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UTSA Family Association

Family Weekend Kickoff Dinner 2016

In this Issue...

Sam Gonzales

Message from Sam Gonzales
Vice President for Student Affairs

We have reached the end of another successful academic year. We are enjoying a hectic and wonderful Fiesta season, getting ready to support students in final exams, welcoming our newly admitted students, gearing up for Orientation and the list continues. The festive atmosphere serves as the perfect catalyst as we move closer to Commencement. You can feel the excitement and anticipation as our students move closer to their goals.

Through the next few weeks, our student will face roadblocks and uncertainty and we need to be there for them. They will face doubt in their abilities and we need to provide validation and mentoring. With each interaction, we are reminded of what it feels like to witness courage and dedication. It is the heart of our work and we do a great job. Thank you for an amazing year.

Please don't hesitate to reach out to us if you ever need any help or would like to share a thought.

Texas Sexual Assault Awarness Logo with UTSA PD

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month

By Sergeant Shawn Smith #640, UTSA Police Department, Community Affairs Section

Join the UTSA Police Department on April 4th, from 11:00am-2:00pm, in the UC Paseo for the Call to Action Day! This year, we stand together with the university to raise awareness and prevent sexual assault from occurring. This year, the event is titled, “It’s on US to prevent Sexual Violence!” Stay connected to our social media to get updates on all the events happening for Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

What is Sexual Assault?

Any type of sexual contact or behavior that takes place without the consent of the recipient is sexual assault. Sometimes such assaults are committed by a stranger, but more commonly, they occur between people who know each other. Every two minutes someone in the United States is sexually assaulted. Thus, each year, more than 200,000 people are sexually assaulted; more than half of those assaults go unreported.

Some people don’t report an assault because they are embarrassed or feel they did something to instigate the attack. Being a victim of sexual assault can result in severe emotional and psychological damage. Not talking to anyone or seeking counseling for the assault can affect your relationships with friends and family, affect your employment or school work, and cause you to withdraw from social situations.

To help reduce your chances of being a victim of sexual assault, it helps to understand victimization and reporting. RAINN is the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization. It has compiled a large amount of data on sexual violence to educate, prevent, and assist.

  • Sexual assault is any type of sexual contact or behavior that takes place without the explicit consent of the recipient. Sometimes it is committed by a stranger, but it most commonly occurs between people who know each other, whether they are spouses or on a date.
  • Self-defense classes are offered in most cities and on college campuses, and they’re usually reasonably priced or free (UTSAPD offers self-defense classes every semester! Contact

If you are sexually assaulted...

  • Get away from the perpetrator. Find a safe place to go until help arrives; do not bathe or change your clothes—they will serve as evidence for the police and medical staff that will take care of you.
  • Seek medical help even if you do not have any visible signs of physical injury; you may still be at risk for having a sexually transmitted disease. Specially trained medical staff may be able to collect important evidence of the assault. Even if you don’t immediately want to talk to law enforcement, the evidence will have been preserved in case you decide to do so.

emergency preparation infographic from project envolve

Get Prepared, Stay Prepared

By Lorenzo D. Sanchez, Director of Emergency Management

The UTSA Office of Emergency Management would like to remind you of a few simple ways you can engage yourself in emergency preparedness. This is a great time of year to get everything in order so you and your family can be ready when seconds count! If you follow the simple measures outlined in this article, you’ll be prepared to act when disaster strikes.

First things first – prepare an emergency kit! In order to respond to any type of emergency, you are advised to put together an emergency kit for your home, car, and office/workplace. Items to include in your kit include water/sports drink, snacks, medications, first-aid kit, important documents, clothes, flashlight, batteries, cell phone charger, and personal hygiene products. A list of preferred items is available on the UTSA Campus Alerts website.

Next on the path to preparedness is to develop an emergency plan. Preparing a plan ahead of time will assist you during an emergency and lessen the stress of figuring out what to do and who to contact. Your plan should include emergency contact information, phone numbers of emergency services, important personal information for emergency responders (medical allergies, doctors, etc), and other basic preparedness information. Make your family plan by visiting the Texas Prepares website.

Lastly, stay informed! Know the hazards that surround you at all times, and learn about how you can respond to different types of emergencies. Listen to the news, monitor weather conditions, research local threats, and most importantly, share this information with your family, friends, and coworkers. Verify your contact information in the UTSA Alerts system (through ASAP) to ensure you receive text (or voice) and email messages during campus emergencies. Also, download the UTSA app which has emergency information and phone number pre-programmed for you!

