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Parent PrioRITies

Community service is an important part of the RIT tradition

Mary-Beth Cooper
Vice President for Student Affairs

In the wake of December’s tsunami tragedy, many of RIT’s student groups launched fund-raising programs or donated gifts of money and time to organizations helping in the relief effort. Not only are we proud that our students immediately responded to this overwhelming need, but we are happy to report that this is one of many examples of RIT students committing resources to help those less fortunate.

From individual students with a desire to help, to RIT fraternities, sororities, and other student clubs who participate for the community service requirement in their charter, volunteerism is a big part of campus life. Just one avenue for lending a hand is the Community Service Center, a clearinghouse for RIT students (as well as faculty/staff) who are interested in making a difference in their community.

The CSC provides information on the volunteer needs of more than 300 agencies in the Rochester community and coordinates volunteer requests for long-term assignments, one-day activities, individual placements and group projects. Last year, approximately 1,600 students, faculty and staff logged more than 35,000 hours of community service through the Center!

When a need arises, RIT responds. This is just one more source of “Tiger Pride”found on campus and spreading to the Rochester community every day.

Mary-Beth Cooper
Vice President for Student Affairs

In case of emergency, call . . .
Occasionally problems arise that impact students’ health and well being, their families, and other members of the campus community. With a campus the size of a small city, parents are sometimes unclear as to what they should do in these events.

Parents can take comfort knowing that whatever the situation, RIT’s first concern is the safety and health of their children, but there are both practical and legal considerations in communicating with parents. Often the university is bound by law with regard to what can be communicated, and with more than 15,000 students, RIT can’t contact parents individually to let them know about a problem.

The quickest and most practical method to communicate is via the Internet. Currently, RIT posts emergency notifications on the university’s home page (www.rit.edu). In addition, under the “Parents” navigation option on the RIT Web site, there is a link to the RIT emergency preparedness Web site with a wealth of information and contact numbers for use during emergencies. RIT can also communicate through broadcast e-mails if valid
e-mail addresses are on file for parents.

If a parent believes that their student is in trouble or in need of assistance, several campus groups are available to help. The Office of Student Affairs oversees much of campus life outside of the classroom, and can help guide both parents and students through the mix of RIT departments to find assistance.

Additionally, RIT’s parent liaison, Dawn Murley, is available
to help parents. Murley has more than 30 years of experience working at RIT, and is well-versed in the procedures for dealing with student emergencies. She has an instinct for knowing just who to contact to help any student. Her role is primarily that of a troubleshooter, coordinating the efforts of several RIT departments to assist a student in trouble. Emergency situations with which Murley has assisted include:

• Illness/death of a parent or close family member at home.
• Students who are extremely stressed by academic and work demands, or otherwise seem to the parent to be unusually depressed.
• A student tells their parents they are receiving threatening
• A parent has not heard from their child for an extended period of time and can’t reach them on their own.

In some cases, Murley will connect the parent with Campus Safety. (Parents are also able to contact Campus Safety directly if they believe their child is in physical danger or know they’ve been the victim of a crime.) In other cases, Murley will coordinate efforts between academic counselors, residence life staff, the Counseling Center or the Student Health Center to provide the support needed.

Valuable contact information is included with this article. We encourage you to keep these numbers handy.

Emergency contact information

Office of Student Affairs: 585-475-2853

Dawn Murley, parent liaison: 585-475-6424 voice/tty; Fax: 585-475-2133; E-mail: parents@rit.edu

Campus Safety: 585-475-3333

Center for Residence Life (for students living in residence halls, campus-owned apartments, or fraternity/sorority housing): 585-475-6022 voice/tty

Student Health Center: 585-475-2255; TTY: 585-475-5515