MARCH 2009
A newsletter for parents of Mount Vernon Nazarene University students…
Written by Lee Yowell, Associate Dean of Student Development

Five Things MVNU Parents May Want to Know Before Spring Break...

Upcoming Events

March 5
Board of Trustees Spring Meeting

March 8
Anne Kmieck, Art Exhibit

March 10
Music Scholarship Recital

March 11-13
Spring Revival Services

March 14
Extended Melody Project

March 17
Instrumental Ensembles Concert

March 20
Residence Areas Close at 5 p.m. for Spring Break

March 20-21
Women's Auxiliary Spring Retreat

March 29
Residence Apreas Open at 2 p.m.

View more dates online.

5. MVNU is not sponsoring a "cash only" mission trip to the Virgin Islands. So if your student tells you he/she needs $800 dollars cash, will be gone for a week and will be unreachable by phone, you may want to sit them down for a talk.

4. Residential students will need to fill out emergency housing forms and turn them in to the Director of Residence Life by March 13 if they need to stay on campus during the break (yes, there is an additional cost for emergency housing). As for everyone else, well, they donít have to go home... but they canít stay here.

3. If your son or daughter is planning on coming home for break, be prepared to deal with "campus jet lag." This is like typical jet lag, but unlike flying across 5 time zones, this can happen even when you live 5 minutes away from campus. Generally, students donít understand how people can wake up at 6 a.m. and go to bed at 10 p.m. Rather, they may be more comfortable going to bed at 6 a.m. and waking up at 10 a.m., with a 2-3 hour nap in the afternoon. There really isnít a cure for this "schedule shock" but we just wanted to give you a heads up.

2. Yes, students are still expected to live by the MVNU Lifestyle Guidelines while on spring break, whether it be at home or in Cancun.

1. Professors have this crazy idea that students will complete reading assignments, study and work on papers and projects over this 10-day break. So, while textbooks can take up valuable suitcase space, it might be a good idea for students to continue working, at least a little bit, over the break.

We're All Ears...

It seems like it should be pretty simple and relatively easy doesn't it? Phone calls, e-mail, faxes, personal conversations, questionnaires, surveys, instant messenger, Facebook, and, yes, even old fashioned mail, are all ways that parents can communicate with MVNU, but sometimes we aren't sure what is the best way to share our thoughts, concerns and ideas. The truth is, any of those will work. We want to hear from parents. Yes, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (the infamous FERPA) limits some of the information we can directly share, but the good news is that FERPA doesn't hinder parents from sharing with the university faculty, staff, and administration.

We have a shared goal in the success of our students. We want to make sure that we are providing them with the best opportunities possible and it is a team effort. As parents, you have a unique viewpoint and perspective and we want to hear from you. So, whether it be a note to our marketing team expressing your appreciation for some of the print materials sent to you in the mail, a request for a Music & Ministry team to visit your local church, or sharing a concern you might have regarding an egregious grammar mistake in the last parents newsletter (trust me they are probably there), we want to hear from you.

So, donít be shy.

Update on Spring Break Service Opportunities

In a couple of weeks, students will be invited to step away from studies and enter into "Spring Break." This is a time when members of this community can chose to do whatever they want to do! Certainly some are planning to travel south where it is warm and to soak up some sunshine and enjoy the warmth of a beach. That is the first image that comes to mind when we think of Spring Break.

It has been a longstanding MVNU tradition to offer options of spending the break in service to others. This spring, we will have students serving in Belize; Germany; Mexico; New York City; Washington, D.C.; and yes, even in Orlando, where the sun will certainly shine. What happens on these experiences? Let me offer the reflective thoughts of one of our students who served last spring:

"I encountered God in a way that I never have before, even on previous mission trips. Interacting with the children at the homeless shelter gave me a desire to serve those who do not have a place to call home when I came back to campus and after graduation."

We believe these opportunities provide an experiential framework to shape lives, educate the whole person and cultivate Christlikeness. As this student has indicated, these experiences open a lifetime of possibilities to continue learning and serving. This is the essence of the MVNU experience. This is our mission. We also believe in a real way that even as undergrad students they are changing the world with the love of Christ--which is our vision at Mount Vernon Nazarene University. So, please pray for our spring break teams. And keep up with their adventures through Spring Break blogs.