Happy Holidays!

E-News from WKU's Parent and Family Programs

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The residence halls (with the exception of Barnes Campbell, Bemis Lawrence, North, East, South, and West Halls) will close for the Winter Break on Saturday, December 10, 2016 at 4:00PM. The halls will re-open after the holiday on Thursday, January 19, 2017 at 8:00AM.

Residence Hall Closedown
Students will not be permitted to stay in the residence halls (with the exception of Barnes Campbell, Bemis Lawrence, North, East, South, and West Halls) over the Winter break. The lobby key cores will be changed and no one will be allowed in the buildings after they close on Saturday, December 10th, 2016 at 4PM. Students are not required to take home all of their belongings, just those items they will need during the break (remind your students to bring home any medications, plants, fish, electronics, computers, or homework they will need over the break). Your student will be responsible for preparing his/her room for the break.

How Should your Student Prepare His/Her Room for Closedown?
To prepare his/her room for the Winter break, your student will need to complete the following tasks for his/her side of the room before leaving for the break:

  • Sign-up in advance for a check-out time with your RA (if your RA is not available, check with another RA in your building).
  • Defrost and unplug refrigerator. Prop door open to prevent mold and mildew build-up. Make sure the refrigerator is clean and dry.
  • Unplug all electrical equipment including computers, aquariums, stereos, televisions, etc.
  • Move the refrigerator, furniture, and all other belongings from in front of the heating unit so the filter can be changed.
  • Wash all dirty dishes
  • Throw away all trash and clean out the trash can. Take all trash to compactor or outside dumpster. Activate compactor with your room key.
  • Set room temperature to 65 degrees and the fan speed in auto OR set dial at halfway between blue and red with the fan speed on low (depending on what building you live in). You may want to take plants home because the heat will be reduced.
  • Remove belongings from the closet floor. This prepares the room to be sprayed for pests. You do not have to remove belongings from wardrobes.
  • Close and lock windows. Turn lights off and lock room door.
  • If you are changing rooms or if you are permanently checking out, see your RA or Hall Director for additional paperwork and instructions.
  • Check your mailbox.
  • Have a safe and happy winter break!
  • *You do NOT need to remove all of your belongings from your room during Winter Break. Only remove all of your belongings if you plan on checking out and not returning in the Spring Semester.

Residents of Barnes Campbell, Bemis Lawrence, North, East, South, and West Halls will need to complete the following tasks before leaving for the holidays.
  • Unplug all of your appliances, except for your refrigerators.
  • Close and lock your windows.
  • Throw away all trash and clean out your trash can. Take all trash to the compactor. Activate compactor with your room key.
  • Turn off room lights.
  • Close and lock room door.
  • If you are changing rooms or if you are permanently checking out of your residence hall, see your RA or Hall Director for additional paperwork and instructions.

Finals Week Support

If your student seems concerned about his/her grades or overwhelmed with classes, encourage him/her to seek out the services provided by our various departments. There are dozens of academic and emotional support resources available to your student, a few include:
  • The Academic Advising and Retention Center (DSU Annex, 2nd floor)-provides free tutoring services and academic skill-building workshops in addition to academic advising and Change of Major services
  • The Writing Center (Cherry Hall 123 & Cravens Commons)-provides free paper editing and peer review of papers
  • Math Lab (College Heights Hall, room 2124)-provides free tutoring in several math courses, as well as access to computers with math software programs
  • WKU Counseling and Testing Center (Potter Hall, room 409)-students can call (270) 745-3159 to schedule an appointment with a licensed counselor; there is a one-time $20 fee for counseling services, but students can utilize a payment plan if needed
  • Your student's Resident Assistant (RA) and/or Hall Director is also a fantastic resource right there in your student's residence hall! Visit the Housing website to identify your student's Hall Director(s).
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Winter Break is right around the corner! But before you start wishing your days away, anticipating your student’s return home, consider the following:

