undergraduate student should be enrolled in at least 12 credit hours.
For graduate applicants, the criteria to apply is as follows: first year graduate students must be enrolled in a minimum of 9 graduate credit hours and have a minimum GPA of 3.0. In addition to these requirements, graduate students should also plan to be enrolled full time at Florida State University for the subsequent academic year. A full-time graduate student should be enrolled in at least 9 credit hours.
If you have received the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Book Stipend Scholarship in the past, it is requested that you do not apply again due to the volume of applicants.
To apply, students must submit a transcript, letter of recommendation, and respond to four essay questions. Applications are due on November 22 by 11:59 p.m.
For more information regarding the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Book Stipend Scholarship, refer to their website here. To apply for the Book Stipend click here. If you’re seeking further assistance, please contact Kenya Shakir at 850-645-7504 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The biggest challenge to staying healthy on campus is that any assistance or guidance your student previously received from family are now restricted to online communication or the times you get to visit. Other than that, your student is on their own, making their own decisions. This can be a great thing. In fact, if your student puts effort into staying healthy, studies show that the habits people adopt during adolescence and/or young adulthood typically predict their health habits later in life. That being said, there are numerous resources available for your student to stay healthy on campus, various faculty and staff members for your student to get help from, and many spaces on campus for your student to utilize.
First of all, the Center for Health Advocacy & Wellness (CHAW) is an outstanding resource your student can use that is located in the center of campus, on the fourth floor of the Health and Wellness Center (HWC). CHAW offers a variety of services. Your student can make an appointment with a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Nutrition Coaches to receive services and assistance to optimize your student’s nutrition habits to support their overall wellness. Nutrition staff at CHAW embrace a wellness versus weight philosophy to ensure your student’s wellness and health are at the forefront of the focus. CHAW also provides sexual health consultations, testing, pregnancy consultations, and safe sex supplies to ensure your student is informed and prepared if they choose to engage in sexual behavior. In addition, CHAW provides consultations for your student to discuss sex, sexuality, and/or gender issues. In regard to alcohol and drug use, CHAW provides SMART CHOICES programs that provide students with confidential and comprehensive risk reduction. CHAW can also help your student through Tobacco Cessation if they are looking to quit tobacco usage. CHAW also provides individualized educational wellness coaching that can aid your student in improving their overall well-being and academic performance. If your student prefers a group setting, they can attend one of the various, free presentations that CHAW provides.
The other main resource that can aid in helping your student stay healthy on campus is Campus Recreation. Campus Rec follows a “Find What Moves You” mantra. They understand that each student’s fitness level, fitness preferences, and fitness goals are different, and thus, they aim to provide each student with an opportunity to find something that they will enjoy. With two on-campus fitness facilities, the FSU Reservation 15 minutes away, countless intramural and club sports teams, various group classes, personal training, a Rec SportsPlex facility 15 minutes away, and main campus recreation fields, Campus Rec does an outstanding job ensuring your student can find a way to stay active while at Florida State that they feel comfortable doing and will enjoy!
On the 2nd floor of the Askew Student Life Center, the University Counseling Center (UCC) is available for any students that are looking for help with mental health or other personal issues. Students can receive individual, group, or couples counseling. The UCC also offers alcohol and drug services, crisis intervention, eating disorder treatment, and referrals in other departments or services on campus and/or in the community. The UCC also shares some relaxation and wellness tips through their website for students to use, such as helpful smart phone apps and informative reading materials categorized by topic, but it is noted that the resources are not intended as a substitute for assistance by a qualified mental health professional.
Once your student starts college, it’ll be a hard adjustment. Between moving from home, living long distances from close friends, and essentially having to start over in a brand new city at a brand new school is a rocky path. While it may appear that your student is transitioning okay, extending your support as a family can do a world of wonders for your student as they go through classes, friendships, realizations, problems, and more.
