Parent & Family Newsletter: Housing selection discussion guide, the six ingredients of resilience, Family Weekend Save the Date, and more.
Parents and Family Newsletter
Students in West Hall.

Welcome to your first edition of Colgate’s Parent & Family Newsletter. This quarterly email will provide you with information and resources relevant to you as you support your student in their Colgate journey.

If you have any questions, please refer to the New Students’ Parents and Families page and the Parent & Family Resource Guide. If you don’t find what you are looking for there, feel free to contact me at

We are so excited for your students to arrive! I hope to meet many of you in the coming weeks and years.

Best wishes,

Rebecca Downing

Rebecca Downing
Senior Director, Communications and Parent Initiatives


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Preparing for Fall 2022 Arrival

Students in West Hall.

Family Preparation Guide

As your student gets ready for school, be sure to refer to our Family Preparation Guide to help support them.


Family Talk Video: Preparing for More Independence

What can parents, family members, or guardians do to help their student prepare for the independent environment they will experience at college?

This Family Talk webinar features Dr. Melissa Sporn, a clinical psychologist with a speciality in developmental adjustments in adolescents and emerging adults (and mom of Samantha, Class of 2022!) and Dawn LaFrance, assistant vice president of counseling and psychological services.

Students in West Hall.

Teaching Independent Life Skills

The summer break is a perfect time for families to help their students gain valuable practical knowledge and prepare for a productive semester. For example, adulting involves mundane activities like grocery shopping, cooking, money management, even making one’s own appointments. Kimberly Yavorski’s Collegiate Parent article “Teach Your College Student Independent Life Skills” provides tips on inviting them to help or look on ­— it doesn’t have to be obvious you’re trying to teach a lesson!


Getting Ready for the Residence Hall

We recommend that family members encourage their students to take ownership of their preparations, such as shopping for room supplies. These are ideal moments for students to build the independence that will help them succeed in college. On June 27, incoming students received an email titled “Preparing for your arrival,” which included a handy move-in guide with helpful information and tips. 

As you support your student in their preparations, take note of the following:

  • Room layouts vary widely, so we recommend they wait to purchase any items that would be room layout–specific (such as storage items) until after arrival. It is often beneficial for them to have a few days in the room to determine any additional needs. They will be able to find items locally or have them shipped.
  • We suggest that roommates connect prior to arrival to coordinate shared items such as microfridges, fans,, etc., to avoid duplication.
  • There are a number of prohibited items that students must not bring, including candles, hot plates, air conditioners, and other items.
  • Live Far Away? Your student is welcome to send packages, catalog, or online orders to campus.  They can find their CU box number in their student portal. Mail Services is extremely busy at the beginning of the semester; therefore, we recommend all essential items (bedding, towels, toiletries, medicine) be brought with your student.
  • Learn more on the Residential Life Policy page.

Discuss The Red Zone

A few weeks ago, you received a letter and the Parent Handbook for Talking with College Students About Alcohol. One of the points in the letter was about The “Red Zone”: the first six weeks of the semester are when there is a statistically heightened chance of sexual assault occurring (national statistics). As a follow-up, we share this article from Psychology Today, “Talking to College Students About ‘The Red Zone’.”


Summer Reading

Students in West Hall.

Have you noticed your student reading How Beautiful We Were by Imbolo Mbue? That’s because over the summer, all incoming students have a shared reading assignment. The Summer Reading gives them their first experience with the liberal arts, in dialogue with professors and doing their own independent analysis. As part of the assignment, your student will introduce themself to their faculty adviser (who is their First-Year Seminar instructor) and administrative dean so that they can get to know them better; they will also write an essay that responds to a prompt. The reading (due on August 8) also provides a foundation for a variety of related events throughout their first year at Colgate. The cost of the book is included with tuition.


Success On Campus

Students in West Hall.

New Student Orientation — What to Expect

New Student Orientation (August 21–August 24) prepares students to begin their college experience. They will:

  • Get acquainted with their roommates, classmates, and staff of their Residential Commons
  • Develop a sense of home in their residence halls
  • Become familiar with the campus
  • Meet their academic advisers
  • Learn about Colgate’s community expectations
  • Be welcomed into Colgate’s community of scholars at Founders’ Day Convocation

The program is designed and led by professionals in the Dean of the College division and trained student Orientation Links.

