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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

The beginning of both a new year and a new semester always brings a special feeling to campus - a sense of renewal combined with the anticipation of exciting new possibilities. I know from my past experience as the parent of 2 college students, there are many ups and downs in any college career. So, it's important to help our Roadrunners stay motivated throughout the year.

One favorite tactic of mine has been to ask questions to guide critical thinking. For example, I would sometimes ask my Roadrunners what they wanted to accomplish that year. An article I read recently made an interesting improvement on this approach, by comparing Bucket Lists to New Year's Resolutions. The writer pointed out that we often lose sight of our resolutions, but bucket list items are more likely to be revisited frequently throughout the year.

So, rather than feel the guilt or shame of "resolution failure," relying on a bucket list lets us call on the aspirational and motivational qualities of that list at any point in the year. That brings me to one item on my bucket list this year: to help spur positive and productive communications among Roadrunners and their families, so that we give our loved ones every chance for great success.

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

One Stop Storefront One Stop Counselor with student

General Scholarship Deadline: Feb. 15

By Sarah Harless, Project Coordinator, Enrollment Services

Because scholarships are "free money" — financial aid that students don't pay back — we encourage you to remind your student to apply for them. Scholarships can reduce the amount of loans your student might need to take out.

There are many types of scholarships, including UTSA General Scholarships (funded by donors and endowments), Colleges and Departmental Scholarships (offered to students who have declared specific majors and degrees) and Outside Scholarships (awarded through scholarship organizations, foundations and businesses). While College and Outside scholarship deadlines vary, the deadline for continuing students to apply for the 2017-2018 UTSA General Scholarships is February 15th.

The General Scholarship application is a separate application process from completing the FAFSA and is completed on the student's ASAP account. With just that one application they can apply for multiple scholarships! Encourage your student to complete it today! For more information please visit the General Scholarships website or contact UTSA One Stop at 210-458-8000.

UTSA Alvarez Hall

UTSA Housing Update: Renewal Season

By Housing and Residence Life Team

Spring Semester is here and it's a time for rejuvenation and renewal! All on-campus housing options are launcing their renewal campaigns for Academic Year 2017-2018. No matter which housing community your student lives in on campus, they will have the chance to renew or reapply to live on campus again.

We encourage you and your student to begin reviewing the on-campus housing opportunities available so you can discuss the best fit for your needs, as well as the reapplication process for your housing choice. Since each on-campus housing community has a specific reapplication process, you will need to check out the following links for more information, or call and talk to our housing staff:

UTSA Housing and Residence Life Office
(210) 458-6200

Alvarez Hall
(210) 458-6200

Chaparral Village
(210) 458-6200

Laurel Village
(210) 458-6200

Chisholm Hall
(210) 697-4400

University Oaks Apartments
(210) 877-4000

Because everything can be reviewed and completed on-line, renewing is a quick and easy process. Students currently living in Alvarez Hall, Chaparral Village, or Laurel Village who wish to renew or re-apply can visit our website and click the "Apply" button located on the upper right corner of the site. They will then need to input their UTSA ID and passphrase to access the application. Once they log in, they can begin completing the 2017-2018 Application.

After choosing "Yes," to the renewal question, students will need to log back into their application by the following dates in order to secure their choice:

  1. students who would like to reserve their current room will log-in Monday, February 6th beginning at 8:00 am, through 12:00 midnight on Wednesday, February 15th; and
  2. students who would like to select a different room will log-in Monday, February 23rd beginning at 8:00 am, through 12:00 midnight on Saturday, February 28th. These individuals will be able to see all the current vacancies available and select the room of their choice.

Does your student have a roommate in mind? Not a problem. Both students can request to be roommates! When it's their time to reserve a room, both students will need to communicate which room they would like to reserve.

No matter which way they select their room, after doing so, students will need to sign their contact. This will be done in the online application.

Renewing is simple, right?

If you or your student have any questions regarding this process, please feel free to contact us at (210) 458-6834, we are happy to help!

UTSA Main Library Group Spot in UTSA Library East Commons in Library

Hacking the Library:
Top Tips for Your Students

By Ryan Schoensee, Communications Specialist, UTSA Libraries

Every day, new life hacks surface on the Internet. Likewise, here at UTSA we have lots of hacks for students to get the most out of their college experience. Here are our 10 favorites for hacking the UTSA Libraries.

