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New Parent Checklist

Things to do before your student arrives

  • Remind your student to activate his or her email address and NetID - To set-up a NetID and password, your student should visit the Information Technology and Services’ website. Information can be found regarding connecting a computer to the on-campus networks, virus protection, computer specifications and purchases, cable TV, and telephone on this site. If your student does not plan to bring a computer, computers are available in campus Computer Labs. Visit the ITS website for lab locations.
  • Remind your student to enter parent contact information on MySlice -- so we can reach you in case of an emergency and keep you up-to-date via Parents Office e-newsletters. Please note that emergency contacts can be different than Parent1 and Parent2 contact data.
  • Remind your student to complete his or her first term enrollment selections. The course selection process differs by school.  Students should contact their respective school or college for deadlines and questions.
  • Check that your student has returned their Health Services Forms – Students must go to suhsportal.syr.edu  to submit a health history form and required immunization information no later than July 1.  Enrolled students who are not in compliance will be unable to register for classes, obtain an I.D. card, and may be required to leave campus. Students that intend to live on campus will not learn about their housing assignment until the immunization record is received.
  • Check that your student meets the health insurance requirements – All new students are required to have qualified health care insurance. If your student wishes to adopt the Syracuse University Insurance Plan visit here for plan details or your student can waive coverage if they have other qualified health insurance. A Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page is available here: http://healthinsurance.syr.edu/resources/frequently-asked-questions/.
  • Gather or shop for basic items – Review the “What to Bring/What Not to Bring” list and shop for items your student will need. Don’t go overboard; storage space is limited to what they can fit in their closet and under their bed. You can find a printable version of the list here.
  • Note that your student can preorder textbooks - Textbooks can be purchased when you arrive on campus at the University Bookstore in the Schine Student Center or preordered through the Bookstore’s textbook reservation process.
  • If your student has a documented disability – Once your student has activated their Net ID they need to visit the Office of Disability Services website. There your student uses the Register and Request Information feature to upload supporting documentation regarding their disabilities & to complete a self-assessment survey. Contact ODS at 315-443-4498 or disabilityservices@syr.edu
  • Remind your student to submit a photo for the SUID Card by June 30 on the MyHousing Portal. For directions, please click here.

  • Remind your student to register for Orientation via MySlice beginning June 1.  The deadline for completing this task is noon on July 15.
  • Talk to your student about personal safety – Although personal safety seems basic enough, college students often think they are invincible. Remind them to lock their doors; secure personal belongings; walk in groups of three or more; tell someone they trust where they are going, when they will return, and how to reach them. Ask them if they know about Orange Alert and LiveSafe Mobile App.  For more safety tips, visit the Department of Public Safety’s website
  • Talk to your student about alcohol and other drugs – Even college students listen to their parents when it comes to this topic. Encourage them to make smart and safe choices. For resource information on this and other topics related to health and wellness, visit BEWise, the Counseling CenterHealth Services, or Recreation Services.
  • If your student plans to work in Syracuse, remind him/her to:
    • Pack a passport or photo ID (such as a driver’s license) and their original social security card; and/or an original or certified copy of their birth certificate as proof of identity for the Employment Eligibility Verification (I-9) form needed to work on campus. Click here for a list of other acceptable documents. This may go against your instincts, but it will save you from sending it in the mail later. 
    • Prepare a resume or summary of their work experience. This will allow employers to quickly learn about their qualifications.
    • Search for a job on campus. It is never too early to start this process, so encourage your student to visit the Syracuse University Job Opportunities at http://www.sujobopps.com.


