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University of Rochester News for Parents, February 2016


President Issues Response to Commission on Race and Diversity Interim Report

President and CEO Joel Seligman has issued his response to the Presidential Commission on Race and Diversity’s interim report, which was submitted January 31. Seligman established the commission in November in response to a petition from several student groups, as well as events involving students, faculty, and staff on campus and beyond. In Seligman’s response, he outlines several of the initial recommendations of the commission that he has accepted, noting that the first steps focus on students. A group of 30 students gathered shortly after Seligman issued his response—primarily in response to his decision not to ban the social media app Yik Yak from the University’s servers. Further recommendations with respect to students and to faculty and staff will be made in a final report after faculty, staff, and student surveys are completed. More information is available on the commission’s website.

Video Contest Launches Antiracism Campaign

A new antiracism working group seeks student-produced videos that support the group's campaign slogan, “We’re Better Than THAT.” Read more about the campaign.

Eastman Faculty, Alumni Win Grammy Awards

Eastman School of Music alumni Maria Schneider '85E (MM) and Bob Ludwig '66E '01E (MM) were among the winners at the 58th annual Grammy award ceremony, along with Nathan Laube, assistant professor of organ, who was a performer on an album awarded the Best Classical Compendium. Trombone player Charles Halloran '08E (MM) was also featured in a recording that won for best regional roots music. Read more...

Committee Provides Recommendations for Rochester Curriculum

A committee comprising faculty, staff, and undergraduate students from across Arts, Sciences & Engineering has completed a review of the Rochester Curriculum—the first review since the curriculum was approved in 1995. The committee’s final report provides recommendations in five general areas: general education, writing and communication, experiential learning, global engagement, and career preparation. Questions and comments can be directed here.

Commission Reviewing 2011 Public Safety Report

In October 2015, President and CEO Joel Seligman appointed Holly Crawford—now senior vice president for administration and finance, chief financial officer, and treasurer—to chair a commission to conduct a five-year review of the recommendations made in the 2011 Security Commission Report on the Department of Public Safety. The commission, which started its work this month, is charged with evaluating the role of Public Safety in campus safety efforts—specifically adequacy in staffing, training, equipment, and authority of Public Safety staff.

AlertUR Test Set for February 25

The spring semester test of AlertUR, the University’s emergency notification system, will occur on Thursday, February 25, at 6 p.m. The purpose of the twice-a-year test is to activate the AlertUR system and check that it is working effectively. In the event of an emergency, alerts are sent by voice, text, or email message. All students are encouraged to review and update their contact information at prior to the test.

Video of Game-Winning Basket Goes Viral

Mack Montague ’17 nailed a buzzer-beating 3-pointer in overtime after teammate Sam Borst-Smith ’17 intentionally missed a free throw, giving the Yellowjackets a wild 77-76 win over 21st-ranked Chicago. Video of the shot has been posted and tweeted and retweeted thousands of times. The play also was selected as one ESPN’s Top Ten plays of the day.

Financial Aid Updates

Application instructions for financial aid for the 2016–17 academic year will be emailed to students this month. The Financial Aid Office encourages parents to touch base with their students to ensure that all application materials are submitted on time. The deadline for financial aid for 2016–17 is May 2. 
     Is your student considering living off campus next year? Encourage them to set up a meeting with their financial aid counselor to discuss how moving off campus may affect their financial aid. The office can be reached at (585) 275-3226.
    Learn more about financial aid in the spring 2016 edition of the Financial Aid Office newsletter, which includes information on the career center, bios of new staff members, and insights into what’s coming up next in the world of financial aid.

University Moves toward All Antibiotic-Free Chicken

Dining Services has announced that by June all chicken served on the River Campus and at the Eastman School of Music will be antibiotic-free. In working with Aramark and local suppliers, Dining Services has been able make the large-scale pledge without additional costs to students or customers.

Watch Campus Performances, Lectures Live Online

Performances by College music ensembles as well as a handful of lectures will be streamed live during the spring semester. See the schedule.

