Welcome Parents!

Whether this is your first experience with higher education or another step in a long family tradition, you know that this is a critical passage for your son or daughter. As they take on new challenges, they prepare for full-fledged adulthood. It is our privilege to participate in that process.

Residence Life & Housing actively pursues to enhance the quality of life on campus, to support the academic needs of resident students and to compliment the academic goals of Wright State University. Your student will be invited to become a full partner in this endeavor. National research and our experience show that students who live on campus perform better academically and graduate earlier than their off-campus counterparts. I ask that you encourage your student to take full advantage of this marvelous opportunity.

The staff of Residence Life & Housing is committed to providing students with safe, clean, well-maintained, reasonably priced housing where both academic success and personal growth are promoted. So, please call on us if we can help in any way.


What to Expect

The first year of college can be a very exciting, yet challenging, experience. Students may be leaving home for the first time and may be feeling a great deal of anxiety about the exploration, affirmation, and independence that lies ahead. The parent's role during this time is an integral part of the experience. How you respond to your student's concerns can have a great impact on his or her adjustment and success.

Being a parent of a first-year college student can be difficult at times. You may have feelings of frustration and helplessness. Parents must be prepared to listen and answer such concerns as "I don't like my roommate" or "this professor doesn't like me," or even "I want to come home." These are common first-year students' statements and can play an important part of the valuable process your students will undertake while establishing independence.

Parents should challenge themselves to be supportive while still allowing their student to take the proper steps towards adulthood. A common term used at colleges and universities is "empowerment," which, in this context, means to provide students with the skills and resources needed to make responsible decisions. Even while at home, parents play an important role in the process.

Common Concerns Of First Year Students

  • Homesickness
    Most students at one time or another experience homesickness. It is common for first-year students to feel it, especially during the first six weeks on campus. Parents can help by listening to their student and validating his or her feelings, offering to come and visit their son or daughter instead of having him or her come home, and/or encouraging their student to speak to a residence hall staff member or the counseling center.
  • "There is nothing to do here"
    First-year college students may have difficult time getting involved at first. Although students do have to take some initiative, opportunities to get involved are available at virtually every corner- intramural activities, student leadership organizations, athletic teams and events, and social functions. If your student complains that he or she has nothing to do, please refer him or her to the Student Organization Complex located in the Student Union Atrium; here your student can find the offices of the major six campus organizations and find out about going to events or getting involved. Also, residence hall staffs regularly offer social and educational programs right in the building, giving students an opportunity to interact with their neighbors and learn skills that can help in class performance.
  • Academic Anxiety
    Academic anxiety is a problem for many first-year students. College coursework is very different then curriculum in most high schools. Common anxieties among college students include time and priority management, scholarships pressures, and the structural differences between a typical college and high school day.

    If you sense that your student is experiencing anxiety related to his or her classes and/orcourse work, a number of resources are available on campus to help: class instructors, Community Directors, Resident Assistants, and the Office of Councelling and Wellness Services.
  • Roommate Conflicts
    When two people live in closet quarters, conflict is bound to arise. Quite often conflicts arise because roommates fail to communicate their expectations. If your student has a problem with a roommate, encourage him or her to sit down and calmly discuss the situation with his or her roommate. If you feel the individuals involved need assistance resolving their conflict, refer them to the Resident Assistant or Community Director. Staff will attempt to first resolve any conflicts with a roommate agreement. Most students find it extremely beneficial to complete a Roommate Contract at the beginning of the school year. The Roommate Contract is a tool in which all roommates sit down together and discuss rules for the room. Establishing parameters at the beginning of the year helps set tone for the remainder of the year. If necessary, an RA or the Community Director may participate as mediator if necessary. The Roommate Contract becomes extension to the Student Code of Conduct should problems arise.

Safety and Security Tips

Living on campus today presents students with the unique opportunity to live and learn among a wide variety of peers and have a variety of experiences in doing so. In an effort to make this experience a positive one for students, Residence Life & Housing takes steps to ensure that certain needs are met, among them the need for safety and security. These steps include keeping hallway entrances locked 24 hours a day and making sure that a staff member (CA, PL, etc.) is on duty in each area whenever the Community Office is closed.

Even though Wright State takes these precautionary steps, there are steps you should take, too. In order to have more effective results when it comes to combating crime in the halls, it is important for residents to be empowered to take proactive steps to ensure their security. Developing simple habits from the moment you arrive on campus can head off big problems and headaches in the future.

  • Lock your doors and carry your keys whenever you are away from your room. Students should do this even if they are only going next door. Remember that a thief does not need much time to ruin someone's day.
  • Do not prop open any exterior doors, or allow them to be propped open. While propping a door open may be convenient for a student or their guests, remember that it is also convenient for a thief.
  • Keep a record of the serial numbers on your television, computer, stereo, bike, etc. It is also helpful to keep pictures of these items. Students may also want to consider engraving these items with their initials or an identification number. Taking these steps can be of great help in identifying stolen valuables.
  • Protect items such as credit and ATM cards. See to it that your PIN code is not written on either of these cards. Without this code, and ATM card is worthless to a thief.
  • Report Theft. If, by some unfortunate circumstance, you should have some of your valuables stolen, you can still take action. The first thing you should do is tell your staff member (CA, CD, etc.), who can then fill out an Incident Report. The incident will then be in on record with Residence Life & Housing. Next, you should file a report with the Wright State Police. You can then give them the serial numbers and copies of pictures that you have taken of your valuables.