  1. The John Peace Library is open 24 hours on weekdays — and Starbucks on the 1st floor is open until 2 a.m. Monday - Thursday — making JPL the ideal study spot for night owls looking to burn the midnight oil.
  2. Sometimes, even the most diligent students can forget to bring their book to class. The library has textbooks on reserve for UTSA's most popular classes, making it easy for students check them out whenever needed.
  3. The library's high-speed scanners are quite handy. In seconds, students can scan pages, chapters or documents for free, and then save the scans to a flash drive or send to their email to read later.
  4. Occasionally, students may have a need to drown out some background noise. Headphones are available for check-out, and if they're not in the mood for tunes, earplugs are also available at most help desks.
  5. Students that have upcoming group projects can use their phone or computer to reserve a library group study room up to eight days in advance.
  6. Even when students aren't physically in the library, friendly Blue Crew library staff are available to help them via live chat. The Blue Crew are on chat days, evenings and weekends to help students find the resources they need to complete their assignments.
  7. Students with in-depth research projects can schedule an appointment to meet with the librarian who specializes in their subject.
  8. Student Computing Services have outposts in the libraries, offering students free tech support with printing, passphrase resets, Wi-Fi connection issues and software applications.
  9. Students can send a print job from their personal computer to any printer in the library (or around campus), then release their print job with a swipe of their UTSA ID.
  10. If students find themselves with leisure time, they can take advantage of the library's popular reading section for some light reads or the multimedia section to check out a movie on DVD. Chances are the library has all the seasons of their favorite TV show.


Grad Fest is Coming!

By Sarah Harless, Project Coordinator, Enrollment Services

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!

Workshop participants at table

Family Fund Supports Leadership Competency Workshops

By Eliot Howard, Associate Director, Student Leadership Development Center

In Fall 2016, the Student Leadership Center initiated a new series of workshops developed in alignment with the priority core competencies of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and the National Association of Colleges and Employers. The workshops include the following:

  • Inquiry into functional leadership ("Exploring Leadership Competencies")
  • Crafting an organic vision ("Leadership Mind-Mapping")
  • Managing priorities in real time ("The Eisenhower Decision Matrix")
  • Conflict resolution ("Communication Across Difference")
  • Adapting to group competence and commitment ("Situational Leadership" )
  • Understanding dimensions of diversity ("Leadership Identity and Inclusion")

The Student Leadership Center was awarded support from the UTSA Family Fund to enable piloting these workshops with the 60 students of the Leadership and Service residential learning community in San Saba Hall; however these programs immediately began generating positive word-of-mouth referrals, and so we quickly added sessions for representatives of the Student Government Association and the Graduate Professional Development Center. To date we have had 147 participants attend one or more of these workshops. In Spring 2017, we are developing a cadre of student facilitators to deliver these and other workshops on an on-going basis for individuals and registered student organizations. Look for more details in Summer 2017.

Please contact Cynthia Solano, if you are interested in supporting the UTSA Family Fund.

One Stop Storefront One Stop Counselor with student

One Stop Enrollment Center — What We Offer

By Sarah Harless, Project Coordinator, Enrollment Services

The UTSA One Stop Enrollment Center is truly that-- a one-stop solution for students resolving many tasks related to enrolling and paying for a UTSA education, including Undergraduate Admissions, Financial Aid, Records and Registration questions. Our One Stop counselors are available to help your student through a variety of ways.

In Person

Whether your student has a question or needs to submit paperwork, our office is there to help! Our location on the Main Campus is in the John Peach Library (JPL) 1.01.04. Counselors are there to help you with all of your questions. The One Stop at our Downtown Campus mainly serves as a place to drop off paperwork and get general questions answered. It is located at FS 1.500.

Over the Phone

Does your student have a question about financial aid or an issue with registration? Or need help with resetting their passphrase? Have your student call us. Our local phone number is 210-458-8000 and toll free number is 1-800-669-0919.


If your student's question doesn't require an immediate response, they can can email us at Typically they will receive a response within three business days. Emails need to be sent from the email account they have designated as preferred in ASAP in order to get an account-specific response.

