Missouri State University
Family Connection

Green Dot Corner – What is Green Dot?

Green Dot is a bystander intervention and violence prevention program set to reduce power-based personal violence (stalking, dating/partner/intimate violence and sexual assault) on our campus and in our community. One goal of Green Dot is to shift the campus culture to reflect two new campus norms; 1) Violence is not tolerated on our campus. 2) Everyone is expected to do their part to help. Green Dot was launched on Missouri State’s campus Fall 2016 by the direction of Jenay Lamy, Green Dot coordinator and Jill Patterson, Title IX Coordinator.  green-dot

Green Dot summary:
Now imagine a map…it could be your neighborhood, hometown or community.
Imagine one RED DOT appears on your map, just like in the movies.
Then, this one RED DOT starts to multiply and start to appear on your map.
These RED DOTS symbolize actions, choices,  behaviors or attitudes that cause harm to another person.
GREEN DOTS are small moments when someone makes the choice to try and stop a red dot from occurring.
GREEN DOTS do not have to be a big thing.
A GREEN DOT can be letting someone know you care and pointing them to resources.
When GREEN DOTS outnumber the RED DOTS, violence is reduced.
You can do GREEN DOTS everyday even if you never see a RED DOT.

Talking points with your student:

1)    Ask open ended questions about respect and communication.
2)    Ask your student, “What is a Bystander?” “Is there a difference between an active or passive bystander?”
3)    Ask your student what stops them from intervening (barriers) and explore options that they are comfortable with.
a.    Be Direct – intervening directly into a situation
b.    Delegate – get someone else to intervene or call the police
c.    Distract – cause a diversion or distraction

A safe campus is a successful campus. What’s your Green Dot?

(submitted by Jenay Lamy, Green Dot Coordinator)

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Healthy Campus Challenge – Importance of Health Insurance

Missouri State University is participating in the Healthy Campus Challenge.  The main goals of the Healthy Campus Challenge are to bring awareness of available health insurance options as well as the importance of having health insurance.  As part of this promotion, we want to encourage students to review and research all of the health insurance options that are available for them.  pig-health-insurance

There are a couple of online marketplaces for students to check out.  One online marketplace is Edusure.  This option is offered by Academic HealthPlans and offers access to a private health insurance marketplace for students.  Students can compare all available options offered through state and federal plans, including subsidized plans covered under the Affordable Healthcare Act.  The site also offers licensed health advisors to help students find the coverage that’s right for them.  For more information, please visit http://edusure.com/.

Another online marketplace is the Health Insurance Marketplace.  This is the federal Health Insurance Marketplace and allows individuals the opportunity to compare available private plans in their area.  Individuals can use this website to help determine if they qualify for additional low-cost plans, such as Medicaid.  For more information, please visit https://www.healthcare.gov/.  Both of these options can be found on Taylor Health and Wellness Center’s webpage at http://health.missouristate.edu/students/domestic.htm.

An option other than the online marketplace would be for students to have coverage under their parent’s health insurance plan.  If applicable, students may be able to purchase insurance from their parent’s health insurance plan until the age of 26, as well as purchasing directly from the insurance company itself.

The Healthy Campus Challenge is a great way to promote the importance of health and wellness on our campus.  Please help us by sharing with your students the importance of having health insurance and the different options available to them in regards to health insurance coverage.

~Jerilyn Reed, Taylor Health & Wellness

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Consider this…Support students that have no home for winter break

Have you thought about what students will be doing once winter break is here? Most of them will be cozied up in warm homes beside their families. Some will be studying abroad. Others may go on vacation to a sunny island far away from Springfield. However, there may be a few students who do not have a home to return to this winter break, especially students who are LGBTQIA+. If you would like to read more about queer youth and homelessness, below are some resources and literature. I strongly urge you to recognize signs of an unsupportive family/home life and reach out to students who may not have anywhere to go between December 16 and January 17.  consider-this


(shared by the Diversity Committee, Department of Residence Life, Housing and Dining Services)

