Parent Update

Friday, November 30, 2012

Home for the Holidays: Tips for Parents

Editor's Note: We offer this article every year at this time as it provides great advice and some helpful suggestions as families anticipate having their student home for an extended time over the holidays.
By Heidi Malat, Director of Counseling Center

This is the time of year when first-year students are making plans for Christmas break. If not attending January-term classes, many students who live on campus will choose to spend the six-week break living at home. 

 If this is the case for your family, it will be important to talk ahead of time about expectations. Why? Because your daughter has most likely evolved into a slightly different person since she left your home four months ago. 

Your daughter has had many opportunities to grow on an intellectual, social and personal level. She has been practicing her independence skills and has developed a lifestyle that involves more personal freedom. Because of these changes, you may each have different ideas about how she will fit back into your home and family life. 

If you both want things to go smoothly over the break, it will be important for you to talk with her ahead of time about how your family can recognize and honor those changes while at the same time be respectful to family rules. The key to having a good break will be effective communication and building an atmosphere of respect for all involved.   

The December page of the Parent & Family Association Resource Calendar contains some wonderful suggestions for parents who are welcoming their daughters home for Christmas break. I am listing them here as a reminder. I hope you and your daughter’s break is filled with lots of opportunities to relax and reconnect!
* Your student most likely will expect to find everything just as she left it.
* She will want parents and family members to notice and respect that she has changed and become more independent.
* She might be trying out new things like hair styles, clothing or body art.
* Stay calm and keep communication lines open by talking and really listening.
* Be ready to compromise on details.
* Recognize that changes are important to your student's development.
* Keep your sense of humor and find a balance about expectations.
Source: Letting Go: A Parent's Guide to Understanding the College Years

Attend the 10th Annual Charity Ball!

Parents and family members are invited to attend the 10th Annual Charity Ball, sponsored by the St. Kate's Activity Team. This annual event began in 2003 as a way for the St. Kate’s community to give back. 

The Charity Ball is a semi-formal social event for members of the St. Kate’s community held to raise money for Sarah's... an Oasis for Women. Sarah's, a ministry of the Sisters of St. Joseph, fosters the self-empowerment of women in transition through life skill development, referral and advocacy services.

 How can you show your support? 
Know that you are invited to attend! This is a family-friendly event. The evening’s festivities include live entertainment, a photo booth, hors d’oeuvres, and most importantly, a silent auction. Tickets are $6 for students and $8 for guests, faculty and staff. All proceeds will be donated to Sarah’s. You can also support this event by doing the following:  
Silent Auction Donations: We invite St. Kate’s community members to donate themed gift baskets, gift cards or services to be part of the silent auction and charity ball door prize drawing.  Silent auction donations can be delivered to the Student Center and Activities office, CDC 270 by Monday, Dec. 10, at 4 p.m.   
Participate in the auction: The silent auction will begin on Tuesday, Dec. 11, at 9 a.m. in the Student Center and Activities Office, 2nd floor of Coeur de Catherine. The bidding continues on Friday, Dec. 11, until 8:30 p.m., when we close the silent auction and reveal how much money has been raised for Sarah’ Oasis for Women.

If you have any comments or questions, please contact the SKAT team by calling 651-690-6041 or contacting SKAT Advisor Brigette Marty at

Important Dates and Deadlines...

Here are some important dates for you to be aware of.....

Monday, February 4: Registration continues through first day of classes for spring term,
* Friday, December 7:  Candlelight Christmas Concert, Women's Choir, Chapel, 8 p.m.
* Friday, December 14: Charity Ball, Rauenhorst Ballroom, CDC, 7 p.m.
* Sunday, December 16: Late Night Breakfast, Dining Room, CDC, 10 p.m.
Monday, December 17: Final Exams begin and continue through Thursday, December 20
Thursday, December 20: Baccalaureate Mass, Chapel, 5 p.m., followed by Commencement
Friday, December 21: Residence Halls close, 10 a.m.
Tuesday, January 1:  Residence Halls re-open, 12 noon
Wednesday, January 2: J-term classes begin
Thursday, January 31: Last day of J-term classes
Monday, February 4: First day of classes for spring term. (Tuition is due in full for Standard Payment Option. Refer to the Summary of Financial Procedures for more detail on Standard and four-month online Installment Payment options; Visit, type Student Accounts in search bar. Link to PDF file on Summary of Financial Procedures.)

