In this year of firsts, the academic year has entered its third week as students and families prepare to arrive on campus! In my household, even online learning has brought helpful structure and purposefulness to our days. I hope the launch of Westmont’s academic year has given greater energy to your students’ days.
For some, moving in at the end of this month marks another big transition. In particular, the anticipation new and transfer students—and you, their parents—feel may cause emotions to run a little higher in the next few weeks. I encourage you to continue to rest in God’s timing and leading as you model grace and flexibility in whatever ways you can. Your son or daughter will notice your good example.
Westmont is implementing robust safety plans. The wholehearted commitment students make to be responsible for themselves within these temporary but important constraints will help them mature this year in profound ways. You can join with the college in encouraging and affirming the need for students to be self-governing.
I commend an insightful and timely article in this newsletter by Angela D’Amour, dean of student engagement. She reminds us that in the energy and passion preceding a national election, we can learn crucial conversational skills that will serve us for a lifetime.
We’re here to support you and coordinate information with other areas of the college to keep you informed in a timely manner. While you’ll receive this newsletter once a month, please feel free to contact us anytime if you have particular needs or concerns (or compliments!). We’re praying for you and trust the Lord to do wonderful things in and through us as we honor Christ in all things and care deeply for one another.
Blessings and thanks,
Assistant Vice President for College Advancement,
Interim Senior Director of Alumni and Parent Relations
Before You Leave Home
Students have received this information, and we wanted to share it with parents as well. We greatly anticipate welcoming students back to campus next week!
We’re asking students to bring several new items with them as part of our plans to keep the entire community safe.
- A personal thermometer so students can fill out the required daily health assessment.
- A beach chair or camping chair as much of life on campus will move outside, and students may find it handy to have their own chair.
Students living in the Global Leadership Center (GLC) will need to bring kitchen supplies as the college can’t provide these under the current guidelines. We can only offer microwaves, toasters, blenders, stoves, refrigerators, dish soap with sponges, and cleaning supplies for the counters. So please bring:
- Pots, pans and potholders for cooking or baking.
- Plates and silverware.
- Dish towels for drying.
- Personal sponges; we encourage students to use these instead of the ones the college supplies.
- Airtight containers for food storage in the refrigerators as anything not stored in an airtight container will be thrown out.
Students may only use lounges for watching television or studying and not for any recreational purposes. As a result, they may wish to bring items for outdoor recreation such as:
- Spike ball
- Bocce ball
We’ve made a lot of changes to protect everyone’s health, and we’re ready to welcome students back to campus. We’ve missed them!
On Campus Employment
By Julissa Delgado, Student Employment and Office Manager
Welcome Westmont parents! Please review this helpful information for you and your student regarding student employment on campus.
Any student intending to work on campus while at Westmont will need to complete necessary paperwork, including I-9 and W-4 forms. Students should arrive on campus with original work-authorization documents. Please refer to the List of Acceptable Documents online for more information.
Students seeking positions should sign in to Handshake, our online job portal. They should complete their Handshake profile and upload their resume as applying for positions on Handshake requires submitting a resume.
I hope our return to campus will provide more job opportunities for students. If your student has an interest in a specific area or department on campus, they can reach out to supervisors there and inquire now about jobs available to students on campus.
Thank you for your patience. Please feel free to email me with any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If your student will seek employment, please watch this video to ensure they bring the needed documentation from home.If your students worked on campus previously, we already have these documents on file and there is no need to bring them again.
Important Reminders About Move In
You’ve likely already scheduled your move-in date and time between September 23-27. If you have any questions, please contact Student Life at email@example.com. Please stop for supplies before arriving on campus, and remember that students may only bring two people to help them move in. Your student’s two-hour time slot has been carefully scheduled to keep roommates and suitemates from showing up at the same time. To protect the health and safety of everyone involved, please leave campus as soon as possible after moving your student in.
New Year, New Students: Get the Facts about the Class of 2024
We’re excited to welcome 375 new students to Westmont this fall, one of the most academically talented and diverse groups enrolling at the college. Their impressive qualifications include an average SAT score of 1260 and a GPA of 3.98.
Virtual First-Year Parent Weekend
Another first this year includes our first ever Virtual First-Year Parents Weekend November 6. Watch for upcoming emails about the weekend.
Managing Your Conversations
By Angela D'Amour, Dean of Student Life
During election season, a particularly active time on college campuses, it’s easy to get drawn into heated national conversations on key issues such as the economy, immigration and health care. At Westmont, presidential election years have included parties for viewing debates, voter registration drives, faculty-led discussions on various issues, and events organized by student political clubs. Students demonstrate passion for issues that interest them, and otherwise indifferent students lean in to listen and learn.
Election seasons can also be difficult as students share living spaces and classes with peers who see the world very differently than they do. Tensions can run high as students find themselves vehemently disagreeing with comments made either virtually or in person by fellow community members. Often they’re unsure how to respond effectively. Some of the more popular yet less helpful ways of reacting include avoidance, contempt and blaming. These responses can arise naturally and somewhat unconsciously, and it takes work to engage in crucial conversations.
As dean of student engagement, I help student leaders identify their natural conflict-management style using a simple online inventory of conflict management styles. Then we explore ways they would like to grow in their ability to participate in crucial conversations. As defined by Patterson, Grenny, et. al (2012), these conversations include situations where opinions differ, stakes are high, and emotions run strong. Unfortunately, when it matters most, we often behave at our worst.
In a presidential election year, we have a unique opportunity to model and practice crucial conversations on campus. This fall, we’ve been training student leaders to more effectively engage in crucial conversations. We remind them we can’t change others; we can only change ourselves. So how do we become better conversation partners? We begin by practicing effective listening. We listen not only for facts but for emotions and values that lead to deeper meaning. We listen not simply to respond but to reflect back what we’ve heard, check to see if we’ve understood correctly and dig deeper with follow-up questions. Once someone feels heard, a conversation becomes more safe. Mutual respect tends to follow, leading to greater opportunities for collaboration, progress and meaningful action. We seek to pay attention to any lurking defensiveness within us, which redirects our good intentions to simply wanting to win or make others look bad. None of us is immune to responding in anger.
Join the Westmont Music Department's Friday Concert Series
The Music Department presents a Friday evening series of video programs in place of their regular fall schedule, cancelled due to the coronavirus. The first few concerts feature faculty and alumni musicians, with students performing later in the semester. Watch them live at 7 p.m. on Fridays on the Music Department website or view a recording of each event at your leisure. Performances include: World Premiere: Songs by Gary Barnett with Nichole Dechaine, Michael Shasberger and Neil Di Maggio; Pipe Organ Recital by Tom Joyce September 18; and Alumni Spotlight: Carnevale String Quartet from Ruse, Bulgaria, with Sarah Pfister ’12 on viola on September 25. Watch for more dates to be announced after students arrive on campus and see the full schedule online.
College Store and Mail Center Hours
We are offering extended hours during move in both in the College Store and Mail Center.
College Store Fall Move-in Hours:
Wed. 9/23 9:00am-5:00pm
Thur. 9/24 9:00am-5:00pm
Fri. 9/25 9:00am-5:00pm
Sat. 9/26 Noon-5:30pm
Sun. 9/27 Noon-5:30pm
Mail Center Special Fall Move-in Hours:
Wed. 9/23 10:00am-4:00pm
Thur. 9/24 10:00am-4:00pm
Fri. 9/25 10:00am-4:00pm
Sat. 9/26 Noon-3:00pm
Sun. 9/27 2:00pm-5:00pm
The College Store offers Westmont apparel, gifts, school and dorm supplies, snacks and a variety of other items.