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Zoë’s Bucket List…Springfield Festival of Lights!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Here in Springfield, our nights get lit up with an array of decorations and colorful lights in the spirit of the holiday season. Lucky for us Bears, we are really close to many of the Festival of Lights locations. The square in downtown Springfield is highly decorated with lights strung all around, faux snowflakes sprinkled about and a giant tree in the center. This makes the downtown feel even more joyous and something to admire when strolling around.  b2e433e0-dcb3-490f-ac18-935a27e05c65

Springfield’s famous Bass Pro shop also participates in this tradition. Just the other day I drove by and saw a ginormous Santa fishing on top of the roof! With this outside attraction being complemented by many other lights, I am positive that the inside is just as festive.

Jordan Valley Park (which I mentioned in a previous Bucket List Item about the Mechanical Man), is another location that goes all out to spread cheer. This park has my favorite type of lights, the ones that make objects look like they are moving. Like a bear walking, fish jumping or someone waving…they are all just really fun to look at.

Students, these are great places to go and take a nice relaxing walk when the stress of finals and the nearing of the end of semester get a little overwhelming. These beautiful sites are only up until December 31st, so go see them while you can!


Zoë Pixler, a junior majoring in Photography and Art Education, is the Family Orientation Assistant, helping with special projects and family orientation.  She is a member of a social sorority where she is the Vice President of New Member Education.

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Consider this…American Indian Heritage Day

American Indian Heritage Day, also known as Native American Heritage Day, recognizes the Native American heritage, history and contributions.  It’s the Friday after Thanksgiving Day in the United States.  Some states recognize this day as a legal holiday or observance.  The day also encourages public elementary and secondary schools to educate students about the history, achievements, and contributions of Native Americans by providing classroom instructions and activities.  consider-this

Consider this…

Native Americans have made distinct and significant contributions to the United States and the rest of the world in many fields, including agriculture, medicine, music, language, and art.  Throughout history, Native Americans have distinguished themselves as inventors, entrepreneurs, spiritual leaders, as well as scholars.

It is believed that, at its height, the population may have been as high as fifteen million people. Currently, there are between three and four million Native Americans in the USA and Alaska.  There are now over 500 recognized Indian tribes.  Native Americans contribute much richness to the culture of America and bring a great respect for their history, for the land, and for nature.

(shared by the Diversity Committee, Department of Residence Life, Housing and Dining Services)

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Spotlight on Kolby Eller – It’s On Us

1)      Tell us about you. Where are you from? What are you involved in on campus? What are you majoring in?

My name is Kolby Eller and I am a Junior Socio-Political Communication major from Chillicothe, Missouri. On campus I am involved in my social fraternity Pi Kappa Phi, a member of the Inter-Fraternity Council Executive Board, a student employee in the Dean of Students Office, and on Leadership Team for SOAR. I am also currently an intern for Senator Claire McCaskill.  kolby

2)      What is the It’s On Us campaign?  Why is this campaign so important to college campuses? What role do you play in this campaign?

The It’s On Us campaign works to educate people on the many issues regarding sexual assault, especially on college campuses. The organization strives to teach students to recognize that non-consensual sex is sexual assault, to identify situations in which sexual assault may occur, to intervene in situations where consent has not or cannot be given, and to create an environment in which sexual assault is unacceptable and survivors are supported.

This campaign is important on college campuses because it is such a prevalent issue. One campuses all across America one in five women will be sexual assaulted, as will one in sixteen men. If there were any other issue harming students at such an alarming rate, there would be a massive push for legislation to fix the problem. But since sexual assault is seen as a taboo topic, many campuses pretend that it is not happening. That is why it is on all of us to ensure that we are protecting one another.

My role as a member of the Student Advisory Council is mainly to assist with outreach. Each week I talk to student leaders from different states and regions about the It’s On Us campaign. During these conversations I encourage them to host educational events on their campuses so they can get the word out. Once the programs are planned, I serve as a liaison between the school and the national organization so they can help promote the event.

3)      You recently had the opportunity to visit with Vice President Joe Biden at his home. Tell us about this experience and your takeaways from the visit.

