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Panther Parents Association
August 2016 Issue

Maintaining Connections | Family Weekend | Parent and Family Calendars | Meal Plan Adjustment Deadline | Survey | Get to Know Your Pitt Police | Outside the Classroom Curriculum Challenge | Immunization Requirements | Emerging Leaders | Inside Look at the Cathedral of Learning | DiscoverU for First Year Students | Spending Money | Anticipated Aid | Be a Good Neighbor
Off-Campus Block Parties | Scholarship Opportunities | Save the Dates

Maintaining Connections

Family Moving In
We hope that you had a great summer and were able to reconnect with your student. Read more for ideas on how to maintain that personal connection while your student is at school.  
  1. Stay informed about Pitt’s support services so you can confidently advise your student if he/she comes to you for help. The parent website has links to connect you to our many services, as well as archived webinars on many topics.
  2. Check out the new 2016-2017 Parent and Family Calendar and/or pick up a hard copy at Orientation Station in the William Pitt Union (WPU) August 22 - 24 or have your student pick up one for you in WPU Suite 130. For further details scroll down in this newsletter.
  3. Read these monthly e-newsletters and make note of upcoming Pitt events like Career Fairs and enrichment opportunities for students. Also, keep the Parent Handbook handy. It is available electronically here
  4. Finally, fun greeting cards and care packages will remind students that you are in their corner. Texts, email, and social media are quick ways to keep touch, but a hand-written note and card is always a nice surprise at the end of a tough day of classes, and may encourage your student to reach out to you. If you have questions about mailing services, click here.
As always, the Office of Parent and Family Resources is here to support you as you support your student. Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions – or 412-624-8548.

Hail to Pitt!

Sandy Talbott
Parent and Family Liaison

Family Weekend Photos!

Family Weekend
Family Weekend is September 30 – October 1, 2016, starring YOU! Please send us photos of your family (four legged family, too!) in your best PITT swag! Selected photos will be shown on the large screen as families arrive for the Family Weekend Welcome Reception. 
NOTE: Your 1MB or higher photo may also be used in other Pitt print and electronic media. If your photo includes minors (age 16 or younger) please complete this waiver and submit at the same time that you submit the photo to

Schedule details and registration can be found on the Family Weekend website.  Registration closes on September 20, 2016. Register today!

Parent and Family Calendars! Get Your Copy!

Pick up a hard copy of the 2016-2017 Parent and Family Calendar while supplies last at:
WPU Orientation Station
9 a.m.-3 p.m.
August 22-24
William Pitt Union,
Suite 130

9 a.m.-5 p.m. 
At the Family Weekend Parent Coffee Lounge
1-5 p.m.
September 30, 2016

Your student can also pick up a calendar for you in Suite 130, William Pitt Union Monday through Friday between 9-4 p.m. A digital copy should be available by the end of August here.

Meal Plan Adjustment Deadline!

The last day for students to make fall term meal plan adjustments is the last day of academic add/drop, September 9, 2016. Questions can be answered here.

Your Input is Valued

Please complete this brief survey so that we may better serve Pitt Parents with more webinars, programs, and resources. 
Pitt Police

Keeping Pitt Students Safe!

One hundred University of Pittsburgh officers are certified by Pennsylvania’s Municipal Police Education and Training Commission, receiving the same 800 hours of required education, training, and certification as any city or municipal police officer in the commonwealth. Learn more about their training as well as safety tips for your student. 

Moreover, Pitt officers receive training in areas such as special emergency response, active shooter, first aid, AED, and CPR including opioid abuse response, sexual assault and domestic violence. All officer hires within the last ten years have a four-year degree. Pitt Police also supervises 48 Pitt security guards and oversees contracted security for the campus. The Pitt Police are armed and have arrest authority within 500 yards of Pitt owned or leased property. Learn more at their website, follow @PittPolice on Twitter, and like them on Facebook

Remind your student of these Residence Hall Safety tips:
  • Do not let strangers or non-residents (unless they’re your personal guest) into residence halls. 
  • Never prop doors that lead to residence areas or rooms. 
  • Do not share your Pitt ID with anyone. If you lose your ID, report it immediately. 
  • Lock your doors and windows. 
  • Don’t advertise your class or work schedule. 
  • Never leave a note on the door saying when you will return.
  • Never leave valuables where they can be seen from a window.
  • Follow your residence hall’s evacuation guidelines. 
  • Sign up to receive texted crime alerts here
  • If you see suspicious activity, notify the Pitt Police immediately. Don’t assume someone else already called the police. 
  • Keep the City and Pitt Police Department phone numbers readily available on your phone: 911 and 412-624-2121
Or if your student lives off campus, here are more tips:
  • If the property owner won’t replace cheap locks, ask if you can do so at your expense.
  • Leave some lights on when you are gone.
  • Do not trust chain locks alone — they are not strong enough to keep out a determined intruder.
  • Be sure all valuables are permanently marked (Pitt Police will engrave these for you!) and record all serial numbers.
  • Look outside before opening the door. If you can’t see the area in front of the door, install a magnifying peephole (all you need is a drill and screwdriver).
  • Never let strangers in the door. If it is a repair or service representative, call the property owner to ensure they are supposed to be there. Always insist on identification.
  • Lock your windows.
  • Do not allow a stranger to spend a night in your apartment no matter how sad the story.
  • Always have your key in your hand as you approach the entryway.
  • Never leave valuables such as TV’s, stereos, jewelry, purses, etc., where they can be seen from a window.
  • Get to know your neighbors. If you look out for them, they’ll look out for you.
  • Keep your outside doors locked (even when you are home)
Ted P. Fritz
University of Pittsburgh
Associate Vice Chancellor
Public Safety and Emergency Management
3412 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15260