When you hear “supporting your student through college,” it’s possible that your mind jumps to money; you’ll think of tuition, scholarships, grants, food plans, grocery and gas money, financial disbursements. However, as much as college students love some extra cash and fast food, familial support extends beyond these actions. Support can mean sending a letter to their mailbox, which I can assure you never gets any mail otherwise. Showing support can mean remembering little details they tell you, like if they have a huge exam coming up or if they have an event this weekend with their student organization. Showing support can be sending a good morning or good night text, or calling them sometime in the afternoon to talk about their day. It doesn’t cost much to let your student know you’re thinking of them, whether you’re right across town, nine hours south, or in a different state.
As the semester goes on and stress about classes is at its peak, the best thing you can do for your student is to support and encourage them. This support can come in brief reminders such as reminding them that it’s important to go to class, take time to study hard for tests, and to make sure they’re taking care of themselves. These actions may seem like you’re babying or being overly-controlling, but it really isn’t; students can use advice from the people that can give it best, which can be their family. No matter what you tell them, they are sure to think about it twice if it comes from you- especially in a caring manner. If your student is particularly struggling with school, consider researching the resources FSU offers to help them. Chances are they are completely overwhelmed or swamped with schoolwork, and if it’s their first year, they might be completely unaware of what to do. By sharing resources like Academic Support from the Academic Center For Excellence or the University Counseling Center, your student will recognize that you’re helping them as best as you can without being there with them. It does take some stress off, but it also keeps them responsible because they have to make the final call for what they do.
As far as a student perspective, many students appreciate the support they receive from their parents in any form. Whether you like to send care packages every once in a while, constantly give them updates from home, or text questions about their classes and schedule, I can assure you they enjoy it even if they don’t always respond (your student would notice right away if you were to stop). It’s the little things that they do notice and appreciate it, mostly because nobody can give you enough attention and love like a family can!
During your time at Florida State University, you can accomplish a lot: meet some of your closest friends, graduate with your Bachelor’s Degree, or get your dream job. It’s no doubt that you’re at college in order to fulfill your upper education, but who says you can’t have fun doing it? Here’s a compiled list of 30 “must-dos” on campus before you say goodbye!
Celebrate FSU’s birthday on Landis!
Take a picture with the Garnet and Gold guys.
Host a study group in Strozier.
Attend an FSU football game.
Take a picture in front of the Unconquered Statue at Doak Campbell Stadium.
Jump into Westcott Fountain on your 21st Birthday.
Walkthrough FSU’s Legacy Walk.
Watch the Homecoming parade College Ave.
Attend the Flying High Circus.
Start your morning with a coffee from Sweet Shop.
Enjoy an afternoon on Landis Green.
Attend the President’s Ice Cream Social.
Take your first day of school pictures with New Student & Family Programs on Landis.
Take an exercise class at the Leach.
Catch a movie at the Askew Student Life Center.
Participate in FSU’s Great Give.
Have a late-night meal at The Den.
Grab lunch in between classes from Mom and Pop’s Hot Dog Stand.
Take a weekend and visit the Rez.
Join an intramural sports team.
Go see a musical or play with FSU’s School of Theatre.
Visit the Museum of Fine Arts.
Go to Market Wednesday.
Participate in a philanthropy like Dance Marathon, The Big Event, or Relay for Life.
Vote in the SGA election.
Pick up a copy of FSView.
Buy some FSU merchandise from the bookstore on campus.
Eat at Suwannee Dining Hall.
Go to a concert hosted by Club Downunder/Union Productions.
Support FSU’s men’s and women’s athletics throughout the year.
October is the National Arts and Humanities Month, and the Florida State University is home to numerous art and humanities programs that continue to make waves in the Tallahassee and FSU communities, as well as the state and nation. There are several colleges, schools, and programs surrounding the arts and humanities, including but not limited to the College of Fine Arts, College of Motion Picture Arts, College of Music, and the FSU English Department. Within each of these departments, there are numerous ways for students to get involved and support the arts on campus. Here are just a handful of ways to experience or support the arts at Florida State University!