Visiting Vice President Biden’s home was one of the coolest opportunities I have ever had. While I was there I got to hear him speak about the It’s On Us campaign and about the Violence Against Women Act (a bill he introduced as a Senator). It was incredible to hear how he was able to turn his passion into action and bring attention to an issue that had not truly been discussed in the legislature before. After he concluded speaking, each of us on the Student Advisory Committee got to meet the Vice President individually and talk with him, and then take a photo with him. He was so genuine and happy to meet us; it was an incredible experience.

4)      What advice would you offer family members as they talk to their student about the It’s On Us campaign?

I think it is important for every single family to talk to their students about the It’s On Us campaign, and specifically the role their student can play in preventing sexual assault. It does not matter if their student is male or female, we all have a role in preventing sexual assault. Families should encourage their students to hold each other accountable and to speak out and take action if they see something that could be sexual assault. Most victims of sexual assault agree that all it would have taken was one person to intervene or check in with them. It might be an uncomfortable conversation, but it is crucial that students know what to look out for while they are in school.

5)      What is your favorite Missouri State tradition?

There are a lot of traditions at Missouri State I love, but my favorite would have to be Welcome Weekend. Our university does a great job of getting students out of their rooms and interacting with each other. It’s so fun to see all the students out and about with their BearWear helping welcome new students to campus. After my first Welcome Weekend, I knew Missouri State University was the right place for me.

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The Holidays are Here!

The Thanksgiving break is just a few days away. The majority of students will start their trek home on November 18th! You are excited right? You’ve missed your student! A weekend visit here and there has been good but the thought of spending lots of time with your student makes you smile! turkey-for-zoe-says

While you have been anticipating their visit, your student probably hasn’t given the holidays a lot of thought due to studying for finals (start on December 10th), worrying about grades, or contemplating changing majors. In short, they have a lot on their mind.

We as family members tend to view the holiday break in completely different ways than our students. I asked some students to fill in the blank of this statement, “When I go home for the holidays, I wish my family would…” Here are some of the answers:

“When I go home for the holidays, I wish my family would remember that I have been living on my own for the last five months and still need to have my space at home.”

“I wish my family would remember that while I am coming home to spend time with them, I haven’t seen my closest friends for a long period of time as well. I do want to spend time with my family but at the same time I want to be able to enjoy the rare time I get with others that are a part of my life.”

“When I go home for the holidays, I wish my family would avoid making a lot of plans to go places with me. When I come home from school I am tired of running from one thing to another. Most of the time I just want to sit down and relax.”

 “I wish my family would take time from the hustle and bustle of the holiday season to just be with me and hang out with me, instead of worrying about what needs to be done. “

Did you see yourself in some of the students’ answers? I did! When my oldest daughter came home for Thanksgiving her first year in college, I had every minute of her time planned. Not my best idea. She wanted to sleep (which led me to ask “aren’t you getting enough sleep”?), she wanted to watch movies with her sister, work on last minute college projects, spend time with friends and hangout with the family. Let me tell you, we clashed! But once we had a conversation about the holidays and the expectations, everything was much better. It’s all about communication!

Here are some tips to help you avoid a holiday clash with your college student.

Prepare yourself for surprises. Ask yourself “What if?” What if he wants to stay out all night? What if she spends all her time at her friend’s house? What if his friends hang out here until 4 in the morning?

Acknowledge their growing independence and their accomplishments. Acknowledge these changes in your conversations by changing “demands” to “choices” when negotiating new boundaries.

Become a good listener. Your student may want to discuss changing majors, new living arrangements, or personal relationships. Try to really understand what you student is saying and ask open-ended questions. Say, for example, “Tell me more about that,” or “How did you feel when that happened?”

Address specific topics you need to discuss. Some of these may include:

Family time and expectations
Social events
Updates on majors and academic life
Time management issues

Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff. Students may be drained and running on empty. Give them time to refuel. This may mean biting your tongue if they sleep until 2 p.m. or their rooms look like the aftermath of a cyclone.

With a little preparation, you can avoid conflict and enjoy the holidays with your student.


