Madison Family Newsletter: April 2022

Madison Family Newsletter: April 2022

Brought to you by the JMU Office of Parent Relations


Back to Top

JMU Parent Relations Logo

The Madison Family Newsletter is created each month by the Office of Parent Relations in partnership with many members of the JMU community. For more family resources, visit our website.

A Letter from Dr. Tim Miller

Hello JMU Families,

It’s hard to believe it’s April already. Despite the recent cold weather, we’re enjoying the energy of all the activity happening outside my new office on the Quad and all around campus. There are a lot of events happening this month so please encourage your student to participate in any that interest them. They can see what’s happening by checking the Event Calendar and by reading the Dukes Weekly email each Monday.

Registration for fall classes begins soon and planning ahead and being prepared can make the process much easier. First, remind them to check MyMadison to be sure they don’t have a hold on their record. Holds happen for a variety of reasons but right now there are hundreds of students who didn’t complete their Assessment Day requirement and they will not be able to register for classes until that is resolved. It’s important to let them know that it will take time to have holds lifted so they need to take care of that now so it is resolved by their registration date.

As the weather improves there will likely be a lot more socializing happening off campus. I understand the importance of interacting and connecting with others but I also care deeply about the safety of our students so I recently sent an email with some reminders and tips. I hope your student and you found it helpful and that it may have been a conversation starter for you.

There has been a lot of planning and action recently around how to support our students’ mental health. One of the resources we are working on right now is a telehealth option thanks in great part to financial support from one of our JMU families. We are in the final stages of selecting a company to serve JMU and we will have this in place by the start of the Fall semester. There will be more to come but I wanted to share this to keep you informed of our plans.

I really enjoyed presenting to the Parents’ Council recently and sharing insight on the student experience here at JMU. These meetings are always a highlight for me as working with our parents is one of my favorite parts of this job. 

To the parents of graduating seniors, thanks for being part of this journey we have been on together.  I hope your Duke is taking it all in right now and planning to participate in the many special events we are planning for them. I arrived at JMU in the summer of 2018 and your students were my first class as Vice President.  We have experienced so much together and the Class of 2022 will always hold a special place in my heart. Their first four years as Dukes are coming to an end and the next adventure as a JMU Alum is about to begin.  These next five weeks will fly by and graduation will be here before you know it. Enjoy this final stretch of their undergraduate career and remember that your entire family is part of JMU forever.

See you all soon and Go Dukes!

Dr. Tim Miller

Vice President for Student Affairs

Loan Repayment and End of Term/Year Deadlines

Submitted by: Colleen McAvoy, Assistant Director for Loans, Financial Aid & Scholarships

End of Term/Year Deadlines
The end of the spring 2022 semester marks the end of the 2021-22 financial aid year. Parents wishing to apply for a 2021-22 Parent PLUS Loan must apply via studentaid.gov by May 10th in order for their loan to be processed within federal deadlines. Students wishing to receive a subsidized or unsubsidized direct loan must accept their loan(s) via their MyMadison by May 11th. Loans accepted/applied for after these dates may not have sufficient time to be processed by the end of the term.

Federal Loan Repayment
Congratulations to the Class of 2022! As your years at JMU come to a close, it is time to look to your future education loan repayment.

All federal loans are assigned to a federal loan servicer after funds disburse. Borrowers repay their federal Direct Loans via their loan servicer. Your loan servicer will contact you notifying you who they are, how to contact them, and how to repay your loans. Students as well as parents can view their loan servicer(s) and their contact information by logging in to studentaid.gov with FSA ID. Note: Be sure to use the correct log in as parent borrowers may only view their loan information under their FSA ID as student borrowers may only view their loan information under their FSA ID.

Unless you request otherwise, parents begin repayment of PLUS Loans within 30 days of disbursement. If you request to defer all or a portion of your payments, you will enter repayment once your student graduates or drops below half-time enrollment. Payments are made directly to your loan servicer.

Students (Graduating Seniors)
Student loans are automatically deferred until the student borrower drops below half-time or graduates. Students may make payments at any time and are encouraged to do so. Even making interest only payments can drastically reduce the overall cost of an unsubsidized loan.

Once a student graduates or enrolls less than half-time, they will be notified to complete Exit Loan Counseling. This excellent educational tool allows student borrowers to review their federal loan history, find their loan servicer information, review the terms of their loan, peruse repayment plans, and more. We strongly encourage all student to submit Exit Counseling as a means of setting themselves up for repayment success.

