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.
Campus organizations are partnering to bring awareness and support to the Florida State community virtually all throughout the month of April for national Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM). This year, the theme for SAAM is “I Ask,” which is intended to convey how crucial consent is—especially in everyday actions.
During the SAAM Kick Off Week of Action, CHAW and kNOw MORE encourage the FSU community to start SAAM by sending a message to survivors through the template posted on the kNOw MORE social media.
The following day, the community is asked to upload a video explaining how consent is important while interacting with people every day.
On April 3, CHAW and kNOw MORE is celebrating Green Dot’s 5th birthday! They ask for the community to post pictures in their Green Dot gear and send a video wishing Green Dot a happy birthday.
The next day, kNOw MORE wants to see artwork that expresses support for survivors and raises awareness about SAAM.
Then, kNOw MORE wants the community to share a selfie in which they communicate hope for a world without sexual violence.
On April 6, kNOw MORE will feature a poll on their social media for followers to submit positive examples of consent and support towards survivors through songs, movies, and other aspects of pop culture.
To end the SAAM Kick Off Week of Action, the community is asked to participate in FSU Teal Tuesday in which you wear teal or wear a teal ribbon all day in solidarity with survivors; don’t forget to share pictures using the hashtag #FSUTealTuesday.
After the kick off week for SAAM, CHAW and kNOw MORE Student Advisory Board have worked diligently to include many virtual opportunities to bring productive conversations about consent and sexual violence to the FSU community.
Graphic courtesy of FSU kNOw MORE.
On April 13, the community can take part in Connect with CHAW: I Ask for your Consent Q&A. The CHAW team will host an interactive question and answer session via Zoom regarding consent; questions can be submitted through the CHAW and kNOw MORE Instagram pages between 4/9-4/12 so they can be answered live.
April 15 is Trauma Informed Day and CHAW will be hosting another Connect with CHAW: I Ask for a Trauma Informed Campus at 3pm. The community is encouraged to join this conversation and discuss how FSU student organizations can establish trauma informed spaces.
SAAM Syllabus Day is on April 16 and will consist of a Zoom discussion about the SAAM Syllabus at 3pm. This conversation is working to continue applying previous Sexual Assault Awareness month campaigns. The SAAM Syllabus can be found here.
On April 20, there will be a dialogue about the role FSU faculty and staff play while being trauma informed. This discussion will take place on Zoom at 3pm and will help faculty and staff understand how they can create supportive spaces for the community.
Denim Day, a day in which the nation is asked to wear denim in order to take a stand against victim blaming, will take place on April 29. The FSU community is encouraged to share their photos with the hashtag #FSUDenimDay.
SAAM ends with National Take Back the Night, a global event organized by a foundation of the same name. The FSU community can register for this event here in order to hear speakers, poetry, and take part in healing activities.
During the spring, Tallahassee offers a variety of events for local members of the community to attend and this year is no different. As beautiful spring afternoons approach, make sure your student knows about these events to take advantage of.
Chain of Parks Art Festival. Kicking off on Thursday, April 16 with events throughout that weekend, LeMoyne’s Chain of Parks Art Festival is one of the “top Fine Art Shows in the nation.” This free, two day outdoor art festival will take place along Park Avenue and consist of works from over 170 artists around the nation. Those who attend can also indulge in live entertainment, food trucks and vendors, and more.
Springtime Tallahassee. The 52nd annual Springtime Tallahassee will take place on the weekend of March 27-28. On Friday, March 27, Springtime Tallahassee is hosting their free Music Festival on Kleman Plaza with famous country singer, Rodney Atkins. On Saturday, March 28, visitors will be able to take part in Jubilee in the Park where they will find food, music, activities, and more. Following the Jubilee, visitors can view the highly-anticipated Grand Parade of over 100 floats and participants, as well as a variety of vendors
Word of South. Taking place April 3-5, Word of South is Tallahassee’s free festival of literature and music, featuring artists, musicians, and writers from across the nation and across our region. With various tents set up throughout Cascades Park, you can visit different panels, shows, sets, and more through the afternoon. This year, audiences can expect to see musicians such as Jamey Johnson, FSU alumna Rita Coolidge, Royce Lovett, and more. Tallahassee local Jeff VanderMeer and FSU faculty David Kirby and Diane Roberts will be a part of the featured authors.