Together, we can build and sustain a safe campus community. For more information on emergency preparedness, visit the UTSA Campus Alerts website. Have a question? Email us at or call the UTSA Office of Emergency Management at (210) 458-6851.

UTSA Graduates on UC Paseo Sea of UTSA Graduates from above

When Your Roadrunner Earns a Degree

By Kayla Larsen, M.Ed., Graduation Coordinator II, Office of the Registrar


If your student is getting close to finishing their classes and degree requirements, it’s time for them to look into applying for Graduation. Graduation is the process of being awarded a degree (not to be confused with Commencement, the celebration and ceremony where they walk across the stage to commemorate the achievement).

Students must submit a graduation application in order to graduate. It’s important to note that the deadline to apply for graduation is the semester before a student finishes their degree requirements. For undergraduates planning to graduate in the fall of 2017, they need to apply by July 15, 2017.

Applying is easy and is completed online through their ASAP account. Learn more about the graduation process here.


UTSA Commencement is not only a major event in a graduate's life, but it is also a celebration and acknowledgement of the role friends and family have played: providing guidance, care and support in their graduate's education journey.

By hosting the event at the Alamodome, students are able to invite as many guests as they want to celebrate this exciting accomplishment. Admission is free (no tickets are required, but there is an Alamodome parking fee), seating is open for guests, and the doors open approximately two hours before the ceremony.

The names of all graduates will be called and the ceremony should take approximately two to two and a half hours. After the ceremony, please exit the Alamodome to congratulate your graduate. No re-entry will be allowed. You can learn more about attending Commencement as well as important details for your graduate at the UTSA Commencement website.

Important Dates

Commencement Ceremony One - Saturday, May 13, 10:00am
  • College of Liberal and Fine Arts
  • College of Public Policy
  • University College
Commencement Ceremony Two - Saturday, May 13, 4:00pm
  • College of Architecture, Construction and Planning
  • College of Business
  • College of Engineering
Commencement Ceremony Three - Sunday, May 14, 2:00pm
  • College of Education and Human Development
  • College of Sciences

Fall Graduation Application Deadline: July 15, 2017

UTSA Class Ring Reminder

By Courtney Clevenger, Assistant Director, Internal and Web Communications

UTSA class rings are also available to 2017 graduates. One of UTSA's most unique traditions, the rings sleep in the Alamo the night before the Ring Ceremony, when students receive this lasting symbol in front of family, friends and university dignitaries. UTSA Ring ordering and pricing information is available here.


Grad Fest is Coming!

By Courtney Clevenger, Assistant Director, Internal and Web Communications

Grad Fest is a UTSA tradition hosted each fall and spring semester for students graduating that semester to help them prepare for commencement and start celebrating their accomplishments. Although highly encouraged, Grad Fest is not mandatory and students can purchase their announcements and regalia online.

There are two different locations and times students can choose to attend Grad Fest based on their schedule:

  • Main Campus
    • March 7, 10am-7pm, H-E-B University Center Ballroom
  • Downtown Campus
    • March 6, 2-6pm, Buena Vista 1.338

At Grad Fest students can:

  • Purchase cap and gown, class ring, diploma frames, and order announcements
  • Get information about their Commencement Ceremony
  • Take graduation photos
  • Learn about and join the Alumni Association
  • Discuss career decisions with the Career Center
  • Learn successful loan repayment strategies with Financial Aid
  • Explore continuing their education with the Graduate School
  • Sign up for prizes and take fun photos at our selfie station

No need for your student to RSVP, they can simply show up the day of with their UTSA ID Card to check in to the event! Families are welcome to accompany their student to the event. Make sure your student is camera ready if they plan to take graduation photos at the event!

U Lock U Keep Bicycle Theft Prevention Poster

Bicycle Theft Awareness

By Sergeant Shawn Smith #640, UTSA Police Department, Community Affairs Section

Be sure to properly lock your bicycles. There has been an increase in bicycle thefts recently on campus and we find a lot of bicycles unsecured or not secured properly. Register your bicycle online with UTSA Campus Services + bring your bicycle to UTSAPD to get it engraved = you get a FREE U-LOCK! Don't miss out...

Family with children at table

Not Yet a Member?

Join the UTSA Family Association Today!

Family Association Membership is free, and members receive:

  • Priority notice to register for Family Association events
  • Access to members-only student scholarships
  • Networking opportunities with Roadrunner families and staff
  • Email copy of the Family Association Newsletter