Outside the Classroom Curriculum Challenge

OCC Video
All parents want their students to a find sense of belonging as well as develop pride as a Pitt Panther. Check out Pitt's Outside the Classroom Curriculum program and discuss how your students can attend a variety of campus events and make new friends!  

From July 2016 through April 2017, the Office of Parent and Family Resources will feature one goal area from Pitt’s Outside the Classroom Curriculum (OCC) program and discuss how your students can achieve each goal. The OCC is designed to educate the whole student through the completion of programs and experiences that provide a pathway for students to have the best possible collegiate experience and gain skills needed for employment or graduate school. The curriculum is made up of 10 different goal areas, each with their own set of unique requirements.

Total requirements for Curriculum Completion: 68  

Featured in August: PITT PRIDE  

Learning Outcome: You will have a sense of belonging to the University and be engaged in the spirit and purpose of the community.   

Total requirements for

Requirements: Attend 10 campus-wide events  

Tips: There are lots of fun events going on during orientation and the first week of school. Your student can find a variety of campus-wide events here. It is a good opportunity for your student to make new friends and receive credit for attending events!  
If you have questions about the OCC, please go to the OCC website or contact
Julia Qian 
Graduate Student Intern 

REMINDER: Submit Immunization Records!

The University of Pittsburgh and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania require documentation of immunization against measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) as a condition of attendance.
All incoming first year and transfer students must submit proof of such immunizations. Furthermore, Pennsylvania law requires all students living in University housing to certify that the student has been immunized against meningococcal disease, or to sign a waiver that you decline the vaccine. If residing in University housing, you will receive the certification/waiver form with your University notice of assignment. Please refer to the University of Pittsburgh’s Immunization Policy (#06-01-02). Other vaccinations are recommended, but not required as detailed on our website.

Having record of these immunizations allows the Student Health Service to provide better care for our students in the event of an illness, accident, or campus outbreak.
Immunization information can be completed by students using online forms available on the Student Health Service portal via account. You must also send an official copy of your immunizations via US mail or by FAX to 412-383-1846.
Failure to provide proof of adequate immunization by October 1, 2016, will prevent your student from registering for the upcoming Spring Term. 
If you have questions, please call 412-383-1800. Thank you for your assistance in promoting a safe and healthy campus community!
Emerging Leaders
Students have the exciting opportunity to develop highly-desired leadership skills and earn OCC credit through the Emerging Leaders Program. With hands-on activities and thoughtful discussion, students learn how to manage and overcome challenges in the areas of:
  • Group dynamics
  • Conflict management
  • Diversity
  • Values and ethics
  • Power and influence
Enrollment options:
  • 2-hour weekly session for 10 weeks - starting September 20 and 21
  • Single weekend session - September 23-25 or October 28-30
Full cost (with all materials included) is $20. Registration closes September 16! For more information and to register, click here or call the Office of Cross Cultural and Leadership development at 412-648-7831. 

Take an Inside Look at the Cathedral of Learning!

Cathy Video
Pittsburgh’s CBS affiliate, KDKA, recently taped their visit to our iconic academic landmark, the Cathedral of Learning, or “Cathy” as students affectionately call her. Did you ever wonder what it looks like from the very top? Take a look here!

DiscoverU for First Year Students

Encourage your student to register now for DiscoverU Day if they haven’t already—registration is filling up fast! DiscoverU Day is an innovative twist on traditional job shadowing open to first-year Pitt students during Orientation Week on Thursday, August 25. Students are able to pre-register for a specific session that they find relevant to them within the industries of Business, Law, & Non-Profit, Engineering & Technology, Explore Pittsburgh, and Health, Science & Research. A diverse range of experiences are being offered including employer site visits to Google, UPMC, American Eagle Outfitters Corporate, Michael Baker International, a special Behind the Pete: Petersen Events Center tour, University of Pittsburgh School of Law tour, and more!

How Much Spending Money Do Students Need?