Tallahassee Pridefest. On April 18, Tallahassee’s annual Pride Festival will take place in Kleman Plaza. PrideFest works to celebrate the Tallahassee area’s diversity, promote understanding and peace, and educate the region on the LGBT community. The full line-up of activities and entertainment has not been announced yet, but you can stay updated on what to expect through PrideFest’s social media or their website.
On March 10, University Counseling Center (UCC), Campus Recreation, the Center for Health Advocacy and Wellness (CHAW), and Seminole Dining are partnering together to bring students a Stress Buster Day.
A recurring event during midterms or final exams, Stress Buster Day is an event intended to relieve students of any academic stressors as they study and complete stressful assignments, projects, and exams. Here, students are encouraged to enjoy the relaxing environment and “learn healthy stress management tools.”
From 11am-2pm on Tuesday, March 10, Stress Buster Day will take place at the Leach Center. At this event, students can find activities like yoga, crafting, massages, speed connecting, and playing with therapy dogs. In addition to these activities, there will be healthy snacks available, and a “stress less” food demo.
*Photo courtesy of Florida State University Housing.
By Abby Cloud
As parents start to plan for their student’s first year at Florida State, a wonderful opportunity for them is living in one of FSU’s Living-Learning Communities!
A Living-Learning Community (LLC) allows students to live with other students who share similar interests and take a couple classes together. Each hall is aligned with various themes and propels students into an environment where they can learn, support one another, and meet a network of students and faculty. Regardless of what your student studied in high school or plan to study in college, LLCs are a helpful way to transition your student into their college career.
Applications for Living-Learning Communities are due no later than 11:59 PM EDT Monday, April 6, 2020. Students are encouraged to apply for more than one LLC if they wish.
Here is more information regarding FSU’s 8 Living-Learning Communities.
Bryan Hall.Bryan Hall, the oldest building found on FSU’s campus, is a co-ed resident hall that is home to 128 students. At this hall, students live in suite-styled rooms in which a bathroom connects two rooms of 4-5 students. Additionally, students can participate in humanities classes in Bryan Hall’s small, in-house classroom.
This LLC is geared towards academic exploration and discovery, and is open to all majors. This LLC program includes 5 credit hours taken together, as well as “organized exploration of interests, academic majors, and career options, interactions with campus leaders and distinguished faculty, and professional mentorship (optional).”
Entrepreneurship and Innovation. The Entrepreneurship and Innovation Learning Community is located in Deviney Hall and houses up to 36 students. Together, students in this LLC will take 8 credit hours-worth of courses. This particular LLC is administered by the Jim Moran College of Entrepreneurship and provides students with hands-on experience, networking opportunities, and insight into entrepreneurship and finance.
This LLC centers around “developing creative, technical and practical entrepreneurial skills to turn ideas into action.” Open to all majors, students involved with this LLC can expect guest-speaker entrepreneurs, site visits, group projects, workshops, competitions, and a required Colloquium inside the Innovation Hub.
Global and Public Affairs. Located in Dorman Hall, the Global and Public Affairs Learning Community houses 38 students and requires that they take 5 credit hours-worth of courses with one another. The College of Social Sciences and Public Policy hosts this LLC students to develop an understanding about society at local, state, national, and global levels, as well as its impact at these levels as well.
In this LLC, Social Science majors or minors are preferred; this includes political science, international affairs, sociology, economics and geography. Students can expect “interaction with social science faculty, group discussions of politics, culture, and public policy, presentations by experts in global and public affairs, and opportunities for global engagement through the Global Citizenship Certificate program.” This community is comprised of three components of Community, Coursework, and Events and Activities.
Health Professions. The College of Human Sciences manages the Health Professions Learning Community in Reynolds Hall. Forty-four students are housed through this LLC and it is required that students take 1 credit hour-worth of courses together. In this LLC, students are encouraged to explore and prepare for majors and careers related to health professions. Only health-related majors are allowed to participate in this community.
