Madison Family Newsletter: March 2022

Madison Family Newsletter: March 2022

Brought to you by the JMU Office of Parent Relations


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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,

As we approach the mid-point of the semester, we are excited about the arrival of Spring Break and the opportunity for all of us to recharge and enjoy a well-deserved pause. I hope your student gets some time to relax and refresh during this time and I also hope many of them will be coming home to you for Spring Break.

We have had some warm days on campus already and one of my favorite pastimes is to walk out on the Quad and talk to your students, meet some of the puppies running around, and throw a football every once in a while. It’s great to see the campus wake up on these days and for us all to enjoy time together outdoors here in the beautiful valley. 

I wanted to provide some tips if your student is traveling over Spring Break. Please remind them of these and any other family safety plans you all have in place:

  • Secure their rooms, apartments and houses before they leave as well as any valuables.
  • Throw away any food that will spoil and clean all of their dishes.
  • Share their travel plans with you.
  • Fully charge their phone and don’t forget their charger and maybe a backup battery.
  • Have a travel safety kit in their car that includes a phone charger, flashlight, first aid kit, basic tool kit, a lighter or matches, jumper cables, a blanket and extra clothes.
  • Top off their gas tank.
  • Get plenty of rest before driving.
  • Be aware of their surroundings and travel in groups.
  • Lock up their belongings.
  • Don’t forget the mix tape (just kidding, make a great Spotify playlist.)

We have had some questions recently about how to support students when there may be concerns about their whereabouts or safety so we wanted to pass this along to parents as well. We want to make sure you have the most direct access to support and answers so we have the following information to help guide you. If you are concerned about a student’s immediate safety, you can request a welfare check by calling the JMU Police Department at (540) 568-6911. They will gather information and send an officer out to make sure they are safe. If the Harrisonburg Police need to be involved, JMU Police will instruct you on how to proceed.

Our Dean of Students is another great resource and I want to recommend you utilize them to report any concerns you have that don’t require an immediate, emergency response through their Madison Cares referral form. The Dean of Students is designed to outreach and support your students and they can be an incredible resource when you have concerns or want to discuss how your student is doing. You can learn more about this team and find their additional contact information on their website.

Also, while I am very active on social media, messaging me through these platforms is not the best way to get a response, especially in the case of an emergency. The JMU Police Department is the best place to start if you have an emergency as they have officers and dispatchers available 24 hours a day. Despite what you may have heard, I do try to get a few hours sleep each night so I am not always able to see your messages. If I need to be involved, don’t worry the JMU and Harrisonburg Police Chiefs know where I live! 

When you have a need to contact me or our office, I want to encourage you to utilize email and phone. Please email us at vpstudentaffairs@jmu.edu or call our main office line at 540-568-3685. This can allow our team to respond to you often quicker than I can on my own and they will pull me in when necessary to support you and your students.   

The last half of the semester is usually filled with an amazing number of events and outdoor activities. Spring sports are also starting so I hope to see many of your students there. Encourage your student to get out and participate if they’re not already doing so. Dukes Weekly and the Event calendar are great ways to find out about the many scheduled events. The rest of the semester will fly by and before you know it we will be gathering with the families of the Class of 2022 to celebrate their graduation and contributions to JMU. 

Take care and Go Dukes,

Dr. Tim Miller

Vice President for Student Affairs

Sibs & Kids Day on April 23, 2022

Your students can invite their younger sibling/relative/friend to campus for JMU Sibs & Kids Day! Hosted by the Parent Relations office, Sibs & Kids Day is a fun and informative day of activities and events for JMU students and their guests between the ages of 12-17, with the purpose of sharing your college experience in a meaningful way.

This event is scheduled for Saturday, April 23, 2022, from Noon until 8 p.m. Registration is free for students, and $32 for guests. Attendees receive access to various campus activities, dining tickets, a Sibs & Kids Day t-shirt and a JMU bag with goodies.

A full schedule of activities is planned for you and your guests providing many opportunities for exploring campus and sharing your college experience. Events include an adventurous rope course session, X-Labs activity, free time at the University Recreation Center, meals in both dining halls, spring football game, campus scavenger hunt and much more. Check out the full schedule on the JMU Sibs & Kids website. Please note that students are required to accompany their guest at all times.

Make sure to sign up before the April 3, registration deadline. For more information, view the schedule of events and register.

Learn More

Save the Date for Family Weekend Sept 30-Oct 2, 2022
Summer 2022 Financial Aid

Submitted by: Jessica Hopkins, Assistant Director of Compliance, Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships

Students who enroll at least half-time (UG-6 credits and GR-5 credits) for summer 2022 in an approved program of study may qualify for summer financial aid.

To receive consideration, students must complete these two applications:

1. 2022-23 FAFSA
If you are only interested in private loan options, a FAFSA does not need to be submitted

2. Summer Aid Application
Available on our website when summer registration begins on March 28th

We will use the information from both forms to determine eligibility for these types of funding during the summer:
• Federal Pell Grant
• Federal Direct Loans (Subsidized, Unsubsidized and/or Parent PLUS)
• Private Educational Loan (FAFSA is not needed for students only wanting to borrow a private loan)

If students anticipate receiving the Federal Pell Grant, they should complete the summer aid application regardless of enrollment level. Receiving a Pell Grant in the summer will not reduce the award amounts for fall and spring. (The only exception to this if a student reaches their lifetime limit for receiving Pell)

Conversely, borrowing a Direct Student Loan during the summer will reduce the loan eligibility for the following fall and spring terms. For example…juniors can borrow up to $7,500 for the Academic Year, so if $4,000 is used during the summer, that would leave $3,500 to split between fall and spring.

