Dear Parents,

Homesick.  Ecstatic.  Overwhelmed.  A little frightened about the unknowns.  These are just a few of the many emotions your student may be experiencing as they head into their second week of classes.  I have had quite a few parents contact me over the last couple of weeks regarding concerns over some of these feelings and yes, they are very normal.  If you just need an ear to bend, I'm here.

Here are a few important dates to note:

* September 15 - Thursday Game Day.  All classes cancelled on Starkville campus.

* September 29 - Last day to drop a course with a W grade.

Encourage your students to get involved and make Starkville their home away from home!  (How many of you would do it differently this time around?  I would!)  As I have said before, while academics are certainly important, so is personal growth through social interactions and involvement.  If your student is new to State, encourage him/her to really become a bulldog!  Students should attend events on campus that may fall out of their comfort zone.  Go to a volleyball game.  Throw a frisbee on the Drill Field.  Start a workout regimen at the Sanderson Center.  Part of college life is about those experiences that shape and define us, leaving a lasting impression for years to come.  The key is to not just "be" here, but to be a part of our Bulldog Family.  I promise, there is a niche for everyone.  If your student says there is nothing to do, send him/her to see me in 112 Lee Hall.

Please do not hesitate to call or email me (662.325.3611/parents@saffairs.msstate.edu) with any questions or concerns.  And I always welcome suggestions on how we can better support our parents.  Have an idea?  Share it!

Catherine Walker, Office of Parent Services


A Note from Rhett Hobart, Student Association President

Dear Bulldog parents,

My name is Rhett Hobart and I am currently serving as Mississippi State University Student Association President. A Bulldog since birth, it is truly an honor for me to serve the largest and best student body in the state of Mississippi while giving back to a University that has given me so much over the past three years. Through my experiences, I can assure you that your children will never regret a moment spent here at Mississippi State.

The mission of the Student Association is and will always be to improve the lives of students at Mississippi State. Whether that is by hosting Bulldog Bash, partnering with the athletic department to establish a lasting tradition such as the True Maroon campaign, or hosting a forum on campus for candidates seeking statewide office; we continually work to improve each student’s overall experience. Through these events and programs, we strive to lead and serve through investing in the community around us by supporting organizations such as the local chapter of the United Way.

The Student Association is very excited about the start of the 2011-2012 school year.  On August 17th, we hosted the eighth annual The Drill—an official welcome to campus and a celebration of the start of another academic year. Also, the Student Association is currently accepting applications for committees and our premier Freshman organizations, Freshman Council and Freshman Forum. Elections for SA Senate will take place in the coming weeks.

I look forward to establishing a relationship between the Student Association and your children throughout this upcoming year. Please do not hesitate to contact me with questions or concerns. Go Dawgs!

Hail State,

Rhett Hobart
President
Student Association


A Note from Calvin Mosley, Associate Director for Residence Life

Mississippi State University and the Department of Housing & Residence Life were pleased to welcome all new and returning students to campus and campus housing on August 10th. During MVNU2MSU (Moving You to MSU), residents checked into their housing assignments in a centralized process in Humphrey Coliseum. Once assignments were confirmed and the necessary paperwork was completed, keys were issued and students began their smooth transition into the residence halls. 

Over 500 volunteers were on hand to assist with the check-in process, the unloading of cars, and the physical labor of actually moving the many belongings into residence hall rooms.  In addition, the University Police Department did a tremendous job managing traffic and "unloading only" zones around each residence hall. We believe all would agree, our volunteers created a sense of family, organization, and timeliness.

Having this process in place has aided not only the Department of Housing and Residence Life, but Mississippi State University as a whole.  Coming to college is a BIG DEAL and we want to ensure when students arrive it is an enjoyable experience for all involved, including family and friends.  It was a hot day and there were certainly some happy parents that went to park an unloaded car only to come back to a fully moved in student.

We are, afterall, the "Peoples University".

Calvin Mosley Jr.
Associate Director for Residence Life


MoneyMate vs. Flex Dollars vs. Bull-E Buck$

Money does matter!  MSU has lots of terms to talk about money on campus.

MoneyMate - Prepaid spending account attached to a student’s MSU ID card.  Used to pay for books, copies, meals, etc. on or off campus (at participating vendors).

Flex Dollars - A method of payment that is included in most meal plans, and can be used at any dining services operation on campus.

Bull-E-Buck$ - This is simply a "refund" of any $ due to a student.  Students can electronically transfer any credit balance from their student account to a bank account or MoneyMate account.  Another option is to leave the balance alone and have it applied to future charges.

How can I check my student’s account?

QuikPAY allows student to authorize a payer to access account information and make payments on the student’s behalf.  

Students must initiate this process by logging into the MSU myState portal at my.msstate.edu.  Clicking on “Make an Online Payment”  will take them to the QuikPAY site.  The student will simply select “Authorize Payers” and proceed with the set-up of parents’ names and a password.  Once the student establishes authorization, the payer is sent a confirmation e-mail.