Students involved with this LLC can expect “unique programs, service learning initiatives, on-site academic advising, social and educational opportunities for pre-health profession students in a strong community environment.” The Health Professions Learning Community provides a variety of coursework for students in the fall and spring, including a required medical shadowing in diverse, health-related areas.
Music. The Music Living-Learning Community can be found in Cawthorn Hall. Through this residential hall, students can expect suit-styled rooms connected by a shared bathroom, University Housing residence-life programming, study areas, kitchens, and laundry room. This LLC houses upwards of 180 students and requires that 6 credit hours-worth of courses are taken together. Music majors or minors only for this LLC.
Through the Music Living-Learning Community, students will explore and prepare for academic majors and careers related to the music field in a close-knit community of students with similar interests and classes. Students can expect “concerts, jam sessions, and guest artists, numerous practice and performance spaces, and a Spring Break study abroad option.” Additionally, this LLC has “award-winning faculty, small classes in high-tech classrooms, a computer/group piano classroom, [and] an academic advising office.”
Nursing. Located in Wildwood Hall, the Nursing Learning Community is administered by the College of Nursing. This LLC houses up to 30 students and requires that students take 2 credit hours-worth of coursework together. Nursing majors are preferred as this LLC is designed for first-year students in order to connect them to the College of Nursing and its resources.
Through this LLC, students will explore and learn more about academic majors and career falling into the nursing field. Here, students can “get to know nursing faculty and interact with upper-division nursing majors, attend the Nursing Colloquium in Wildwood Hall, explore many aspects of the nursing profession, discover special opportunities at FSU and around Tallahassee, and develop the professionalism associated with the career of nursing.”
Social Justice. The Social Justice Living-Learning Community, coordinated by The Center for Leadership & Social Change, can be found in Wildwood Hall. Up to 25 students are housed in this LLC and it is required for students to take 9 credit hours-worth of classes together. This LLC is open to all majors. Students in this LLC can expect to develop an “understanding [of] social issues and leadership to create positive, sustainable change.”
This supportive and inclusive LLC fosters “open and progressive” conversations and discourse regarding race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, class, religion, ability, citizenship, political ideology, and other identities. For a full experience, students are highly encouraged to participate in events organized by the Social Justice LLC. Additionally, students must complete requirements such as three classes within the Social Justice LLC, fall and spring retreats, summits, community service, and education programming.
Women in Math, Science & Engineering (WIMSE). The WIMSE Living-Learning Community can be found in Cawthorn Hall. In this LLC, 35 students are committed to learning and developing “opportunity and community for women in STEM fields.” Students are required to take 2 credit hours-worth of classes together. This LLC is for math, science, or engineering majors only.
This LLC “promotes a supportive environment, encourages participation beyond the classroom, providing opportunities to enhance academic and career goals through involvement, exposes students to mentors and careers in STEM fields, and develops skills necessary to be successful as academics and future professionals.” Students in this LLC are required to take the WIMSE Colloquium in Cawthorn Hall, and will participate in personal and professional development activities, visit three active labs at FSU, and be exposed to peer mentors. WIMSE students also have the option to participate in the Research Experience Program (REP) and remain involved in the WIMSE LLC after their first year.
For more information about Living-Learning Communities, visit their website.
There are numerous student service organizations at Florida State University that actively work year-round to raise money and gain support from the FSU and Tallahassee community. Whether it’s a day of community service or a donation that goes towards bettering the University or other organizations, many students have found a passion for each event that they partake in.
Here is a glimpse at the events taking place this spring and how you can support them.
Dance Marathon at FSU, March 6-8. During the first weekend in March, over 1,800 students are prepared to stand for over 40 hours in support of Children’s Miracle Network, Dance Marathon, and our local organization, Dance Marathon at FSU.
Dance Marathon at FSU is the “largest student-run philanthropy in the southeastern region of the United States,” and has collectively raised over $10 million for Shands Children’s Hospital and FSU’s College of Medicine’s Pediatric Outreach Programs.
At the actual event, students participate in one of two “shifts” throughout the weekend and experience fun activities, entertainment, and hear from Dance Marathon at FSU’s Miracle Families. This year, Dance Marathon at FSU is celebrating 25 years of fundraising.
