Archives—December 2013

Winter Break

Hello Parents,

Well, it’s finally here! The last week of classes is upon us. All that’s left is finals next week, and your students will have completed the Fall 2013 semester! It has definitely flown by.

I received a request last week from some parents asking to see pictures of the winter wonderland I described in the last post.  In light of this request, I went around campus and took pictures of some of the Christmas trees that were put up. Here are some of the best ones:

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This tree is in the 7th floor atrium in the DOW building. The window in the background overlooks the Keweenaw Waterway.
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This tree is on the main floor of Wads, near the entrance to the dining hall.
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This tree is on the main floor of the Administration Building, near the Dean of Students Office

Now that the semester is quickly coming to conclusion, it’s time for your student to consider some of the preparations they may have to make for the closing of this semester and the start of the next. Here are some end-of-semester reminders:

Residence Halls

All residence halls will lock for Winter Break starting at 8:00 p.m. on Friday, December 20. The residence halls will reopen on Saturday, January 11 at noon. If your student will be staying in the residence halls over break, he or she will need to register and be approved in advance. Only registered students will have swipe access to the residence halls. Students who plan to stay must keep their University access card with them at all times. Dining services will not be open during Winter Break, and because of heating costs, there’s a fee to live in the residence halls during break. Students may request to stay in the residence halls during the Winter Break by completing the early arrival/late departure form online.

Quiet Hours

All residents will be expected to observe quiet hours from Friday, December 13, through Friday, December 20, so that students studying for final exams can be as productive as possible.


If your student is living in Hillside, Wadsworth, DHH, or McNair and is looking to leave his or her car parked on campus during Winter Break, they will be required to move their vehicle to commuter parking lot 26 no later than 7:00 a.m. on Sunday, December 22.  Vehicles that aren’t moved may be ticketed or towed. Vehicles can be returned to their normal residential parking lots on Sunday, January 13. All residential vehicles should be removed from commuter parking lot 26 no later than 11:00 p.m. on Sunday, January 12. If you or your student have questions about Winter Break parking, please contact Transportation Services.

Reception Desk

The reception desks will be closed for Winter Break from Sunday, December 22, through Saturday, January 11. Mail service will also be halted during Winter Break, so if your student is sent a Christmas package, he or she may not receive it until after the holidays when the reception desk reopens. Mail and packages that arrive at the desks will be held and redelivered when the reception desks open for the Spring 2014 semester on Sunday, January 12.

With the excitement of the end of the semester comes the anxiety of final exams. Finals begin at 8:00 a.m. on Monday, December 15, and go through Friday, December 20, at 12:15 p.m. Students can check their final exam schedule on Banweb under Students → Registration → Student Final Exam Schedule. If your student has granted you guest access to their account, you may also be able to view this information.

To help students prepare and relax a little bit before their finals, a number of events will be going on:

The CDI Pre Exam Jam that I mentioned last week will be held on Wednesday, December 11, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. at the Hamar House.

Puppy Playtime

To help students unwind a little, The Outdoor Adventure Program (OAP) and Wellnss are allowing dogs to roam around the OAP house so students can enjoy their company. For students who are a little homesick and miss their own pets, it’s a great way to relieve some of the stress that finals bring. Pasties and other refreshments will also be provided. This event will take place on Thursday, December 12, from 5:00 to 7:30 p.m.

Fall Study Break is a chance for students to relax during the stress of finals. The event features refreshments, snacks, and plenty of good company for student to chat and unwind with. It will be held on Tuesday, December 17, from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. at the Memorial Union Building (MUB).

That’s all for this week! I hope you all have a wonderful holiday vacation, and I will return to posting my regular articles after the Winter Break. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to email me at  See you in 2014!



A Houghton Winter Wonderland

Hello Parents,

I hope you all had a fantastic Thanksgiving with your student, and were able to hear about how their semesters have been going! This semester

A view of downtown Houghton during its winter months
A view of downtown Houghton during its winter months

definitely flew by, and it’s hard to believe there’s only another week left until final exams; just another two weeks, and your student will return home.

Since I am a local student, I spent Thanksgiving in Houghton with my family. The area is always beautiful this time of year, and the town was surprisingly quiet after the students left for home. The weather held up rather nicely this year—there is usually a snowstorm the weekend students return to Michigan Tech, but this year the roads were bare and the skies were clear. Let’s hope it stays the same when students travel home after the semester ends.

Michigan Tech is getting ready for the holidays, trees around campus are decorated with festive lights, the famous Christmas tree has appeared in the main floor of the Van Pelt and Opie Library, and Greek fraternity and sorority houses are festively decorated. The community has jumped on board too, with lamp posts and buildings throughout downtown Houghton and Hancock beautifully strewn with lights and holiday decorations. In addition, there are various events going on around campus to help celebrate:

Holiday Party

The International Club will be hosting a holiday party on Saturday, December 7, from 6:00 to 10:00 p.m. in the ROTC Gym to celebrate the winter festivities. There will be a traditional Christmas cookie/international dessert contest along with festive music and other activities, all free of charge! This event is open to community members, students, and faculty members.

IRHC Sugar Shack

The Inter-Residence Housing Council is inviting students living in the residence halls to create a sugary winter wonderland. Students can build a house, or a residence hall, or the bridge . . . or anything! There will be plenty of candy, frosting, and graham crackers for students to create their delectable masterpieces. The Sugar Shack will take place on Tuesday, December 10, from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. in Wadsworth Dining Hall.

CDI Pre-Exam Jam

The end of the semester and final exams can be pretty stressful for students. To help, the Center for Diversity and Inclusion invites students to take a little time to unwind before finals week by enjoying some relaxation and free snacks at the Hamar House. The Pre-Exam Jam will take place on Wednesday, December 11, from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Concert Choir and Conscience: Michigan Tech Chamber Singers Present at Winter Solstice

The choirs of Michigan Tech join to present choral music to celebrate winter in the northland. Selections from Russia, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Israel, and the United States reflect on snow and the season of Christmas. The concert will take place on Saturday, December 14, from 7:30 to 9:00 p.m. at the Rozsa Center.

In addition, multiple fundraising and charity events will be held during these last two weeks. The U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program is taking place from now until the end of the month. Toys for Tots aims to provide hope and joy by donating Christmas gifts to less fortunate children in the local area. There are two drop-off locations in the Houghton area: one at at Joey’s Seafood and Grill, a restaurant in downtown Houghton; and another in the Administration Building on Michigan Tech’s campus. Also, the Inter-Residence Housing Council is hosting a Penny Wars competition between the houses on Tech’s campus. Students can drop off their contributions at either the Wadsworth, DHH, or McNair reception desks. All proceeds will be donated to charity.

December is a wonderful time of year, and winter in the Copper Country is beautiful. As students finish up their last projects and reports and start preparing for finals, it’s nice to be in such a tranquil and majestic atmosphere.

That’s all for this week!  If you have any questions about winter at Michigan Tech or would like to hear more about a specific topic, please email me at Until next time!