For more information regarding loan servicing, repayment plans, what to do when faced with an economic hardship, and more, view the Federal Student Aid repayment site.

Going on to grad school? Payments will be deferred while you are in a degree seeking program and enrolled at least half-time (NOT true for Parent PLUS Loans; parents will continue making PLUS payments).

Private Loan Repayment
If you borrowed a private education loan, you will coordinate repayment directly with your lender. Many lenders provide a grace period following graduation, but not all. Contact your lender prior to entering repayment to review the terms of your loan, set up payments, and ask questions.

Learn More

Lock In Your Fall 2022 Meal Plan Early!

Submitted by: Emily Cozic, Marketing Manager, JMU Dining

Sign up for your Fall 2022 meal plan early!!

Now through April 29, currently enrolled students can sign up for their fall meal plan before summer break. Students can sign up with JMU Dining three different ways:

1) in-person with a JMU Dining sales intern

2) online at www.jmu.edu/dining

3) via email at dining@jmu.edu

Questions? Email cozicek@jmu.edu

Learn More

On-Campus Spring 2022 Move Out Information

Submitted by: Jason Jones, Associate Director, University Housing

As we enter April, students are beginning to plan for the end of the academic year. The end of the semester is an eventful time for all involved, filled with reflection, celebration, feelings of completion, and happy goodbyes. This includes preparing to end the academic semester strong, finalize summer plans, and look forward to an efficient residential move out process. 

What you can do to be prepared for move out: 

Move out and graduation ceremonies occur simultaneously on Thursday and Friday of finals week. There is more activity on campus during this time. Early preparation and planning can help ensure a smooth move out. Students should know their final exam schedule and can plan around other activities to avoid unnecessary complications. Students should attend the hall community meetings to learn check out and move out information from their residence life staff. Have them speak with their RA, watch for posters/flyers, and/or group messages to know the date and time. This important meeting will provide students with instructions on how to check out with staff or fill out an express checkout envelope. Express check out is easy and knowing the process will make it fast. 

As exams finish, the move out process can begin at any time. Students typically arrange to move out within 24 hours after their last exam or by Friday, May 13th at 12:00PM. In most cases, students must be completely moved out of the room and complete the checkout process after their last exam. All on-campus residence halls and apartments close officially on Friday, May 13th at 12:00PM

Those needing an extension to remain past the closing date for graduation should fill out a form prior to May 6th (students will receive a link to this form prior to the middle of April). 

How should students get ready for move out?  

Check the walls; remove all tape, stickers, posters and any sticky residue from walls and ceilings. Carefully remove command strips/hooks/LED lights. Pick up any trash and remove it from the room before you leave. Leave all furniture in the same condition, location, and set-up as it was when you moved in. Double-check drawers, closets, wardrobes, and shelves to avoid forgetting items in the room. The room should be in the same condition it was when you moved in - clean and free from trash. Make sure to fill out the express check out envelope and return the room key(s). 

Please note: Residence Life and Housing cannot store left items. 

Express check out:  

After completely emptying and cleaning the room (and bathroom if applicable), fill out the express check out envelope and return it with the room key sealed inside, to the students' residence hall office in their own residence hall. It's that simple. Students do not need to make an appointment and can check out any time of the day or night prior to the checkout deadline.  

More details about move out, parking prior to moving belongings out of the room, and more can be found at https://www.jmu.edu/orl/move-out/index.shtml

Office of Residence Life

Learn More

Secure Your JMU Football Season Tickets!

Submitted by: Nick Ocampo, Assistant Director of Fan Engagement, Athletics

The 2022 JMU Football schedule is here, featuring six games at Bridgeforth Stadium! Season tickets are on sale now with a priority deadline of May 15. Season tickets offer the best seat options and value for fans, and include one complimentary parking pass per account. Mark you calendars, Family Weekend 2022 is slated for Saturday, October 1.

Single game tickets will be available for purchase beginning July 1!

For more information, visit JMUTickets.com or call (540) 568-3853.

Learn More

End of Semester Self Care


Submitted by: Nina H. Critz, LPC, Associate Director for Administration, Counseling Center

As your student navigates the final weeks of the academic semester, it is also a time to prepare for their upcoming transition. Regardless if that transition is to a summer internship, return home, or graduation, it is important that your student attend to their well-being and mental health.