  • You’re now the parent of a well-adjusted, independent adult…sort of. Your student has spent the last three and a half months living on his own—getting up when he wants to, going to sleep when he wants to, spending his time the way he wants to. Your student has grown, a lot, and developed new skill sets; he may now know how to do laundry, cook meals on his own, make a grocery list, and keep a calendar. Don’t expect things to return exactly to the way they were before your student left for college (i.e. curfews and wake-up calls); he isn’t the same person he was in August. Allow your student to exercise some of his newfound freedoms while at home—leave him to do his own laundry, clean up after himself, assist with grocery shopping or repairs to the house—you may just be surprised by all the things your student can now do on his/her own.
  • Not only has your student changed, you have too! As the parents and family members of college students, we tend to focus solely on our student’s transition to college and his growth and development during the first semester. But the truth is, you’ve grown and developed in new ways too. You have become accustomed to your “new normal”—fewer disruptions or responsibilities at home, evenings free to do what you choose, a quieter house, not playing taxi driver or sharing the car. Your younger children have adjusted to their “new places in the family” (i.e. middle child has now adopted the “oldest child” status), and maybe even commandeered your college student’s old room. Consider, how your “new normal” may be interrupted by your college student’s return home, and prepare younger children for yet another adjustment.
  • Talk with your student about your expectations for his involvement in family activities or holiday traditions. Remember you’re the parent of a well-adjusted, independent adult now. Your student may expect to continue living his new independent lifestyle while at home with you for the Winter Break. Be upfront and honest with your student about your expectations for time spent with immediate and extended family.
  • Your student probably plans to spend time talking and re-connecting with high school friends who are home for the Winter Break as well. What does an acceptable balance of family and friend time look like to you? Re-entering the family routines may feel restrictive to your student and will require compromise on everyone’s part.
  • Be prepared for your student’s hibernation. No, your student has not turned into a brown bear (although he/she may be a little “grizzly” in the morning). He is going to return home exhausted by the last few weeks of classes, projects, papers, and for some, grueling final exams. Home is your student’s sanctuary; allow him some extra time to relax, sleep, and eat comfort food.
  • You’re going to be tempted to bombard your student with questions about his first semester—classes, professors, roommates, new friendships, projects, papers, final exams—fight the temptation to do so. Remember, your student is going to be pretty tired—physically, emotionally, and mentally—when he returns home. Give your student some time to adjust to being at home, enjoy time with friends and family, before asking tons of questions. Tip: final grades are due Tuesday, December 13th at noon. Your student may be very anxious about his grades. Be sure to ask your student about his final class grades, but offer support as well.

Winter Break is often a time of re-adjustment and re-acquaintance for students, parents, and family members. WKU’s Winter Break technically begins on Monday, December 12th, but many students head home as soon as their finals are over. The residence halls (with the exception of Bemis Lawrence, Barnes Campbell, South, West, North, and East Halls) close for the Winter Break on Saturday, December 10th at 4:00 p.m; for more information about residence hall closedown procedures, visit the Housing website.

The residence halls (with the exception of Barnes Campbell, Bemis Lawrence, South, West, North, and East Halls) will re-open for the Spring 2017 semester on Thursday, January 19th at 8:00 a.m. So, if you’ve done the math, you know that your student will most likely be at home, with you, for six weeks during the Winter Break, providing ample time for you to reconnect. You never know, you may just find yourself counting down the days until your student returns to campus!
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Congratulations to the parents and family members of our graduating students! Planning a trip to campus to partake in the commencement weekend festivities? If so, keep reading for important information regarding travel and parking.

Numerous graduation events and ceremonies are scheduled for Saturday, December 10th. To see a list of the ceremonies and receptions taking place, visit the Registrar's Commencement page.

Commencement participants and guests are strongly advised to plan their travel with sufficient time to locate parking.

Parking for Commencement Ceremonies at Diddle Arena
  • Parking Structures 1 and 2 will be open for free public parking for all ceremonies.
  • Diddle North, Diddle South, ad the first floor of Parking Structure 2 will be reserved for Disability Parking on Saturday.
  • Overflow parking is available in remaining parking lots throughout campus.
  • For a map of commencement ceremony parking, visit the Parking and Transportation Services website.

For any parking related questions, please contact Parking and Transportation Services at (270) 745-2361 or transportation@wku.edu.


Western Kentucky University Parents Association serves as the official parent and family member organization. The Association links our institution and the parents and family members of current students. Its primary purpose is to support the mission of WKU Parent and Family Programs-to engage parents and family members of current WKU students as partners in ensuring student success. Join today at www.wku.edu/parents!