Archives—December 2009

Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow

Snow, Snow, and More Snow

View from Mt. Ripley
View from Mt. Ripley Ski Hill.

Upon arriving back from Fall Break students have been walking in Michigan Tech’s very own Winter Wonderland. Since the first week of December the Houghton area has received over 67 inches of snow according to the Keweenaw Research Center Weather Station. As a second year student here at Michigan Tech I can say it certainly is exciting to go back to living in this little snow globe. My favorite thing about the winter season here at Michigan Tech is the variety of fun outdoor activities that students can participate in. From skiing to snowboarding to snowshoeing, when it comes to winter sports Michigan Tech truly has it all.

With the fresh snowfall many students took a break from studying for final exams and decided to hit the slopes at Mt. Ripley. Much to the students delight Mt. Ripley opened this past Saturday, December 12. Mt. Ripley will be closed back down this week while more snow is made but the hill will reopen on Saturday, December 19. As a reminder, if your student doesn’t know how to ski or snowboard don’t worry, there are plenty of skilled students here at Michigan Tech who are willing to help. Also, if your student is interested, Michigan Tech does offer Physical Education classes at various skill levels in skiing and snowboarding.

For additional winter fun students can get together with friends and go cross country skiing or snowshoeing on the Michigan Tech Trails. Currently there’s over 24 km of the Michigan Tech Trails groomed and ready for students to use. Maps of the Tech Trails including a description of the various trails difficulty levels can be found at Michigan Tech Trail Maps.

Lastly, if your student is in need of gear whether it be skiing, snowboarding, or snowshoes, your student should check out the Outdoor Adventure Program. Michigan Tech’s Outdoor Adventure Program rents out outdoor activity equipment to students at a very low cost. The main goal of the Outdoor Adventure Program is to give Michigan Tech students the opportunity to get out in the great outdoors that the Houghton area has to offer. The Outdoor Adventure Program is a great resource and I would strongly encourage your student to stop by their office in the Memorial Union Building to have a look at their price listings and the gear they have to available.

I wish your student the best of luck on Final Exams and I hope they are also taking some time off from studying to go outside an enjoy our beautiful surroundings! What a wonderful place we live in to be able to take a study break and go snowshoeing and have a cup of hot cocoa! I hope you have a great week and that your students have safe travels on their way back home for Winter Break.

Please feel free to email me with any questions, comments, or suggestions you may have!

Escape for Winter Break


Students built snowmen over this weekend with all the snow we got!
With all the snow we got this past weekend, students were finally able to build that snowman!

It seems Mother Nature has finally decided to grace Houghton with her lovely wintery presence. Over the past week Houghton has accumulated about 16 inches of snow on the ground and I’m sure there’s a lot more where that came from. As of right now Houghton is under a Winter Storm Warning until Thursday, December 10. This storm is expected to leave Houghton with another 12-18 inches of snow. For many of our Michigan Tech students this means one thing, the beginning of winter sports! Michigan Tech students are looking forward to the opening of Mt.Ripley, Michigan Tech’s very own ski hill. Currently, Mt. Ripley is scheduled to open on Saturday, December 12.

Final Exams

The snow on the ground and the quietness all around also means something else for our Michigan Tech students . . . the beginning of final exams! Final exams will take place the week of Monday, December 14. Starting Saturday, December 12 at midnight 22 hour quiet hours will go into effect in the residence halls. This means that students in the Residence Halls must remain quiet and be respectful to those who are studying in the Residence Halls 22 hours a day.

Final exams can be a very stressful time for students, however, various university departments have activities and programs throughout the week to help students relax and ease their stress. One of the events that take place during finals week and the week prior are Snack Attacks. Snack Attacks are sponsored by a different university department each evening as staff from the department pass out snacks to students in the Residence Halls and the Library. More information about Snack Attacks and other stress relieving activities that are planned for students are posted throughout campus.

Reminders for Students

Once students complete their final exams they are free to leave for Winter Break. Students who live in the Residence Halls will need to make sure that they tell their Resident Assistant when they plan on leaving. As students are preparing to leave for Winter Break it is important to remember that the electricity will be turned off in their room. This means students will want to unplug any electrical items, close and lock their windows, and turn down their thermostats. It is also important for students to remember to leave their refrigerator door open and place a towel underneath their refrigerator so they are not left with a mess when they come back in January. Also, students with an empty space in their room will want to make sure that half the room is cleaned and prepared for another roommate prior to Winter Break; students who do not do so will be charged $100. Students who are assigned a new roommate over Winter Break will receive a notification with their new roommate’s information via email, letter, or phone.