College of Fine Arts. The College of Fine Arts is extensive and has a plethora of ways to experience the arts on campus. One way is the Museum of Fine Arts (MoFA), located on West Call Street near campus. Admission is free and open to the public Monday-Wednesday from 10 am to 5 pm and Thursdays until 8 p.m. Inside they feature many types of exhibits throughout the year, each exhibit ranging from eccentric and unique to historical and informative. MoFA typically features art faculty and graduating artists exhibits as well. Events are hosted periodically and if football isn’t your thing, MoFA even offers a fun “Pregame at MoFA” opportunity every home game.
Within the college, there is also the School of Theatre, which as of September 3, 2019 has been named No. 7 for Best College Theater according to The Princeton Review. This top-tier theatre school right here in Tallahassee debuted its 2019-2020 season this month with “Chicago.” For students and members of the community looking to support the theatre, there are numerous chances to do so all year. This year, the School of Theatre is performing shows like “The Importance of Being Earnest,” “The True Story of the Three Little Pigs,” “In the Heights,” “We Are Proud to Present,” and “Marie Antoinette.” Purchase show tickets here.
FSU’s School of Dance is home to Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography (MANCC), an internationally recognized dance research center that attracts many notable figures and dancers. With an impressive and talented student body and staff, the accomplishments of the college extend into the state, nation, and worldwide. At FSU, however, you can directly support the school by attending any concert series like Days of Dance, an Evening of Dance, and Master Thesis Projects at the Nancy Smith Fichter Dance Theatre. Check out their calendar of events & purchase tickets here.
College of Motion Picture Arts. FSU’s College of Motion Picture Arts ranks at No. 13 in terms of national rankings in August of this year. The film school is consistently highlighted as a powerful force in film schools because of their focus on experiential learning and their rapidly-growing alumni who make waves post graduation in the film world. Screenings of works completed by FSU students can be seen in various locations around campus, so be sure to stay updated with the college through their social media so you can support the students and their talents.
FSU English Department. FSU’s English Department iis home to numerous literary publications and ways to support the works of both students and faculty. The Kudzu Review serves as a completely undergraduate-student run literary magazine that has been around for over 30 years. The magazine itself is produced twice a year and publishes works completed by undergraduate students all over the country. They publish fiction, poetry, literary nonfiction, art, and photography, and encourage artists at FSU and around the country to submit their pieces or art, or apply to be on their staff.
Another literary magazine stemming from FSU’s College of English is The Southeast Review, which was established in 1979. This literary magazine is completely run by graduate students and a faculty consulting editor. The literary magazine is produced twice a year and they publish submissions consisting of literary fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, interviews, book reviews and art.
If you’re looking to read a book or work published by someone in the English Department, you can check out the homepage at https://english.fsu.edu/.
College of Music. The College of Music hosts a variety of events throughout the year to showcase all the talent that comes from this esteemed college at FSU. The College of Music has over five performance halls, including Ruby Diamond Concert Hall, Opperman Music Hall, and the Owen Sellers Amphitheater. In one of their many auditoriums and stages, students, faculty and staff, and the community can see guest artist lectures and recitals, the University Symphony Orchestra, and student performances. There are a handful of ensembles consisting of bands, choral, chamber, jazz, opera, early music, musical theater, world music, and orchestras that perform throughout the year as well. Check out their upcoming events at https://www.music.fsu.edu/
Family Weekend is just around the corner, and that means visiting your student here in Tallahassee, Florida for a weekend of catching up and Seminole spirit at Florida State University. While there are many opportunities to dine, visit, and explore campus, perhaps you want to take the time to explore a little past the on-campus fun. Tallahassee has numerous local businesses and unique attractions for you to see while you’re in town. Here are some options for your student and family to experience while in town this weekend.