If you have a student participating in Dance Marathon at FSU, you can visit them to bring them food or other necessities as they complete their 20 hour shift, or come see the total reveal on Sunday.
If you don’t have a student involved and you’re looking to donate to this cause, you can do so through this link.
FSU’s Great Give, March 24-25. FSU’s Great Give will commence its ninth year of fundraising for Florida State University affiliated programs, organizations, activities, and scholarships. For a total of 36 hours, FSU supporters are encouraged to contribute to this online giving campaign that takes place starting at 9am on Tuesday, March 24 and ends at 9pm on Wednesday, March 25.
Last year, FSU’s Great Give exceeded their $500,000 goal and raised $774,979. With a donation from FSU supporters programs and organizations like many of FSU’s colleges, academic affairs, affiliated campuses or areas, and more can benefit.
If you wish to donate to this event, make sure you do so during the specified time in order for your gift to count towards the overall total. During the allotted time for fundraising, see if your student is advocating for a specific program and consider donating there.
You can stay updated with FSU’s Great Give, donate, and watch the progress of the actively fundraising programs and organizations on their website through this link.
The Big Event Tallahassee, March 28. Deemed the “largest, one-day, student-run service project in Tallahassee,” The Big Event Tallahassee allows for thousands of college students from not only FSU, but also Florida A&M University and Tallahassee Community College, to give back to their communities through a day of volunteering and service.
Serving as volunteers for the day, college students in Tallahassee can partner with over 100 different service sites in the Tallahassee area as they go about giving back to a community that offers so much to them.
For students participating in this event, you can support them or The Big Event by cheering them on as they complete their projects, partnering with The Big Event as a sponsor, or registering a service site.
To learn more and stay updated on The Big Event Tallahassee, you can visit their website through this link.
Relay for Life of FSU, April 4. Next month, many students are looking forward to joining the 5th largest Collegiate Relay Event in the Nation as they fundraise for the American Cancer Society. Relay for Life of FSU has announced a goal of $100,000 for this year, and they are just a couple thousand away from reaching a miraculous milestone in their 2020 Relay for Life.
The year-long fundraising efforts of Relay for Life of FSU culminates to an event that starts on a Saturday afternoon and extends well into the early morning hours as students and volunteers raise money for the American Cancer Society and awareness for those who are affected by cancer.
If you want to support your student that is participating in this event, you can come visit them at some point during the event or show up for their total reveal at the end of their year’s worth of fundraising.
For those looking to support Relay for Life of FSU but you don’t have someone you know personally participating, you can donate to Relay for Life of FSU through this link.
Whether you’re traveling or staying local for spring break, here are a few reminders to consider:
The weather is warming up, so pack up your coats and hoodies. If you’re going home, bring your cold weather clothes with you and bring back your shorts and t-shirts you may have brought home over winter break.
Donate. Spring break is a great time to gather up any items you no longer need or use and donate them to a local thrift-shop or drop-off location. Wondering if it’s something you should keep or donate? If you haven’t used it at all this school year, it’s probably time to pass it on to someone else.
Try the one suitcase challenge. If you’re going home, consider packing a suitcase full of things you won’t need for the rest of the school year like last semester’s books, extra clothing or shoes, holiday decorations, room décor, etc. Remember the more stuff you bring home now, the less you’ll have to pack later!
Power down. Unplug all of your appliances except for your refrigerator and turn off any power strips. Turn off your AC and shut off all the lights.
Reduce food waste. If you’re planning on traveling, eat any perishable food you have in your fridge before you go. If you have excess nonperishable food, consider donating it to the Food for Thought Food Pantry on campus.
Trash & recycling. Take any trash and/or recycling in your room or office to the proper disposal spot.
Lock up. If you’re traveling, make sure all windows and doors are shut and locked before you leave. Don’t forget to secure your bicycle or car!
Share: Share these reminders so your friends and coworkers are prepared for the break.
Although you or your student may have a very busy schedule, making time to visit them can be crucial in enabling them to battle homesickness and focus on their academics and extracurriculars. And even though scheduled programming for families is great during Family Weekend, there are a ton of other great opportunities in Tallahassee to take advantage of if you choose to visit your student for a weekend.