Limited supply of calendars available for academic year

First-come, first served!

For anyone who would like a copy of the 2011-2012 Parent and Family Resource calendar, we have a few left over and we would love to share these with any parent/family member.

Contact Ellen Richter-Norgel, Associate Dean for Students and Retention, at or call 651.690-8730.  We'll accommodate requests as we are able.

Holiday Schedule Announced; January Residence Deadlines Approaching

Residence Hall Break Closing and Semester Review by Sabrina Anderson, Assistant Director of Residence Life
It has been a great semester, and we hope your student enjoyed living on campus this fall. Here are some exciting highlights from the semester:

·         Over 239 resident students participated in one or more of the 8 community service activities planned by Residence Life this semester.
·         Residence Life Staff offered 512 floor programs and 25 campus-wide activities.
·         48% of resident students completed the Fall Resident Satisfaction Survey with 92% of respondents indicating they were having a positive experience living on campus.

As the semester comes to an end, we want to share important break closing information. The Residence Halls close at 10am on December 21. On December 14, students will receive a list of tasks to complete before departing for break. Residence Life staff will conduct health and safety checks of all rooms and living spaces on December 21 to ensure the task list has been complete. If your student needs to stay on campus between December 21-January 1, they must complete a December Break Request form by December 14.

The residence halls will open at noon on January 1. All resident students are welcome to stay on campus during the January term, even if they are not enrolled in J-term courses.

Coming up in the next issue of Parent Update:
Fall Housing Sign Up and Room Selection. 2013-14 Housing & Dining Agreements are due April 5.

Security Update on Sexual Assault Indicent

by Curt Galloway, Dean of Student Affairs

As you may know from our Parent Update communications shared last week,  one of our students was sexually assaulted near the Minneapolis campus on Monday, Nov. 19, 2012. 

In response to the incident St. Catherine University worked closely with the  Minneapolis Police Department, other local colleges and universities, and its own community, to gather, share information and respond appropriately. A number of community meetings were held to share information about the University's response. 

The Minneapolis Police Department continues to investigate the assault, and the suspect from the incident is in custody. St. Catherine University has also enhanced its security presence and escort service.

As part of our response, the University is reviewing suggestions that came from students, faculty and staff to address safety concerns with an eye towards short-term and long-term solutions.

As always, we welcome and encourage your input. Please feel free to contact us at either: or

Community Work and Learning helps Katies "get out and vote"

The Center for Community Work and Learning helped students exercise their right to vote in November, by educating students about the election process and providing transportation to the polls.

The center offered mock voting booths to students ahead of Election Day, to familiarize students with the process for voting. Then on Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012, Community Work and Learning provided shuttle service to the polling place for resident students throughout the day.  

We know that St. Catherine University students participated broadly in the general election in 2012, with many of them voting for the very first time. Community Work and Learning transported 232 students to Hillcrest Recreation Center, with 27.1%. of St. Kate’s resident students utilizing the van service. The van service began Election Day by offering transportation at set intervals between 8:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m., but because of the popularity of the service staff decided to run the shuttle constantly through 7:30 p.m.
"St. Kate's Voter Turnout has been incredible today," said D'Ann Urbaniak Lesch, assistant director of Community Work and Learning. "I  felt so inspired by our students, and their energy and enthusiasm around exercising their right to vote!"

Here is a sampling of what students had to say about the experience: 
"It was so exciting! It was simple and everyone should do it!" — Laura Crepeau '16
“I'm excited because it's my first time voting!" — Holly Staples '15
"The freedom to vote is really important to me. I'm happy that I live in a society that allows my voice to be heard." — Kerrick Sarbacker '14
"This is my first year voting, and I feel strongly toward the candidates. Now is an important time to vote because our economy, education, and healthcare systems are topics of importance in our country and for us as college students." — Ria Foslien '15
The Center for Community Work and Learning strives to connect curriculum with the greater community. The role the center plays for St. Kate’s students directly correlates to the institution’s mission of developing ethical, effective leaders. Through hands-on experiences in the community, students learn about important issues connected to their coursework while serving the needs of the community.

Students have a wide variety of opportunities for participation with the Center for Community Work and Learning. For more information, visit