Taking the aforementioned steps will greatly reduce the chances of you being victimized by a thief. While this is true, it is important to remember that these measures, which can be effective deterrents to crime, will only work if you take the initiative and responsibility to put them into practice.

Fire Safety

When the fire alarm sounds, you are required by law to evacuate the building, even in the event of a false alarm. The Fairborn Fire Marshall will administer fire drills randomly during the academic year. All individuals are to proceed 100 feet away from the building. Only when the alarm is silenced and the "All Clear" given by Residence Life & Housing Staff or the Wright State Police, may people re-enter the building. Students who do not vacate will be subject to judicial action.

Any student who knowingly or accidentally causes a fire will be handled through the Office of Judicial Affairs.

Sprinklers

Sprinkler heads must not be tampered with, or used as a means to hang personal items. Some of our facilities are equipped with sprinkler systems that will extinguish most major fires. These sprinklers put out 250 gallons of water per minute. You may end up flooding your room and many others at the same time. Wright State is not responsible for the loss you may incur as a result of someone else's negligence. A resident who knowingly or accidentally causes a sprinkler to activate may be charged in the judicial process.

Worried About My Child!

Melissa A. Giles, former Associate Director for Residence Life

Having a child living away from home can be stressful for some parents. Many worried thoughts may be tumbling through your head; "will my son eat right?" "will my daughter get enough sleep?," "will my daughter go to class?," "will my son's roommate be a good one?," "I'm spending so much money!"; Please be assured that many parents worry about these issues when a child goes away to college. It's OK to worry.

If you'll indulge me in some reflection for a moment... Recall, if you can, a time when you experienced a difficult period in your life. What was that time? Were there people around to make the problem disappear? Probably not. Were there people around to assist you in working through the problem and/or to be a support to you while you got through the problem on your own? Probably. How did you resolve the problem? Did you learn anything from the experience? Probably. Are you a better person for having struggled through the difficult time and for having gotten through it on your own? Probably.

Your child will experience some trying times while she/he is away at college. The difficulty may be with classes, it may be with managing money, it may be with roommates, or it may be another problem. I can recall many times when I have had the inclination to attempt to protect the people I care about from painful experiences. However, over time I've come to realize that I can't protect people from trying times and experiences for their whole lives. Firstly, because it's just not possible. Secondly, because I know that I've learned a great deal from making it through some difficult times on my own. One of the ways in which people grow and develop is through navigating difficulties and persevering over those difficulties on their own. It is important to remember that college is a time for your student to grow and develop and that with growth and development comes some challenges that your student must face on his or her own with a supportive ear and/or shoulder from an adult who cares about her/him.

When your student calls or comes home and describes a problem to you, try first to listen reflectively. This means that you should let your student talk about the problem and try to paraphrase what you are hearing and pick-up on feelings that she/he is having about the issue. This will help your student to reflect on the issue and will help him/her to feel that they have a listening ear. Even if you know how you would solve the problem or even if you think that one phone call from you would clear it up, it's important to help your student come up with some possible solutions on her/his own and to try out those solutions, sometimes even if you know that the solution your student has chosen won't work.

If your student is having problems you should also know that there are residential community staff members and other university staff and faculty members that are here for support as well. In the residential communities there are staff members called Resident Assistants (RAs) who are also undergraduate students and who are specially trained to assist students in working through their difficult times and who also know a great deal about Wright State's resources. In the campus apartment communities the very same staff members Resident Assistants. There are also several professional staff members that your student could go to for assistance called Community Directors or Community Coordinators who are a third type of staff member, who are Master's Degree holding professionals, that your student could go to for support.

Good luck in your adjustment to this new phase of your child's life and remember, it's OK to worry. Just know that through navigating her/his own difficulties, your student is more likely to become a mature, well-adjusted adult!

Parental Contracts

Students Treated as Adults
With few exceptions, Wright State students are at least 18 years of age. As such, they are considered adults by both law and practice. We work to create a living environment where students can grow and develop. Part of this maturation process involves "testing limits and boundaries." Our judicial process certainly takes this into account. However, an adult student is expected to be responsible for his or her actions.

Contract with the Student
The housing contract is signed by the resident. All policies and procedures outlined within it, the terms and conditions, and our Sourcebook apply to the student.

Governed by FERPA
Because Wright State is a state and federally funded institution, we must follow the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) which prohibits Residence Life & Housing from releasing any information—besides the most basic "directory" information—about the student without the student's permission. This applies to family members. Housing administrative staff will use their best judgment about discussing roommates, finances, complaints, or other problems without the student's permission. In the case of dire emergency, we may choose to speak to family members. We do know this is frustrating—it is for us too—but we have very little "wiggle room" on this law.