For more details, turn to page 43 in your Parent Handbook.


Student Health Center

Students are reminded the MSU Student Health Center (SHC) is open Monday through Friday to provide for the healthcare needs of the MSU community.  The staff of five physicians and five nurse practitioners have a wealth of experience dealing with college student health issues.

Office visit charges are a free service to students.  Charges for other services, including lab services, x-ray, physical therapy or pharmacy will be transferred to a student's account.  (SHC will file these charges to the health insurance carrier on behalf of student.  Insurance payments will be applied to a student's account upon receipt.)  Please remind your student to bring an insurance card to SCH and let the appropriate staff know insurance will need to be filed.  

Our Pharmacy can fill your student's prescription needs. Existing prescriptions may be transferred to the pharmacy by calling 662-325-8205.  If requested, the Pharmacy can also fill prescriptions from the student’s hometown physicians.  On-line refill requests are available at the health center website.   

Students needing medication management, including allergy injections, will need to call for an appointment. 

Finally, a Flu vaccine will be available to students for $20 later in the fall.  Encourage your student to watch for Flu Shot clinics around campus.  Students may elect to charge this to their student account.

Appointments:  662-325-7539.
Website:  www.health.msstate.edu
Administrator: Robert Cadenhead 662.325.5895

*The MSU Student Association does sponsor a student insurance plan available to enrolled students. Plan details may be found on the health center website under the “insurance” link. You are not required to participate in this insurance plan.


Holmes Cultural Diversity Center (HCDC) Peer Counselor Program

The Peer Counselors of the Holmes Cultural Diversity Center are a select group of upperclass students who assist with retention and graduation rates for both freshman and transfer students of color as well as students within the DayOne Leadership Program.  The aim of our peer counselors is to focus on student success by developing relationships with the freshman and transfer students through the hosting of educational, informational and social programs.  Each Peer Counselor is strategically partnered with freshman and transfer students based on similar academic concentrations.  They are also responsible for making the college experience a productive and successful endeavor for the student by assisting with problem-solving matters, informing students about scholarship/employment opportunities, and coordinating culturally enlightening and educational programs.  For more information about the Holmes Cultural Diversity Center Peer Counselor Program please visit http://www.hcdc.msstate.edu/peer/ or contact Ra'Sheda Forbes at 662.325.2033.


Advice from Residence Hall Directors

Name: Allie Wright
Master's Program: College Counseling
Residence Director: Ruby Hall
Hometown: Dover, Massachusetts

Hello parents! The best advice I have for you is to please encourage your students to get involved. This is oftentimes what makes or breaks their college experience - and we all want the best for them! There are so many opportunities for them to get involved across campus, whether it's as a leader in a student organization, attending University-sponsored events, or even socializing and attending programs in the residence hall. Encourage them to get to know other residents in their hallway, especially the Resident Assistant and Residence Director - we're here to help! Utilizing the resources and opportunities can help them create friendships, challenge themselves to go outside their comfort zone, and start making MSU their home away from home. As for all of you, parents - enjoy the peace and quiet while it lasts! :)

Name: Jason Camp
Master's Program: Public Policy and Administration
Residence Director: Rice Hall
Hometown: Banner, Mississippi

Save your spare quarters for son/daughter, they will really appreciate them for doing laundry when they are not able to make it home for the weekend.

Left overs are always a great idea to send back with them after coming home for a visit.

Give them freedom to learn what its like to make a mistake and how to fix it on their own. They will be thankful later on that you did.

Name: Amanda Bobo
Master's Program: Business Administration
Residence Director: Sessums
Hometown: Tupelo, Mississippi

Tell your student:  Don't sweat the small stuff.  Students should recognize what they have to get done, do it, and move on.  I know procrastination is super fun and easy, but it will come back and bite a student in the end. Students should be careful not to fall victim.

Mississippi State is one of the greatest places in the world.  The people here are friendly and genuinely care about the students.  Tell your student to take the time to meet the faculty and staff at the University.  It will serve them better in the long run and they'll have a web of connections to rely on when they have questions.  Get out there and grind for our State!

Name: Amelia Treptow
Master's Program: Architecture and Student Affairs
Residence Director: Aiken Village and Herbert
Hometown: Wells, Minnesota

State is a great place for your student to be and we are so happy to have them here!  There is a lot to do on campus, so encourage them to get involved.  It's a great way for them to meet friends, learn new things, and it doesn't hurt their resume either! Go Dawgs!!

Name: Cami Anderson
Master's Program: Clinical Psychology
Residence Director: Hull
Hometown: Tupelo, Mississippi

Mississippi State University has been a great place for me to attend undergrad as well as graduate school.  There are so many opportunities on campus for any type of involvement you can imagine- and if it is not here, your student can create a club and make it happen!  Being given these opportunities will allow your student to get involved and learn more about him or herself.  This is the time for your student to discover and develop into who he or she truly is.  A great decision was made when your student chose Mississippi State University.  Both your student as well as the university will benefit from the relationship and interactions your student has here.



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