You can learn more by:
• Visiting our website
• Watching this video

Learn More

Returning Student Room Selection

Submitted by: Sydney Arnold, Social Media and Marketing Manager, Office of Residence Life

Did You Know?

Returning Student Room Selection will take place between April 4 and April 8. Have you talked with your student about where they are planning to live next year? If not, this is a great time to do so. Some other important Room Selection dates are below. You may want to make sure your student is aware of these dates!

January 31: Roommate Search goes live in the Online Housing System
February 2: Information about Room Retention, Honors Housing, and Gender Inclusive Housing sent out via email
March 16: Housing Accommodation Requests due to the Office of Disability Services by 5pm
March 22: Room Retention and Honors Housing Forms due at 5pm
March 28: Room Selection Timeslots sent to students with a signed Housing Contract

In addition, below are the upperclass buildings for 2022-2023. All upperclass buildings are air conditioned and have elevators.


Upperclass Building


Converse, Gifford, Logan, and Wampler Halls


Apartments on Grace


Paul Jennings Hall (4th & 5th floors)

More information about the Returning Student Online Room Selection process is also available on our website.

Learn More

2022 Football Schedule Is Here!

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

Earlier this month, the Sun Belt announced the 2022 football schedule. James Madison football will play 10 FBS games and one non-conference FCS game. Family Weekend is slated for Saturday, October 1 against Texas State! 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. Single game tickets will be available beginning July 1.

Learn More

Core & Connect

Submitted by: Kaitlin Pomerleau, Assistant Director for Marketing and Social Media, UREC

UREC is excited to offer a new program called "Core & Connect" after Spring Break that intentionally connects students with each other in a positive and supportive group environment. We hope to help your Dukes make new friends, build new healthy habits and increase comfort in coming to UREC.

Core & Connect groups will meet with a Connect Coach twice a week for 4 weeks. Sessions include activities to get to know other group members and programs in different areas of UREC. Learn more and encourage them to sign up on URECRegister.

Learn More

Russia Invasion of Ukraine: Causes and Consequences

Submitted by: Dr. Carah Ong Whaley, Associate Director, JMU Civic

Following months of a heavy military build-up on the border and years of conflict over borders, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered what he said was a “special military operation” against Ukraine on February 24, 2022. A full-scale invasion followed, with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy declaring martial law and saying his country would defend itself. Even before the February 2022 invasion, the war between Russia and Ukraine had already claimed 13,000 lives (3,400 of them civilians), displaced 850,000 people, and left almost three million in need of emergency assistance. More than one million more have already fled Ukraine in this current invasion.

Faculty experts from the College of Arts and Letters at James Madison University discussed the history and context of the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the humanitarian and geopolitical consequences. Watch or listen to the conversation.

Learn More

Making History by Changing the Future

Submitted by: Cannie Campbell, Associate Vice President for Constituent Engagement & Women for Madison

JMU students graduate prepared to make a difference. Shaped by the Madison experience, they’ve built knowledge, character and collaborative skills. These motivated graduates are JMU’s contribution toward a brighter future for us all.

But what if today’s harsh financial realities force these high-achieving students to withdraw before they can graduate from JMU? What if JMU can’t recruit them in the first place?

The need for strategic recruiting

Cannie Campbell (’95 and ’20M), Associate Vice President for Constituent Engagement and Women for Madison, emphasizes how the need for scholarships is growing — dramatically. “Continuing financial fallout from the pandemic is just one factor,” she notes. “Recruitment is another. Colleges and universities that compete with JMU, for example, offer scholarships to 35% of the students they admit. JMU offers aid to 6%.”

Campbell points out that even when JMU students do receive scholarships, the gap between total financial aid and actual costs averages $5,000/year. “Multiply that gap by four years and it becomes a $20,000 hurdle to graduation.”  

Learn More

Opportunity Lost: How We Failed Afghanistan

Submitted by: Dr. Carah Ong Whaley, Associate Director, JMU Civic

“Afghanistan could have been a successful case of state building, but the failure of the U.S. and international community to implement accountability led to the downfall of the regime,” says Dr. Samiullah Nuristani, former Head of Policy and Planning in the Office of the Chief of Staff to the President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. “Most of the aid was lost to waste and fraud. There is a lack of political will to address corruption.”

Dr. Samiullah Nuristani (JMU Public Administration ‘09, JMU Master’s of Public Administration, ‘11 and Strategic Leadership Studies, ‘20), who is a Research Associate in the JMU Mahatma Gandhi Center’s Justice and Nonviolence Research Lab, joined us on Democracy Matters to share his journey as a refugee, and his experiences and expertise on governance in Afghanistan. Dr. Nuristani also highlighted the importance of democratic legitimacy: “What gives legitimacy to any regime is the people’s consent. We have to ensure that democracy is formed organically and not imposed externally or by domestic elites.”

Learn More

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Published: Wednesday, March 9, 2022

Last Updated: Monday, April 22, 2024

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