Things to do while on campus

  • Try to accompany your student to campus and assist them with move in - The major tasks they should accomplish on day one are to meet their roommate and to make their bed—they will be tired tonight. Leave the rest of the unpacking and room set-up for the next few days and take advantage of orientation programs instead! 
  • Note your student’s residence hall name, mailing address, phone number, and e-mail address before you leave campus. It is also a good idea to note the name of the Residence Director (RD), and your student’s Resident Advisor (RA). Residence Hall addresses
  • Stop by the “Orange Welcome and Information Center” tent on the Quad- Here you will find representatives from many campus departments. Staff from the Parents Office will be on hand to share information and answer questions.
  • Remind your student to pick-up his or her pre-ordered textbooks at the Schine Student Center. If your student did not pre-order books, they can be purchased at the Syracuse University Bookstore in the Schine Student Center
  • Attend the parent and family orientation programs – These include sessions on academics, living in the residence halls and commuting to campus, student employment, career services, and disability services. If you can only attend one session, please join us for the Parent and Family Welcome Meeting on Wednesday, August 22 at 1 p.m. in Hendricks Chapel.
  • Take a campus tour - familiarize yourself with the environment in which your student will be living and learning for the next four years (five years in a small number of academic programs, including the School of Architecture).
  • Plan to say goodbye to your student at or before noon on Friday, August 24. Remember, Family Weekend will be here soon!

Things to keep in mind once you leave campus

  • The majority of students will have some difficulty transitioning to campus life. You may not hear from them about this right away, but if you do, please let your student know that they are not alone. Remind them to find a way to become engaged with something--a job, a social event, or an intriguing project. For some, that will be attending Orange After Dark programs or Late Night at the Gym.  Others may be looking for a way to help those around them through the Shaw Center for Public and Community Service or the Office of Engagement Programs in Hendricks Chapel.  There are many things they can do to feel less alone and more connected with those around them. It could be as simple as putting their phone away and inviting a floormate or classmate to lunch.
  • Try to schedule a consistent time to communicate via telephone, Skype, FaceTime, etc.– Students will be extremely busy when they first arrive on campus—having a consistent time to contact each other is comforting (even in a world of texting and social media).
  • Encourage your student to program emergency numbers into their mobile phone. They can text SUSafe to 444-999 to download important University contact informationThe main dispatch number for Department of Public Safety is 315-443-2224.
  • In case of student illness or family emergency – Your student should contact each of their professors via e-mail if possible and note the length of their absence and specific reason for the absence. Contact the Office of Student Assistance at 315/443-4357 or the Parents Office at 315/443-1200 for help with the emergency notification process.
  • Request to join the official Facebook Group of the Syracuse University Parents Office.  This page is monitored by the Parents Office and therefore provides timely and accurate information.  You may also "like" our Facebook Fan Page, or follow us on Twitter @SUParents.
  • Encourage your student to meet all of their professors and to utilize professor’s office hours – It is a good way for them to get to know professors, make a stronger connection to the campus, and to maintain good academic standing.
  • If your student mentions that they are feeling uncomfortable with, or overwhelmed by, the material being covered in a class, they should find help as soon as possible – Semesters are short and college-level classes are more intense than high school. The Center for Learning and Student Success (C.L.A.S.S.) can help—they provide tutoring, workshops, and academic assistance. The Center is located in 348 Bird Library and can be reached at 315/443-2005.  Students can also reach out via Orange Success on their Myslice.  Orange Success provides an efficient way to quickly offer coordinated support to all students ensuring they receive the right type of assistance or intervention. 
  • If your student is lonely, homesick, or seems depressed, encourage them to find a support system. Advise your student to make an appointment with a therapist at the Counseling Center or a chaplain at Hendricks Chapel. The Counseling Center is at 200 Walnut Place and is available by telephone 24/7 at 315/443-4715. Hendricks Chapel is located on the Quad and can be reached at 315/443-2901.  
  • Though it may seem a bit early to do this, suggest that your student visit Career Services or the career development office in their home school/college – Many new students are unsure about their major, wonder what they could possibly want to do for the rest of their lives, and are not sure how to formulate a plan to discover just what it is that interests them. Career Services can not only help them define their interests but help them to perfect their resume, begin building a network and look for internships.
  • If your student is feeling unchallenged, suggest that they look into dual majors, internships or the Renee Crown Schine Honors Program.
  • Ask your student if they are interested in study abroad – The SU Abroad program offers a wide range of opportunities to study in exciting locations. Planning ahead—both financially and academically--for a semester abroad is vital.