Summer Session: Get Ahead, Stay on Track, Catch Up

Many students at the College take courses in the summer to make up a course, focus on a particularly challenging subject, or to get ahead in their coursework so that they can have more time to complete a second major, a study abroad program, or an internship. With four sessions and more than 100 classes to choose from, students can earn up to 12 credits over the summer and receive a discounted summer tuition rate. Summer Session 2016 course offerings are available online. For more information, visit the Summer Sessions website, email the Office of Summer Programs and Part-Time Studies at, or call (585) 275-2345.



Hurry Up and Advise Me

While the Millennial Generation comes to college with a significant will to achieve, the rush of trying to get everything done often leaves limited time to spend contemplating some of the “big” college questions such as “what should I major in?” Marcy Kraus, dean of freshmen and director of the College Center for Advising Services, offers advice on how students can make the most of an advisement session.

Resources for students:
The College Center for Advising Services
Eastman School’s Office of Academic Affairs

Online Magazine Is Health and Wellness Resource for Students and Parents

The UHS Health Promotion Office provides Student Health 101, a monthly online health and wellness magazine especially for Rochester students and their families. Each issue contains information that will help your student make better decisions and can help you gain a better understanding of the health and wellness challenges that face today’s students. Read the most recent issue of the Parent Perspective issue, along with the Student Health 101 issue your student will receive.

Student Life

Student Leaders Honored

The Student Leadership Appreciation Dinner recognized student leaders and organizations that made impressive contributions to the University community in the past year. There are more than 200 student organizations advised by the Rochester Center for Community Leadership, Wilson Commons Student Activities, and hall councils from Residential Life who qualified for the nomination.

Hajim School Students to Test Market for Their Virtual Reality Vest

NullSpace VR—a team of current and former Hajim School students—is bringing to market the start-up’s virtual reality suit—a full upper body haptic vest. The vest is designed to be used with the new VR headsets coming on the market. Watch a video of NullSpace cofounder and CFO Lucian Copeland (above) demonstrate the device.

Engineering Students Pitch in to Repair Practice Carillon

Two mechanical engineering students have volunteered to replace one of three broken hammers on the University’s practice carillon—and create some spares as well—as part of their final projects in an introductory course on basic machine tools. There are no commercially available replacements for the custom-made hammers.

Urban Fellows, Rochester Youth Year Programs Accepting Applications

Rochester Urban Fellows is an intensive 10-week summer program that provides local undergraduates with opportunities to develop personal and professional skills through a summer fellowship, increase understanding of urban issues through faculty-led dialogues, and develop ties with Rochester through community-based activities. Applications to participate are due by 5 p.m. Friday, February 26. Applications are being accepted on a rolling basis through Friday, March 11, for Rochester Youth Year, an AmeriCorps VISTA–sponsored social-justice program that strives to eradicate poverty for Rochester youth and families, strengthen communities, and promote community-centered leadership.

Rising Leader Class Recognized

The Rochester Center for Community Leadership acknowledges the students who successfully completed the fall 2015 Rising Leader Class, a class designed to help students develop leadership potential. Read more about the class and its objectives.


Parents, You Are Always Welcome!


Online Events

Registration is required for these upcoming career programs (all times EST)  

National Urban League President to Present MLK Commemorative Address

Marc Morial, president of the National Urban League and a former mayor of New Orleans, will deliver the Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Address at 6 p.m. EST Monday, February 29. The talk will be streamed live at

Event Explores Career Opportunities for Teachers

Students are invited to explore teaching careers at the Warner School of Education's “Why Teach?” event on Saturday, February 27. Warner School representatives will provide information about programs and scholarship opportunities—including new guaranteed teaching scholarships—and answer questions about career opportunities in teaching.

What Else Is Happening on Campus?

Check the University Events Calendar for a comprehensive list of happenings at the River Campus, Eastman School, Memorial Art Gallery, and Medical Center.
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Parents Buzz is produced by University Communications, Parent and Family Relations, and the Parents Program. It is emailed monthly to parents of undergraduates in the College and at the Eastman School. View issues online at Direct feedback and questions to

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