Parent Newsletter April 2011

UNI I am a Panther Parent

Panther Parent is UNI's e-newsletter for parents and guardians. Panther Parent is sent three times per semester and features university events, deadlines and tips from the UNI Parents Association. 

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EDITOR'S NOTES

We want to hear from you! Please let us know if there's information you need or topics you'd like to see addressed.

NEWS

Spring commencement
Commencement will be held on Saturday, May 7, in the UNI-Dome. Watch this site for the latest updates, parking maps and lodging options.

UNI honored as a green college
UNI has been selected for inclusion in "The Princeton Review's Guide to 311 Green Colleges: 2011 Edition," for its commitment to sustainability. UNI's Green Rating and profile can be found in this downloadable guide.  

U-bill and due date changes
The first fall 2011 u-bill will be issued Monday, Aug. 1, and will be due Saturday, Aug. 20. To take advantage of a tuition payment plan, your student needs to complete an online payment plan agreement, which will be available on MyUNIverse beginning July 1. UNI will no longer automatically enroll students in payment plans, as was done in the past. Visit the Office of Business Operations for additional billing updates, starting June 1.

New SIS system update
UNI is implementing a new Student Information System (SIS). SIS is the main computer system that allows students to register for classes, receive financial aid awards, and get their grade report, degree audit and u-bill. Resources to help students learn and adjust to the new system can be found at the registrar's office website.

 If your student has concerns about registration, please encourage him or her to take advantage of these resources, which are available 24/7 and include step-by-step video instructions. Questions can be answered by contacting the registrar's office (115 Gilchrist; 319-273-2241) or by downloading the Frequently Asked Questions PDF, which is routinely updated.

Third-party account update
Between now and August, which is when the SIS update will be completed, students need to set up third-party accounts in the new system for each person (parents, spouse, etc.) they want to have access to their information. Students also need to retain their old third-party accounts for records that have not yet been migrated. Some important information to know:

  • The current parent portal is in transition.
  • Current students with third-party users will experience changes in how they access their personal records.
  • Third-party access to records in the new SIS will be within MyUNIverse, which is the same portal used by students.
  • As of February, students can access financial aid records in the SIS and, if students wish to allow access, to third-party users.
  • Certain records will continue to be accessed through the old Parent Portal (http://www.uni.edu/resources/parents) until they are migrated into the third-party portal through MyUNIverse.
  • The full transition to the new system will be complete by August 2011. At that time, all student records will be available through MyUNIverse and the old Parent Portal will be retired.

Further information about these changes can be found at http://www.uni.edu/its/support/article/916.

New Google, UNI Partnership
On Monday, April 25, UNI began offering Google Apps for Education (Google Apps) to newly enrolled students. Google Apps is a free suite of Web-based messaging and collaboration applications hosted on Google's servers. Google provides these apps as a service rather than software you have to download and install. To access the apps, you simply use a Web browser on any computer connected to the Internet.

Three core apps are now available to all UNI students: Google Calendar, Google Docs and Google Sites. All new and transfer students also have access to Google Mail (Gmail), which provides email and instant messaging. The university is in the process of moving all current-student email to Gmail, which should be completed this summer or fall.  More information is available at google.uni.edu.

New housing option on campus
"Panther Village" is the name of UNI's newest apartment complex. Phase I of the complex, which includes room for 204 students, is under construction and will be ready for occupancy in fall 2012. Most of the apartments are designed for four students in single bedrooms sharing living, dining and kitchen space. Phase II, which will include room for 246 students, will be ready for occupancy in fall 2013. The dining-delivery systems in Redeker Center are being evaluated to determine if they can be expanded to serve Panther Village residents who may want to purchase a meal plan (meal plans for Panther Village residents are optional). Watch the construction process live via webcam on the Department of Residence website.

From trash to treasure
As the end of the semester approaches, students start thinking about getting rid of things they no longer need or want. Instead of tossing usable goods, students are encouraged to contribute running shoes, mattresses, carpets, books and other items to charitable organizations. Students can also recycle items, such as futon frames and other metals. Learn how and see the collection schedule at the Panther Pickup website.