Family members sometimes ask if they will have time to visit with them during orientation, and if they should stick around to help their student to get settled into their rooms. Setting up their own space is an important step in gaining new independence.  Also, your student will be busy from early morning through late in the evening, so family goodbyes should take place before orientation begins.


Housing and the Residential Commons Assignment

Living on campus provides opportunities to develop skills for living and learning, relationship and community building. Living in residence is integral to the Colgate education your students receive.

Students are assigned to their Residential Commons according to the First-Year Seminar (FSEM) they are taking. This helps to bridge the living and learning parts of the experience. They will be notified of their room assignment and roommates in early August. Students are encouraged to communicate with their roommates to get to know them before arriving on campus.

The Office of Residential Life’s professional staff members are trained in student development, mentoring students, conflict mediation and resolution, and providing a safe and inclusive living environment for all students.



Colgate provides layers of support for students and a variety of people to help them achieve their goals. Two of their primary contacts will be their academic (faculty) adviser and their administrative dean.

Incoming students were notified of their academic advisers when they received their course schedule on July 15. All students receive an introductory letter from their specific dean in August, once housing assignments are made. Encourage your student to build relationships with their administrative dean and faculty adviser early on.

Portrait of Paul J. McLoughlin II.

Important To-Dos and Dates

It’s important that students check their Colgate email frequently; all summer, they are receiving regular emails with action items and deadlines on their New Student Checklist. Here are some of the most important:

August 1, 2022

August 8, 2022

Complete Summer Reading Assignment

Any time: Remind your student they can designate a parent, guardian, or other Authorized User on their student account (TouchNet). Authorized users can receive e-billing notifications; view student account information; and make payments on the student’s behalf. (Please be aware that the Office of Student Accounts can only share and discuss details of a student’s account with individuals they have named on the Student Account Information Release Form or established as an Authorized User.

2022–23 Academic Calendar

Portrait of Paul J. McLoughlin II.


Students in West Hall.

Parent & Family Orientation

Family members are warmly welcomed but not required to attend Parent & Family Orientation. This program will explain Colgate’s student development philosophy and introduce family members to experiences their students will likely encounter in the first weeks of college. We’ll also provide tips for supporting your student, and explain the resources Colgate has to support you. Available sessions:

  • Tuesday, August 16, 2:30–3:30 p.m. (Wilderness Adventure 2 arrival)
  • Wednesday, August 17, 4:30–5:30 p.m. (all other pre-orientations arrival)
  • Sunday, August 21, 1–2 p.m.

Families who will not be coming to campus may request a recording of the program.


Your Input

As your student prepares to come to campus, what is your number one question or concern about what your student needs to be ready for? Share it here and we will do our best to address it at Parent & Family Orientation or in upcoming communications. (If you have a specific question about your individual student, please email


Family Weekend 2022, October 21–23

Save the Date! We look forward to welcoming families to campus October 21–23, 2022, for Family Weekend. Details will be released early in the fall semester.  Until then, you can research lodging options on the Hotels & Accommodations page.


Resources for Incoming Families

Helping Your Student Adjust to College

College is an exciting time for many reasons, for both students and their families. It can also be overwhelming, writes Dawn LaFrance, associate vice president of Colgate’s Counseling and Psychological Services. Following some guidelines will help your student succeed and grow.


Advice from Family Members

We asked current parents, “What is one piece of advice you would share with a parent/guardian of an incoming first-year or transfer student?” Their helpful responses ranged from practical to metaphorical. 


Books for College-Bound Families

This list of books was recommended by the parent program professionals of AHEPPP: Family Engagement in Higher Education.


Campus Updates

Colgate Guardian app

Colgate’s safety network includes the Colgate Guardian app, a cell phone app where students can communicate with campus safety and access emergency resources. 


A Message From the Student Newspaper: Subscribe Today

The Maroon-News provides a student-run account of what is happening on campus and in Hamilton, and is a chance to hear many voices of the Colgate community. The paper covers events and news, in-depth investigations, opinion pieces, feature stories, and both Colgate and national sports. 

Be sure to follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date with all things Colgate.

Thank you for your support!



Maroon News

Ethan Cherry ’23 and Josie Rozzelle ’23
Editors-in-Chief 2022–2023


How to reach us
Rebecca Downing
Senior Director, Communications and Parent Initiatives

Parent and family resources

For urgent concerns
→ Concern about a student’s well-being
→ Campus safety Emergency: 1-315-228-7333

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