Parents Day gives keys to success, new perspectives

Daily Sundial

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CSUN welcomed parents of first-time freshmen to Parents Day on Oct. 15 and distributed information and insight that could help parents maintain a strong relationship with their kids and give them a first-hand look into college life.

“(The event) shows that the university is trying to help in the success of its students,” said Hilda Garcia, assistant director for new student programs in Student Development and International Programs, as well as one of the primary organizers of the event, which was held in the University Student Union.

The event was organized by the Orientation Advisory Committee, which is made up of various university officials from Student Affairs, the Department of Public Safety, the Student Health Center, and the Department of Student Housing, among others.

Parents Day was designed to give parents an opportunity to learn about campus life experiences as well as academic information to help with their young person’s success on campus.

According to Garcia, Parents Day had not been held at CSUN since the 1980s, but parents have inquired in recent years about how to get more involved in the educational process to ensure their children’s success. New student orientation organizers have deliberately kept parents out of the August student orientation sessions.

“There is a role for them to play,” she said.

“It doesn’t feel like you are at a huge school,” said Linda Tully, whose freshman son, Todd, is a kinesiology major. She said she and her husband, Stephen, could not believe CSUN offered discounted tickets for Dodgers games and for the Hollywood Bowl.

More than 250 parents attended the event, which started off with a speech by CSUN President Jolene Koester and Faculty President Ron McIntyre, who welcomed parents to the campus.

While lunch was served, parents were given the opportunity to attend various sessions with staff members from Residential Life, which introduced parents to the policies and regulations that their children will eventually be involved in if they live in a residence hall in the University Park Apartments.

“We hire our teachers because they know what they are teaching. Sometimes they love their subject more than people,” said Harry Hellenbrand, CSUN provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, to a gathering of parents in the USU.

Parents were also encouraged to ask questions about what type of experiences their child might encounter at CSUN. The event also discussed how parents could solve problems that might come up with their children, and to also familiarize themselves with university administrators, faculty and staff who will be interacting with their children.

Parents were given a chance to speak to a panel featuring Hellenbrand, Terry Piper, vice president for Student Affairs, and Yolanda Noack, a counselor in Counseling Services.

A parent whose daughter is a freshman raised his hand to ask a question regarding whether his daughter would benefit from living on campus as opposed to living at home. The panel told him that the living experience differs from one individual to another, and a person’s experiences mostly depends on the student.

Doris Nyman, mother to sophomore business major Calvin Nyman, said her son’s experience living in the residence halls has been positive, and that he also liked the transportation provided by CSUN to help him get to school.

Nyman and her daughter Leslie drove up from San Diego for the day.

“It was very informative. And I think that we all realized what a stressful time this is for our kids,” Doris said. Both Doris and Leslie agreed that the Parents Day handbook given to those who attended the event was an excellent resource.

“Hallelujah, thank you for the information that was given. I think that answered a lot of my questions and my mom’s,” Leslie said.

Candice Mitchell can be reached at candice.mitchell.619@csun.edu.