On-campus reuse and recycling opportunities
St. Vincent de Paul, Goodwill Industries and The Salvation Army will have trucks on campus Wednesday, May 4, through Friday, May 6, to accept clothing, dishes, furniture, computers, keyboards, printers and other usable household items. Agency staff will be on hand to determine whether or not items can be accepted.

Order 2011-2012 parking permits online
The new 2011-2012 parking permit application is available on MyUNIverse under "Current Announcements" or by visiting https://java.access.uni.edu/ParkingPermit/faces/portal.jspx. Students approved by the Department of Residence to purchase a CP permit may use this form. The application can be used to order a regular vehicle permit as well as a motorcycle permit; students can also add license plate and vehicle information to the application. Permits ordered now will be processed in August. For more information, call 319-273-2710.

Financial aid awards coming soon
Awards will be created at the end of April for students who filed and submitted a FAFSA to UNI for 2011-2012. New students should watch for an email and a postcard, which will tell them when their award is ready and how to view the award electronically. If your student doesn't receive an award notice by the beginning of May, he or she should check to see if they were selected for verification.

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OPPORTUNITIES

College of Humanities & Fine Arts: study abroad funding
Students majoring in CHFA programs are eligible to apply for funding to support study abroad experiences. Applicants must complete the funding request form and submit all required information in order to be eligible. The deadlines for submissions are Saturday, April 30, for fall or academic-year programs and Wednesday, Nov. 30, for spring programs.Go to the CHFA website  for an application form and more information.

EVENTS

2011 Dates to Remember

View a complete list of UNI events.  

May 2-6: Finals Week

May 7: Commencement

Aug. 22: Fall semester classes begin

Sept. 23-25: Family Weekend

Oct. 8: Homecoming

Nov. 21-27: Thanksgiving break

RESOURCES FOR STUDENTS

De-Stress Days
Students can get a free mini back or hand massage, play with kittens and dogs, or walk a labyrinth during De-Stress Days from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday, May 2, through Wednesday, May 4, in Maucker Union. These stress-reducing activities are provided by Wellness and Recreation Services.

Health insurance for graduating students
The university offers health and dental insurance coverage to recent graduates through the Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP). If this insurance is suitable for your student's situation, contact the UNI Student Health Clinic Insurance Office prior to Friday, July 1, for enrollment information at 319-273-7736 or email healthcenter@uni.edu.

Rod Library text messaging number change
The number for requesting research help and other information about Rod Library resources and services via text message has changed to 250-4100. Research help can also be requested through other channels, such as chat, email, the telephone and in person, as described at http://www.library.uni.edu/ask-us-research-help.

Get Windows 7 Professional for only $29.99
Current students can purchase Windows 7 Professional for $29.99. For details on this and other Microsoft specials, visit http://www.microsoftstore.com/store/msstore/pd/productID.216644200.

Book buyback
University Book & Supply (UBS) is sponsoring a "Textbook Buyback Battle" for all UNI student organizations during buyback week, Monday, April 25, through Friday, May 6. During buyback week, students are asked to write the name of their favorite UNI student organization on the back of their buyback receipt when they return their books to UBS. The five organizations that collect the most referrals will win funds for their organization.

Donate unwanted textbooks
Spread the Care, a nonprofit organization, will collect unwanted textbooks to raise money for children in need of clothing and other necessities. Students can help put an end to suffering by donating a textbook.

UNI PARENTS ASSOCIATION

Did You Know You're a Member of UNIPA?
As a parent or guardian of a UNI student, you're automatically a member of the UNI Parents Association (UNIPA), a university advocacy group that represents students and their parents. UNIPA also functions in an advisory role to UNI administrators, faculty and staff on matters that relate to the academic and social experiences of UNI students. Learn more by contacting UNIPA liaison Jon Buse at 319-273-2332 or jon.buse@uni.edu.

UNI PARENTS ASSOCIATION

118 Gilchrist
University of Northern Iowa
Cedar Falls, IA 50614
(319) 273-2332