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Consider This…2016 Election Results Affect Students

Regardless of your opinion on the election results, since Tuesday we have had students who are expressing that they have experienced a myriad of emotions. Some of our students have experienced an increase in people saying negative things to them based on their identities.  consider-this

Here are some resources to share with your student:

  • The Missouri State University Counseling Center wants you to know they acknowledge this post-election time to be potentially challenging or difficult for members of our campus community.  Given these challenges, we encourage all students to remember we are available to listen and support you as our nation prepares for the transition in leadership.  If your student is struggling to cope with aspects of the election—the tone of national discussions, upsetting conversations with friends or family, or any other related concern, please have them consider scheduling an appointment to speak with one of the counselors.  The office is a safe space for discussing their concerns or sorting out their thoughts and feelings. It’s easy to make an appointment by calling (417) 836-5116, anytime between 8:00 am and 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday.
  • The Multicultural Resource Center (MRC) is holding a closed space for MRC clubs and organizations.
  • Tough Talks are being sponsored and will be a space for processing.
  • An additional safe space will be created in the PSU on Tuesday this coming week.
  • Students who experience bias incidents can file a report: http://www.missouristate.edu/dos/ These reports are followed up by the Dean of Students Office.

(shared by the Diversity Committee, Department of Residence Life, Housing and Dining Services)

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Zoë Says…Thanksgiving Break Brings Changes to Light

It’s almost here! The glorious time of year where it is encouraged to eat as much homemade food as you wish and relax with family while your student gets nine long days away from campus and college life. Sure, it’s nice to have your student back home, but there might be some surprises that come with the long Thanksgiving break.  turkey-for-zoe-says

This is even more of a possibility if students haven’t been home a lot. Hopefully, they have found a place here at Missouri State and have grown to call it their second home. As their family, you should be happy about this for a number of reasons. First of all, when students feel connected to their college, it is more likely they are doing well academically. Also, homes are often found around people with whom you build relationships. If your student is calling Springfield their second home, they probably have a good group of friends and/or colleagues. Through making connections and getting settled here at Missouri State, it is very likely that your student made some changes in their life.

College is a time for freedom, and with that freedom students have the privilege to have control over parts of their life they may not have had before. These are simple things like:

  • How late they stay up
  • When they eat
  • What they eat
  • How they contact people
  • When they go out
  • How they get ready
  • When they get up
  • And many more!

All the items from the list above seem like minor decisions in life, but differences in these decisions could cause some discourse when your student comes home. Your student is in the process of growing into an independent adult, and you should embrace the responsibilities they have taken on with that. Do not be surprised if your student comes home and they don’t have the same routines as they did when they lived at home.

College life is interesting. From my experience, you tend to have the type of schedules no “real” adult would have. My best advice for you families would be to touch base with your student on the way they do things. This can be done in a casual way by asking questions about their routines when they are here in Springfield. Commonly, they carry over the habits to when they visit home. Don’t be afraid to voice your concerns with any of their routines. A conversation that leads to compromise is always the best course of action when working with your student.

Overall, Thanksgiving break is a great break for your student and is meant to bring all the Bear families together.

Enjoy your Turkey Day, Bears!


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REAL L.I.F.E Tips about Scholarships

REAL L.I.F.E  has some great tips for our students as they are looking for scholarships and filling them out. new_real_life_logo-png

  1. Essays are your friends! Those are the ones people avoid, so a little effort will go a long way. Don’t be scared of applications that require an essay!
  2. Apply for a serious amount of scholarships to increase your odds. Students should apply for well over $100,000!
  3. Don’t miss deadlines. Seems easy, but the last thing you want is to miss a due date on a drafted essay. (Getting used to meeting deadlines is a great life skill to develop!)
  4. Look for the local scholarships Financial Aid has in Carrington 101! Carrington Hall is not for from any place on campus so your student can stop in and find out more about available scholarships.
  5. Don’t wait until the last minute! Procrastination is not your friend when filling out scholarship applications. For example, your student spends two hours filling out a scholarship application and receives a scholarship for $1000. That’s not a bad return on the effort put in to the process.


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