If you’re looking to have some outdoor fun, you can get “off campus” and head to the FSU Reservation, a great spot right on Lake Bradford where you can go kayaking, paddle boarding, fresh water swimming, or some sand volleyball for a relatively low price for your family and free admission for your student.
While you’re in the area, check out the Tallahassee Museum, which is also right on Lake Bradford, and offers wildlife, a nature trail, zip-line tours, and a lot more. If the outdoors is really your thing, you can head to the other side of town and check out the many greenways that Tallahassee has to offer, such J.R. Alford Greenway or Miccosukee Canopy Road Greenway.
Some more family friendly locations include the Tallahassee Automobile Museum, Cascades Park, or the Historic Capitol Museum. The Tallahassee Automobile Museum houses over 160 rare vehicles, while Cascades Park is a great spot to enjoy some nice weather and a weekend picnic. The Historic Capitol Museum is the spot to check out Florida memorabilia and special exhibits about the state’s Old and New Capitol. You can also head to the top floor of the New Capitol building to see a bird’s eye view of Tallahassee.
As a first-generation college student, I didn’t get extensive guidance coming into college and assumed that it was just the norm for students to just figure things out by themselves.
That is far from the case here at FSU.
There are so many helpful and caring staff and faculty members on campus that are more than happy to help students with whatever their needs may be. I never expected how much active guidance and motivation I would receive from fostering close relationships with them.
One of the departments that we have on campus that has been extremely helpful to me is the Office of National Fellowships. I always encourage younger students to attend programming from this office or to at least introduce themselves to its faculty members because they have helped me immensely as I transition into my later years as an undergraduate. This office helps students create applications and essays to scholarships, fellowships, and any other outside-of-the-classroom opportunity that they may seek. I have had them review my personal statements, resumes, and everything in between in preparation for application season.
I wish I had taken the initiative to visit departments like the Office of National Fellowships as a freshmen because so many of the opportunities you can apply to are only freshman or sophomore specific.
I would encourage your student to reach out to the faculty members of their college if they are interested in pursuing internship or research opportunities in their field. I have always had a positive experience with FSU faculty and staff, and I am grateful to attend a university where there are always people willing to help.
In the first year, your student will most likely be living on campus in one of our Residence Halls! Each building houses students from around the United States, who come together to form one unique community, both floor- and building-wide.
By living on campus, your student already has built-in connections to the campus community through their roommate, suite-mates, and a Resident Assistant (RA). It is extremely important for your student to get to know their RA and build a relationship with them. Their RA can “assist” them in potentially getting involved around campus or within the residence hall. They are most likely involved in student life in some capacity or know people who are, and can easily connect them.
Within the Residence Halls, your student has multiple opportunities to get involved. They can participate in our Hall Councils or Conduct Board. These organizations work with University Housing to better the community. With the former, it is essentially a hall government where your student works on creating community with others. They are able to develop skills such as leadership building, event planning, and time management. Through the latter, members oversee cases regarding students who have violated housing policies and determine subsequent outcomes. Both are wonderful ways to meet people and make the campus a better place.
By living on campus, your student also has easy access to all public events located on campus. There are always programs going on through Union Productions, Student Government and Activities, and even movies at our Askew Student Life Center. These present opportunities to meet new people, learn more about what campus life has to offer, and get free food! Almost every event offers food or swag as an incentive for attending. A college student’s favorite word is “free,” after all!
My transition into Florida State was an extremely difficult one. Tallahassee was a complete culture shock compared to Chicago, Illinois. It was really hard for me to be away from my family and have to watch other people go home for the weekend when they were homesick knowing I never could.
The life of an out-of-state student is underrated. It takes a lot of independence and a lot of strength. I have been pushed to my limits in the best way and learned that I am more capable than I ever thought I was. When things got especially hard, I leaned on my friends who became my family.
I also utilized the wide variety of campus resources available to me. My freshman year I was granted a college life coach. They were so nice to talk to about my transition and they helped me decompress when life got overwhelming. Sometimes all you need is to rant, but everyone’s transition is different. Some students love being away from their family, and at first I hated it. Getting involved was the number one thing that helped make Florida State home to me.
I am proud to say that as a senior, I never get homesick. It definitely took a lot of work, but I would not have it any other way.