Happy Holidays from UA's
Parents and Family Association (PFA)

The holiday season is upon us and the close of Fall Semester is just around the corner. The Association hopes that your student has had a productive, successful semester and that the holidays are bright and joyous for your family.

Just remember that PFA is here to help you!  We frequently receive phone calls and e-mails from families who need a little information or a bit of help. Or sometimes an Association member has an idea or suggestion.  That’s why we are here and we love to help.  Contact us whenever we can be of service: 330-972-PFA3 or

Happy Holidays!

An Invitation to Join PFA Council

The UA Parents and Family Association is moving forward to establish the 2010 PFA Council.  The PFA Council is the association leadership and is responsible for  advocating  for the needs and interests of UA families and their students – “Collaborating for Student Success."

Council Goals

Here is an outline of the goals of PFA Council:

  • To be an advocate for the needs and interest of UA families.
  • To maintain consistent communication with UA families regarding Association activities and initiatives.
  • To develop and maintain opportunities for broad-based parent and family feedback.
  • To assist in the planning and implementation of programs for UA families such as UA Family Weekend.
  • To assist in the planning and hosting of Association meetings and conduct Association business.

Council Member Commitment

As you consider your interest in becoming a member of the Council, you are certainly considering the time commitment required and whether you can reasonably include this commitment into an already busy schedule.  I think the time commitment for participation in Council is about 10 to 12 hours per year. The commitment would include two or three on-campus meetings with additional Association business addressed through electronic options such as email, Facebook, conference calls, etc.  If we can address any other questions about Council, please contact Ron McDonald at or 330-972-7098.

Our goal is to select up to 15 Association members to serve as Council representatives.  Here are important dates and deadlines for those who have interest in PFA Council:

  • Download an application and submit it by Friday, January 8, 2010 via:
    •  E-mail:  or
    • U.S. mail:  Ron McDonald, Office of Residence Life and Housing, Akron, OH  44325-1401
  • Applicants will be notified of selection results by Friday, January 15.
  • The first on-campus meeting of the Council is scheduled for January 30, 2010.

I hope you will apply to be a member of PFA Council.  Your input and involvement is important!

Best Wishes,
Ron McDonald

UA Student, Staff and Friends
Help Gulf Coast Communities


For the fifth year, UA students, faculty, staff and friends will be spending Spring Break helping Gulf Coast communities and families still struggling from devastation caused by hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Ike. University and community volunteers will be in Louisiana March 13-20 helping families in and near the cities of Lake Charles and Iberia rebuild their homes and their lives.

The cost of the trip, including transportation, accommodations, and meals is about $400. With fund-raising, the final cost of the trip is expected to be less than $200.  This is a great way to spend Spring Break: helping others, making new friends, and having fun in New Orleans!

For more information on this unforgettable service opportunity, go to this website or contact Ron McDonald at 330-972-7098 or

Men’s Soccer Team playing in College Cup

The men's soccer team has made it to the final four of the NCAA Soccer Tournament and will play in the national semifinal at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 11. If they win on Friday, they will play in the final at 1 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 13. Follow the Zips on the athletics' Web site.

UA Volunteers help neighbors in need
on National Make a Difference Day


For the fifth year The University of Akron participated in National Make a Difference Day,  a “national day of doing good.”  On Saturday, Oct. 24, nearly 900 UA students and staff, as well community members, volunteered to help neighbors in need in University Park and surrounding communities.  They served in more than 70 different projects through project partners such as Red Cross, AMHA, Boys and Girls Club, Goodwill, Habitat for Humanity, Humane Society, National Inventors Hall of Fame, Rape Crisis Center, several local churches and many others.

This year was a another record turn-out for volunteers and projects.  At the end of the day, volunteers from Make of Difference Day with The University of Akron contributed more than 4,000 hours of service to the Greater Akron community.  For more information regarding this annual day of service visit this web site.

Save the Date!
UA Sibs Weekend Scheduled for March

The annual UA Sibs Weekend, sponsored by Residence Hall Program Board and Zips Programming Network,  is scheduled for March 26-27. This is a great time for UA families to get together. It is a fun weekend for UA families and friends of all ages. More details soon regarding this fun UA family event!

PFA Campus Discount Card Available

As a service to our members, Parents and Family Association has created a campus discount card that can be used by members or their students to get a 10% discount on selected purchases at the following on-campus vendors:

  • Union Market,
  • Sizzling Zone,
  • Summit Bistro,
  • Trackside Grille,
  • Quaker Square General Store,
  • The Newstand at Quaker Square,
  • Dairy Queen/Orange Julius,
  • Zee’s Convenience Stores, and
  • University Park Cycle Shop. 