All students who live in the Residence Halls should have received a “You Deserve a Break!” newsletter in their mailbox at some point throughout this last week. This newsletter has all the important information about when the Dining Halls, Campus Café, and Reception Desks will be closing for Winter Break. The newsletter also contains important reminders for students leaving campus for Winter Break regarding room security, parking, and other procedures. In general it is expected that all students will leave the Michigan Tech Residence Halls for Winter Break. Residents who must stay for Winter Break or who plan to leave after December 19 at noon must request permission by filling out the Early Arrival Late Departure Form located on the Housing website. Students will receive an email within 7 business days informing them whether or not they have been approved to stay in the Residence Halls over Winter Break. In addition, students who plan to arrive back to the Residence Halls prior to January 9 at noon will need to fill out the form. There is a $14 per night charge for residents who stay during Winter Break, leave late, or arrive early. It is essential that students who need to stay fill out the form so they can have electricity and swipe access to the Residence Halls.

I wish your student the best of luck on Final Exams! Please feel free to email me with any questions, comments, or suggestions you may have!

Back to the Books

Welcome Back Students!

Study groups are a great way to prepare for final exams.
Study groups are a great way to prepare for final exams.

I hope you all had a lovely Fall Break, I know I did! It was great to have a whole week of classes off to spend with loved ones, have some wonderful meals, and of course do some of that holiday shopping! Students, I hope you enjoyed Fall Break and took some time to relax and recharge because it is time to get back to the books. As we are entering Week 13 it is time to start thinking about . . . FINAL EXAMS! That’s right, final exams are just two weeks away. This year’s final exams will take place December 14-18. The website for the Registrar’s Office has a lot of helpful information regarding courses, such as the Fall 2009 Final Exam Schedule and Michigan Tech’s Grading Policies. Students may also check their final exam schedule by logging into their account on BanWeb, clicking first on the Student Services tab, then Registration, and lastly, Student Final Exam Schedule.

As the semester is quickly coming to an end, some students may be realizing they are not achieving the scores they would like to in their courses or that they are not ready for the final exam. Whether students are looking to get additional assistance, practice a final presentation, or review for a final exam, Michigan Tech’s many Learning Centers are there to help. Students may visit the Math, Chemistry, Biology, Physics, Computer Science, Engineering, or Writing Learning Centers during their hours of operation. The Learning Centers are a wonderful resource that students should definitely take advantage of!

Another suggestion I have for students as they are prepping for final exams is to start studying and reviewing early. I would encourage students to set aside a little bit of time each day, starting this week, to go over their notes, homework assignments, and tests, starting back from the beginning of the semester. I would also encourage students to search for a study buddy or to make a study group to assist them in prepping for final exams. It can be very helpful to have someone to compare notes with and old homework assignments. In addition, teaching what you learned to someone else can help you commit the material to memory and understand it even better. There are several great places to study as a group here on the Michigan Tech campus. Students may choose to study in the Residence Hall study lounges, their departments’ labs, or in the Van Pelt Library study rooms. The Van Pelt Library has over 20 rooms throughout the first, second, and third floor that are available during the Library’s hours of operation for students to reserve for group study. The study rooms are equipped with whiteboards, outlets, internet access, and there are even two rooms that have a large 42″ monitor that students may use to practice presentations. The study rooms may be reserved at the circulation desk or through Huskymail, Michigan Tech’s email and calendar system.

Lastly, as a fun and festive study break, the Inter-Residence Hall Council will be hosting the annual Sugar Shack competition. Residents will gather in the Wadsworth Dining Hall to compete with their house in building a creative and delectable ginger bread house. The event will take place this Thursday, December 3 at 8:30 p.m. and the gingerbread houses will be displayed the following day in the Wadsworth Dining Hall for students to vote on. The Sugar Shack competition is just one more reminder that Winter Break is just around the corner; only two more weeks of classes, and one week of final exams!

If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions please feel free to email me. Have a great week!