The Counseling Center offers two unique self-care spaces that are accessible throughout the year: The Oasis and The Studio. The Oasis is a great relaxation and stress management resource! It is a quiet, soothing space that gives students the opportunity to learn and practice a variety of relaxation, mindful, and meditative techniques. Plus, it has massage chairs! The Studio is a great space to explore a creative side and engage in expressive arts. Students don't need to be a skilled artist to enjoy the benefits of reduced stress, improved problem-solving abilities, and a better sense of understanding life! Both areas are open, at no charge, to students.

Additionally, The Counseling Center has a variety of online resources available that can be incorporated into your student’s routine. There are numerous strategies and resources available to assist your student in attending to their well-being. Please consider visiting the Virtual Resources section of our website for helpful handouts and suggestions.

Learn More

Ethics in Action with Ethical Reasoning in Action

Submitted by: Kacey DamatyAssistant Director, Ethical Reasoning in Action: The Madison Collaborative

Ethical Reasoning in Action encourages JMU students, faculty, staff, and administrators to use a strategy, the Eight Key QuestionsTM (8KQ), when making decisions. Since 2013, incoming JMU students explore a reality-based fictional scenario challenging them to think carefully about the ethical dimensions of an “It’s Complicated” situation. Facilitated small group discussions encourage diverse and inclusive reflection, critical thinking, and collaboration.

The 8KQ enhance everyday, complex decisions. Each open-ended value question functions as a springboard for more questions:

• Fairness - How can I (we) act justly, equitably, and balance legitimate interests?
• Outcomes - What possible actions achieve the best short- and long-term outcomes for me and all others?
• Responsibilities - What duties and/or obligations apply?
• Character - What actions help me (us) become my (our) ideal self (selves)?
• Liberty - How do I (we) show respect for personal freedom, autonomy, and consent?
• Empathy - How would I (we) act if I (we) cared about all involved?
• Authority - What do legitimate authorities (e.g. experts, law, my religion, god/s) expect?
• Rights - What rights, if any, (e.g. innate, legal, social) apply?

New this year is the Ethics in Action email series. Every two weeks, short, relatable scenarios are sent to the JMU community in an effort to increase the use of the 8KQ across campus and support the development of ethical reasoning as a critical thinking skill to guide decision making.

As parents to JMU students, you are in a special position to thoughtfully interact with your students at home using the 8KQ. Asking questions often generates insights and ideas you might otherwise miss. Try your hand at ethical reasoning with your student using the following approach:

1. Review the questions – FORCLEAR, ethical thinking, pause and ask the 8KQ.
2. Complete this Ethics in Action survey
3. Share your results with your student and reflect on your answers – What surprised you? Which of the 8KQ seem harder for each of you to consider? Which ones are more natural? What other questions can you generate together?
4. Watch for new Ethics in Action scenarios in this newsletter and discuss them with your student! 

Follow us on social media @JMU8KQ. 

Well Dukes Podcast

Submitted by: Kaitlin PomerleauAssistant Director for Marketing and Social Media, University Recreation

Taking a road trip to pick up your Duke? Check out some episodes to learn about health and wellness resources at JMU and UREC! The Well Dukes Podcast is a health and wellness podcast brought to you by the UREC Health Promotion team. The mission is to provide information, programming and services to JMU students that helps them lead healthy and productive lives. With each episode, listeners hear conversations that challenge what they know, how they think and what they do in regard to their overall wellness. The podcast has collaborated and brought special guests from SOGIE, the Counseling Center, the University Health Center, Shades of Pride and often features students who share a passion for wellness. There have been over 40 episodes with a wide range of topics - check it out on your next road trip!

Learn More

Hiking Near Harrisonburg


Submitted by: Emily Blake, Communications & Marketing Coordinator, Libraries

Looking for good places to hike near Harrisonburg? JMU Libraries has put together a guide to hiking spots for you and your Duke to enjoy while you're in the area!

Join 5,600+ fellow JMU parents and guardians in the official Facebook group! This group was created by the Office of Parent Relations in an effort to provide a safe online environment for parents to engage with one another. Request to join the group here »


Connect with the JMU Family!

Facebook Instagram

Published: Wednesday, April 6, 2022

Last Updated: Friday, April 1, 2022

Related Articles