The discount card can be used over and over again at your favorite on-campus vendors.

You can get your discount card at any PFA sponsored event.   For more information, call 330-972-pfa3.

FERPA Questions

Occasionally we get questions from parents who are attempting to help their students with the payment of tuition and fees or helping their son or daughter with academic success and cannot seem to get access to the appropriate documents or information because the student is at least 18 and is subject to FERPA (Federal Educational Rights of Privacy Act).

The University College has a web site to address many of those  FERPA questions and provides access to the form your student needs to complete to give you access to the appropriate records.

Family Weekend PFA Raffle Winners

Congratulations to Pattie Lynn of Parma and Marv and Jackie Meriwether of Brookpark. They stopped by the Parents and Family Association booth during the recent UA Family Weekend and were randomly selected to receive a $25 gift certificate compliments of The University of Akron Barnes & Noble Bookstore.

Help! I Need Somebody!
What to do when your child is struggling

Call it a parent’s intuition, but you know when it’s time to ask, “What’s wrong?” and you know how to help.  Yet, when your student is away at school, you may not be able to step in so easily and help make things right. Don’t worry! There are plenty of folks on campus to help your student, no matter what the problem is.


If your child is struggling with classes, ask if he or she has spoken with any of these people: 

  • Professors know the material better than anyone, so why not go straight to the source? Ask your  student to visit the professor during office hours or after class. 
  • Perhaps the professor has made arrangements for supplemental instruction, taught by a tutor who has experience with the subject matter. This type of instruction is usually connected directly to what the professor is teaching in class and offers another way of learning the material.
  • Check with the campus Learning Center. They have tutors to help students. These are usually older students who have aced the class and can help explain the material in a different way than the professor.
  • If you sense that your student is really struggling, or was diagnosed with a learning disability in high school, suggest that hr or she talk with someone in the Office of Accessibility. The student might be entitled to extra time to take tests or a quiet testing area, free from distraction.
  • Don’t forget the Academic Advisor.  The advisor might be able to offer other options.


If your student is having a problem with a roommate, encourage the two to talk. Often times, small things are ignored too long and turn into bigger problems. Make sure it is communicated nicely that there is an issue so the roommate can correct the problem. If the problem persists:

  • Encourage your student to talk with residence life staff. They are trained in mediation and can help roommates come to a compromise.
  • If your student does not feel like it is working out, suggest that he or she speak with someone in the Residence Life and Housing office. Resident Life and Housing personnel will make the determination whether a room change is necessary (or even possible) and can help finalize that process.

Emotional Health

When something big, like a death in the family, divorce, or loss of employment has happened, your child might feel overwhelmed.  Or perhaps the student feels overwhelmed with classes and personal relationships.  Here are some helpful resources:

  • The Counseling Center offers licensed professionals  who will listen to the student and help find some balance. The Counseling Center offers counseling and other tools to help students cope with classes. For example, they might offer training on time management or organizational skills.
  • The Center for Career Management can help a student define why she is at college. The office provides resources to help students decide on career interests and possible majors. Or, if the student has chosen a major but is concerned about identifying and choosing career options, the Center of Career Management is a great resource.

Physical Health

  • If your student is ill, encourage a visit to the Health Services office. Health Services is designed to provide medical care for uncomplicated illnesses and injuries that are of recent onset and short duration. To assist with your student’s health needs, the staff includes registered nurses, nurse practitioners, a health educator, and board certified medical doctors.
  • If your student is concerned about gaining the “freshman fifteen,” encourage the student to stop by the Student Recreation and Wellness Center. There is staff available to help create the appropriate workout plan. Regular exercise can also help keep stress levels down!




Phone:  330-972-7323





Dec. 7-12, Finals Week

Dec. 12, Fall Semester Commencement

Dec. 25-Jan. 1, University closed

Jan. 10, Residence halls reopen

Jan. 11, Spring semester classes begin

Jan. 17, Last day to add spring semester courses without signatures

Jan. 18, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day observance - University closed

Jan. 25, Last day to withdraw from spring semester without signatures

Feb. 15, Graduation applications due for August 2110 graduation

Feb. 16, Presidents' Day observance - classes cancelled (Law classes held)

Feb. 18, Spring Career Fair

Mar. 5, Last day to withdraw from spring semester classes without instructor signatures

Mar. 15-21,  Spring semester recess

Mar. 26-27,  UA Sibs Weekend

March 30,  Education Career Fair


The University of Akron

Akron, OH 44325
Phone: 330-972-7111
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