By: Panther Parent Ambassador, Janet Barber

Warren Buffet said to him the perfect amount to leave children is, ''Enough money so that they would feel they could do anything, but not so much that they could do nothing.” We thought about this when trying to decide how much spending money we should send our student each month. 

If our son attended a university in a rural area I don’t think it would have been as difficult a decision. When we considered all the wonderful things to do in Pittsburgh it became clear to us that we wanted to send him some additional funds to be able to enjoy what the city offered. There are so many choices in entertainment, sports, art, restaurants…the list goes on and on. We wanted our son to explore and enjoy the city, which takes money, but we considered this an important part of his education. 
Our student is financially responsible and has worked since he was 14. We knew he would be responsible with the funds we sent him. He worked part time during school to cover his necessities, but the extra cash gave him the chance to do things he would not have been able to do without a little help. These wonderful college years fly by and we wanted him to have the best possible experience he could. Happily, he made the most of his four years at Pitt and will cherish them the rest of his life.      
When he lived on campus his expenses were fairly modest, but when he moved off campus in his junior year we had to factor in groceries, fuel and other miscellaneous items. When special events came up we adjusted the amount we provided him. Our student knew each month what would be sent to him and planned his expenditures accordingly. It was super convenient to load his Panther Central card from home and that really came in handy several times. 
We are happy and grateful to have provided the spending money we did for our son. As a recent graduate he is learning how challenging it is to live on a tight budget. He thoroughly enjoyed his time at Pitt and having a little extra spending money helped. 

Anticipated Aid

Information from the Student Payment Center

The Student Payment Center compiled a list of frequently asked questions to make Anticipated Aid less confusing. 

What is Anticipated Aid?
Federal regulations require the University wait until 10 days before the official start of each term to post scholarships, grants, and loans to students’ accounts. Also, students have aid requirements to complete before their loans can be disbursed. In the meantime, most aid (see exclusions below) will be displayed as Anticipated Aid and can be subtracted from what students owe in PittPAY on the Current Account Details screen. 

What is included in Anticipated Aid?
  • Loans that show as Accepted
  • Scholarships and grants included on the financial aid award letter
What is NOT included in Anticipated Aid?
  • Work study awards, because they are never posted to students’ accounts. Students receive a paycheck for the hours they work.
  • Scholarships from outside organizations like the Lion’s Club, the American Legion, checks from students’ and parents’ employers, etc. We post these payments to students’ accounts the day they are received.
When does Anticipated Aid get disbursed?
Aid begins to post to students’ accounts 10 days before the official start of each academic term, but remember that loans will only post if the student has completed all of their aid requirements. Also, Anticipated Aid for loans will expire if the student waits too long to complete their requirements; this will cause an increase in what the student owes on Current Account Details in PittPAY. 

What if the student has an anticipated credit balance?
If the Anticipated Aid is greater than the amount a student owes for a term, an anticipated credit balance will exist.  Once aid is disbursed, the excess will be refunded automatically. In short, refunds cannot be processed for anticipated credit balances, only for actual credit balances.

“BE A GOOD NEIGHBOR” Off-Campus Block Parties

Each fall, Pitt Community and Governmental Relations* (CGR) sponsors the Be A Good Neighbor (BAGN) campaign. BAGN focuses on building positive student-resident relationships and on educating students about the potential consequences of disruptive behavior on- and off-campus. BAGN block parties provide an informal opportunity to students and long-term residents to meet and enjoy a relaxed meal and a casual conversation. 

Please encourage your student to attend a Block Party. Help your student see the importance of forming good relationships and establishing ongoing communication with neighbors that can sustain through the year and beyond!

This year’s five BAGN Block Parties will be held at the following locations from 5:30-7:30 p.m.
  • 09/08/2016, Oakland Square, Dawson and Parkview section of Central Oakland
  • 09/15/2016, Niagara parklet in the Oakcliffe section of South Oakland
  • 09/20/2016, Frazier Street at Dan Marino Field for that South Oakland neighborhood
  • 09/22/2016, North Oakland, at 234 North Dithridge Street
  • 09/29/2016, Central Oakland – OPDC Career Center, 294 Semple Street
For more specific information, visit, or email CGR at Follow CGR on Facebook and Twitter. Review the Student Guide to Campus Life here.

*Pitt Community and Governmental Relations (CGR) is the University’s principal resource for community and governmental matters and is the institutional point of contact for federal, state, and local governments and community organizations. CGR promotes civic engagement by developing sustainable partnerships between the University, students and neighborhood organizations, and improving the quality of life in our neighborhoods.

Scholarship Opportunities

National Scholarship Advising and Information Sessions start soon! Encourage your students to check this out!

Save the Dates

The University of Pittsburgh
Division of Student Affairs 
Office of Parent and Family Resources
130 William Pitt Union
Pittsburgh, PA 15260 | 412-624-8548

Copyright © 2015 University of Pittsburgh, All rights reserved.

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