Skype Appointment

If your student is home for a break or studying abroad and isn't able to come in person to campus, we offer counseling appointments via Skype.

Ask Rowdy

Ask Rowdy is a comprehensive FAQ database that you or your student can access at anytime for answers to questions.

Social Media

Want to stay up-to-date on important enrollment information or have a quick or general question? Best way for you or your student to get that information is through our social media channels.

UTSA Runner App main screen

Students Now Can Track "The Runner" Shuttle

By Melissa May, MA, APR, Director of Communication, Business Affairs

UTSA Today Features 'Runner App

UTSA Campus Services recently launched The UTSA 'Runner app (Apple version, Android version), which allows students to track their shuttle bus location in real-time, view schedules and arrival times, and receive up-to-date information.

Read the UTSA Today article.

For more information visit The 'Runner website, follow UTSATheRunner on Twitter, or visit the UTSA Transportation website for more information about our services. Also, printed schedules remain in the shuttle stops and online for quick reference.

Students Love the 'Runner App

I began working for the Office of the Vice President for Business Affairs a few weeks before the GPS app was released. I remember Kathy Funk-Baxter talking about it in the office, and I wasn't sure how the app was going to work. I began seeing screens next to the drivers in the shuttles and couldn't be more excited.

I live off campus, and having an app like this is very convenient. I use the GPS app every single day. The timing is accurate, and it gives me a great idea as to how many minutes I have to get ready in the mornings before I head off to school. The app is also easy to use. Its GPS locator will find the nearest shuttle stop, whether it be at the university or an off-campus student-living complex. A red circle icon indicates where the shuttle is, so I can track its progress. Every time I mention the app to my friends and classmates, they are excited to hear about it and immediately download it. The app has helped me manage my time and stay safe and warm, leaving my apartment or school building moments before the shuttle arrives. Thank you for this great service!

Submitted by —
Sofia Real, Senior, Communications Major and Communications Work Study, Office of the Vice President Business Affairs

Secure It Keep It

Stalking Awareness

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

Stalking is a crime. Period. It is a crime that can lead to other, more violent crimes. There are many situations that can have an effect on a person's daily life, but stalking is one of the worst when it comes to disrupting your normal routine and general sense of safety. Stalking prevention has been shown to help in reducing and/or eliminating a more violent crime from occurring.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, 3.4 million people age 18 or older were victims of stalking within a 12-month study period. In Texas, the laws of Harassment and Stalking can tend to be confused with one another. One of the most identifiable differences between these two laws is that the actions of stalking put you in fear for your safety. In Texas, stalking is defined as: "when a person, on more than one occasion, knowingly engages in conduct the other person regards as threatening or causing fear of bodily injury, death, or property damage."

You might be wondering whether or not this crime has impacted UTSA at all? Over the years this community has been fortunate enough not to have very many occurrences of stalking, however it still occurs. Last year, there were 3 cases of stalking at UTSA according to the crime statistics we posted in our Annual Security Report.

Even so, January is National Stalking Awareness Month and the UTSA Police Department wants to ensure the community has resources. If you feel as though you are being harassed or stalked, please come by the police department to report it. As stated previously, stalking can lead to other, more violent crimes, which makes prevention and early reporting vital for safety. The State of Texas offers crime victim's compensation for those who are victims of stalking, and other crimes as well.

According to the National Center for Victims of Crime, many victims struggle with how to respond to stalkers. They state, "some victims try to reason with the stalker, try to 'let them down easy' or 'be nice' in hopes of getting the stalker to stop the behavior. Some victims tell themselves that the behavior 'isn't that bad' or other sentiments that minimize the stalking behavior. Other victims may confront or threaten the stalker and/or try to 'fight back.' These methods rarely work because stalkers are actually encouraged by any contact with the victim, even negative interactions."

The NCVC has a comprehensive stalking safety planning guide. This guide is an in-depth look at how to prevent stalking and ways to deal with it if it is occurring. Of course, if you are in danger, dial 911 or (210) 458-4911 for emergency services.

If you have any questions or would like more information, you can contact the UTSA Police Department's Community Affairs Section. We have a number of pamphlets and useful information on this subject. We also have a Crime Victims Liaison who is in place to assist and support victims of crimes.

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