Attractions. Not only is Tallahassee the capital for FSU Football, it is also the capital of the state of Florida. Tallahassee, dubbed the Capital City, is home to many historic sites, including the Florida Capitol Complex and the Historic Capitol Museum. In the 22-story complex, you can visit the observatory and gallery on the 22nd floor to see a gorgeous panoramic view of Tallahassee, and to view some artwork completed by notable Florida artists. The Historic Capitol offers self-guided tours of the ‘old capitol,’ and you can see interesting artifacts and learn more about Tallahassee’s legislative history. Both the Capitol Complex and Historic Capitol have free admission for visitors. Near campus you can find a hidden treasure in the heart of downtown: Railroad Square Art Park. In this art district, you can find eclectic artwork, unique restaurants and cafes, and lots of local shops for you to walk through. This is a favorite among Tallahassee locals and college students alike, and is an absolute must-see if you’re in town. If you’re not looking to spend money within the park, the vibrant artworks and buildings makes the walk through the district worth it.
Another great way to experience Tallahassee is by utilizing the new electric scooters to ride through Cascades Park and enjoy the peaceful environment. (Just remember that these e-scooters are not permitted on campus).
Park Avenue Historic District is a chain of seven parks located in Tallahassee’s downtown. It is home to many events throughout the year, including the weekly Saturday Downtown Market, and is a picturesque part of downtown- even more so when the twinkling lights in the trees come on every night. On College Avenue, you can find another photo opportunity: a postcard-styled mural. Brightly colored and alluding to Tallahassee’s most iconic features, it represents the Capital City well and serves as an artistic rendering of what makes Tallahassee so wonderful. Inside of Cascades Park, you can also find a large orange sculpture of the letters TLH, which make for a cute photo opportunity for you and your student in their new home.
Dining. Besides enthusiasm for athletics and serving as Florida’s capital, there is nothing that Tallahassee does better than being a foodie’s dream. Whether you’re looking for a night out on the town, a delicious Southern lunch, or a tasty breakfast, Tallahassee has it all. Check out all the recommended dining opportunities here in the Capital City.
Breakfast: Lucky Goat Coffee Co., Canopy Road Cafe, SoDOUGH Baking Co., The Edison, Uptown Cafe, RedEye Coffee, Donut Kingdom, Bada Bean, All Saints Cafe, Black Dog Cafe, Catalina Cafe.
Lunch: Jeri’s Midtown Cafe, Wells Brothers Bar and Grill, Kool Beanz Cafe, Chi Chi’s Cafe, Bird’s Aphrodisiac Oyster Shack, Hopkins Eatery, Momo’s Pizza, The Lunchbox, Vertigo Burgers and Fries, VooDoo Dog.
Dinner: Marie Livingston’s, Backwoods Bistro, Z. Bardhi’s Italian Cuisine, Madison Social, Centrale, Township, Table 23, Andrew’s Capital Grill and Bar, Midtown Caboose, Masa, Bella Bella, Mom and Dad’s Italian Restaurant.
Nightlife: The Brass Tap, Proof Brewing Co., Lake Tribe Brewing, Fire Betty’s Arcade Bar, Madison Social, Township, The Fox and Stag, Liberty Bar and Restaurant.
Shopping. A great way to spend your time in Tallahassee is enjoying all of the businesses and shops that Tallahassee has to offer. All over town, you can find many different boutiques, including Quarter Moon Imports, Loli and the Bean, Olde Fields Clothing Co., Lucky and Charmed, and Sparkle by Madison. Local shopping options for men include Southern Compass Outfitters and Cape Harbor Outfitters. If you’re in search of some FSU gear, you can head over to the FSU Bookstore, Garnet and Gold, Alumni Hall, or Bill’s Bookstore for the latest FSU items. In addition to these local stores, Tallahassee is also home to the Governor’s Square and Tallahassee Malls which contains popular department stores and chains. For Tallahassee souvenirs, you can check out the Visitor Information Center where there are many cute shirts, hats, and stickers. Some local businesses and boutiques in town also have their own spin on Tallahassee merchandise for sale.
Even this general guide to Tallahassee only touches on a little of what the city offers its visitors. If you have any questions or need suggestions for the weekend, you can always call (850-606-2305) or visit the Visitor Information Center & Gift Shop (106 E Jefferson Street).