Office of Student Affairs and Campus Life

Dear Students,

The finish line for fall semester is in sight! We send you our best wishes as you study for final exams. Finish strong by eating well, getting enough sleep and making a study plan. To ease end-of-semester stress, take a walk, listen to relaxing music or meditate. You can also contact the Center for Counseling and Psychological Health at (413) 545-2337.

If you are celebrating a holiday this month, we hope that it is filled with joy. We look forward to seeing you again in 2014!

Best wishes,
The Office of the Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs and Campus Life
319 Whitmore
Phone: 413-545-2300
Student Affairs and Campus Life Website

What's Happening

For more details about campus events, visit the UMass Events calendar.

Celebrate Kwanzaa
Monday, December 2, 5:30 - 8 p.m.
Student Union ballroom.

The Center for Multicultural Advancement and Student Success is leading a campus celebration of Kwanzaa. The theme of the free event is "Finding Meaning in the Kwanzaa Principles in Our Lives."

Wednesday, December 4, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Student Union Ballroom

Find time in your busy schedule to relax and have some fun! Sponsored by the Center for Health Promotion and Peer Health Educators, U-Day features crafts, giveaways, trivia, games, food, massages and music.

UMass Night Out
Friday, December 6, 7 p.m. to midnight
Student Union, Campus Center, the Off-Campus Student Center, library and other campus locations

UMass Night Out will take you "All around the World," with international food, music, dance and more!

CEPA Potluck and retreat
Saturday, December 7, noon – 3 p.m.
The Center for Educational Policy and Advocacy (CEPA) hosts its end-of-semester potluck and retreat. For more information, call (413) 545-0355 or visit the CEPA website.

Collect your crafts
The Student Union Craft Center closes for the semester on Saturday, December 7. Be sure to finish and pick up your projects before that day.

Save the date: Student Leadership Conference
Saturday, March 8, 2014
Join us for a day of speakers, workshops and skill-building sessions on leadership and organizational issues. Watch Campus Pulse for details or contact Jody Goodman at the Center for Student Development.

For off-campus students

December events and freebies
The Off-Campus Student Center (OCSC) is wrapping up the semester with a busy schedule of events. All programs are free and held in the OCSC, Student Union room 314, unless otherwise noted.

  • Grocery Bingo: Monday, Dec. 2, 4 – 6 p.m. Take a break from finals stress and play Bingo with us – you could win a bag of groceries!
  • Getting Your Security Deposit Back: Wednesday, Dec. 4, noon – 1 p.m. Experts from the Student Legal Services Office host this program for students currently living off campus and those planning to do so soon.
  • Winter Preparedness: Thursday, Dec. 5, 11 a.m. – noon. Get important tips on closing your apartment or house safely for winter break.
  • Subletting 101: Tuesday, Dec. 10, noon – 1 p.m. The Student Legal Services Office leads this program for students who can’t fulfill the terms of their lease.
  • Free smoke detectors: Thanks to a generous donation from the Hoffman family, off-campus students can pick up a free smoke detector for their apartment or house. Stop by the OCSC, do some quick paperwork and leave with your new detector!
By the way: We've updated our space! Come check out the cozy new lounge area soon.

Residential Life announcements

Fall, 2013 residence hall closing
All residence halls except Break Housing and the North Area Apartments will close Saturday, December 14 at noon. Plan your departure accordingly.

Students who have canceled their housing assignment for the spring semester or either completed a roommate pull-in or requested an appointment for online room selection for the spring semester must fully check out of their current residence hall assignment.

Students who have not vacated or checked out of their residence hall by noon on December 14 will be assessed a $150 Unauthorized Occupancy fee.

For more information about residence hall closing, call the Student Services Office, (413) 545-2100.

Spring, 2014 residence hall opening
Residence hall check-ins are Sunday, January 19, 9 a.m. – 9 p.m. Students may also check in Monday, January 20 during regular Residential Service Desk hours.

Now hiring: orientation leaders
Apply to become a New Students Orientation (NSO) leader! We’re seeking involved, energetic students in good academic standing. Positions run from the end of May through mid-July, with opportunities to continue in the fall; leaders are paid and receive room and board during NSO. Learn more at the NSO website, then download an application from Campus Pulse.

Advising tips

Finance career networking event
Monday, January 6, 2014, 5 p.m.
Wellington Management Company, Congress St., Boston

Interested in a finance career? Don’t miss this alumni panel. Network with current and future industry leaders at this free event. Register here.

Academic announcements

Important dates: 2013 - 2014
Mark your calendars for these important dates from Undergraduate Advising:

  • Wednesday, December 4: Writing placement test, 5:30 – 6:30 p.m., Bartlett 205
  • Friday, December 6: Last day of classes for Fall, 2013 semester
  • Saturday, December 7: Reading period begins
  • Sunday, December 8: Reading period ends
  • Monday, December 9 – Saturday, December 14: Final exams
  • Monday, December 16: snow day for December 14 exams; semester ends
  • Saturday, December 28: Confirmed grades for Fall, 2013 available on SPIRE
  • Tuesday, January 21: First day of classes, Spring, 2014
  • Monday, February 3: Last day to add or drop any class with no record for undergraduates, graduates, Stockbridge and continuing education students

Advising tips

Create a study schedule with enough time to study for each final exam.
Given the importance of finals and the large amount of material generally covered, cramming the night before is not a good idea.

If you have more than two exams scheduled for the same day, you can request to have the third exam rescheduled.
File your request with the Registrar's Office, 213 Whitmore, at least two weeks before the exam date.

Update your permanent and local addresses, phone numbers and email on SPIRE.
If the Registrar doesn't have the correct data, you risk not receiving important information that you’re responsible for knowing.

Classes for Spring, 2014 begin Tuesday, January 21.
Be aware of this early start date!

During December and January, re-evaluate your spring course schedule.
If you wish to make changes, you can do so at any time. Confirmed registration on SPIRE runs continuously through the end of the Add/Drop period, Monday, February 3. If you're at all unsure about what to do, contact your advisor. Undeclared students should call Undergraduate Advising, (413) 545-2191, for an appointment.

Health and wellness

University Health Services' HealthRide program provides rides for students referred to off-campus services by their healthcare provider, and those needing a ride home after being seen in the local emergency department.

HealthRide transports students to routine specialty appointments in the Amherst, Florence, Hadley, Hatfield and Northampton area, including Cooley Dickinson Hospital.