student life

August 2013 E-newsletter

Dear Students and Families,

Hello from Sweet Briar, where it has been a busy and productive summer. The library construction has reached an exciting point and you will notice the difference when you return. We have also been working to respond to the feedback you shared in the “How’d We Do?” survey last spring, especially related to the residence halls and campus services.

We heard you and we look forward to you seeing and experiencing the outcomes! President Parker, the faculty and staff are eagerly awaiting your return.

This is the last of three summer newsletters. Open and regular communication with you is important to us, and we hope these have kept you informed about the College. We encourage you to review this information thoroughly since it contains important planning details for the 2013-14 academic year, as well as updates from campus.

If you missed the other e-newsletters this summer, you can find them at

New students and parents, this newsletter will supplement the materials you received in the July mailing, which contained important information to prepare you for your arrival at Sweet Briar. We look forward to welcoming you to campus on Saturday, Aug. 24!

Returning students and parents, we also look forward to your arrival on Sunday, Aug. 25, or Tuesday, Aug. 27!

Parents, a number of other resources for you can be found at

Please feel free to contact us if you have questions. If you don’t know which campus office to call, please contact co-curricular life at (434) 381-6134 and we will be happy to direct you.

Looking forward to an exciting year ahead —

Warm wishes,

Cheryl Steele
Dean of Co-Curricular Life




New Student Information
College Success Series Schedule
2014 Commencement
College Calendar Information
Financial Aid Reminders
Meet the New Director of Campus Safety
Residence Life Updates
Campus Student Employment
Student Health Insurance

News from the Performing Arts

Save the Dates

Invite Involvement

Career Services and Resources

Athletics Update

Caring Sisters: A Resource for Students

Student Voter Information

Title IX: More than Sports

Emergency Response Planning

Parent Steering Committee



New Student Information

We are excited to welcome the Class of 2017, as well as new transfer students! Orientation will begin with check-in on Aug. 24. For more information about Orientation, including the at-a-glance schedule for students and the parent schedule, visit the Orientation website.

For questions, please contact Robyn Sanderson in First Year Programs at [email protected] or (434) 381-6134. 

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College Success Series Schedule

First Year and SophoMORE Programs are excited to collaborate with the dean’s office and the Academic Resource Center in the College Success Series this fall.

Sessions will occur weekly on Monday nights at 6:30 p.m. in Reid Pit. 

9      Know Your Learning Styles: Kinesthetic? Auditory? Visual? Which are you?
16    Running Out of Time? How to make the most of the 168 hours in your week
23    Note-taking and Study Skills: College Edition
30    Got Stress? Strategies for managing college life, including test anxiety

7      Connections for Success: Creating connections outside the classroom
14    Registration Roadmap: Set your GPS for success

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2014 Commencement Information

Commencement 2014 will be held May 17, 2014. Details will be available later this fall on the president's Commencement website

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College Calendar Information

For your convenience and advance planning, below are the dates for the opening and closing of student residences for 2013-2014.

New Student Check-in
Saturday, Aug. 24, 8:30-11:30 a.m.
Conference Center

Returning Student Check-in
Sunday, Aug. 25, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
Office of Co-Curricular Life, Prothro, 2nd floor


Tuesday, Aug. 27, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Office of Co-curricular Life, Prothro, 2nd floor

Thanksgiving Break

Residences close:
Saturday, Nov. 23, 8 a.m.

Residences open:
Sunday, Dec. 1, 8 a.m.
First meal served: dinner

Winter Break

Residences close:
Saturday, Dec. 21, 8 a.m.

Residences open:
Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014, 8 a.m.
First meal served: lunch

Spring Break

Residences close:
Saturday, March 8, 2014, 8 a.m.

Residences open:
Sunday, March 16, 2014, 8 a.m.
First meal served: dinner

End of the Year Closing

Non-graduating students:
Residences close Thursday, May 15, 2014, 5 p.m.

Graduating seniors and approved students:
Residences close Saturday, May 17, 2014, 5:30 p.m.

New students and parents: Please note that students self-schedule exams, so they may complete academic work prior to the end of the exam period. You are encouraged to consult the academic calendar when planning transportation.

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Financial Aid Reminders

Students who applied for financial aid for 2013-14 should have received award packages in bright pink envelopes by now. Please return all appropriate paperwork for funds you wish to accept, such as loan request forms and campus employment applications. Most forms are also located on our financial aid website. If you are unsure of your financial aid award or of additional paperwork you may have to return, go to

It is never too late to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). We encourage everyone to apply at There are many variables involved in determining eligibility, but there is no way to know whether you are eligible if you don’t apply.

We are here to help you navigate this process. Please feel free to contact the financial aid office with any questions or concerns at (800) 381-6156 or [email protected]. Our office hours are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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Meet the New Director of Campus Safety

Dave Gardner has joined Sweet Briar College as the new director of campus safety. He brings 27 years of law enforcement and campus safety experience to the role. Gardner comes to Sweet Briar from Wells College, where he was the director of campus safety. 

He previously served nearly 23 years with the Elmira Police Department, beginning as a police officer and working his way through the ranks as a sergeant, lieutenant, captain and ultimately the deputy chief of police.   

Gardner holds associate and bachelor’s degrees in criminal justice and is a graduate of the FBI National Academy.

He and his wife, LuAnne, live on campus and have two adult children. 

Learn more about Gardner in the Q & A below.

1) What has been your favorite part of the job so far?

My favorite part of working at SBC has been meeting and developing relationships with the members of the Campus Safety Department; as wells the other SBC staff and faculty members. The last few weeks have gone by in a flash, and starting a new job, in addition to moving a long distance, can be quite stressful. Fortunately, SBC is the place we expected it to be; we have been welcomed at every turn and made to feel at home. Having spent almost my entire life in New York, we have always heard about Southern hospitality; the SBC community is a tribute to that philosophy.

2) Why were you attracted to a job in higher education?

When our daughter was a junior in college, she was being stalked by a guy in the library where she worked. I wasn’t really happy about the way the college handled the situation. As I was thinking about retiring from the police department I worked at, I took the advice that I had given so many younger officers over the years: The only way to change things is to get involved. I retired from the police department and started working as a campus safety director at a small college, and actually find campus safety work more enjoyable than regular law enforcement.

3) What are three things the SBC community should know about you?

I take the awesome responsibility of working with our Campus Safety Department ensuring Sweet Briar is a safe and fun place to live and work very seriously. All that being said, please don’t let that deter you from saying “Hi,” or introducing yourself. I’m a big softy; really, just ask my daughter.

I believe that every problem has a solution. If you look in a mirror, you may find a simple answer to the problem, or you may see the problem itself staring back at you …

Pickles. The world would be an incredibly dull place if it weren’t for pickles. Bread and Butter, Dill, Sweet, Fermented Sours, or all the other flavors out there just make everything better. I must have owned a kosher deli in a former life…

4) What are you most looking forward to as the new school year gets underway?

I think the thing I am most looking forward to is meeting more of our faculty and staff, as well as all the new and returning students, and getting to learn and experience the traditions and activities that make Sweet Briar such a wonderful place to be. My wife and I both enjoy sports and the arts, so we see us at a lot of games and performances!

 5) What do you like to do in your spare time?

I build and fly radio control airplanes and sailplanes, do some woodworking on the side, and love playing Scrabble with my wife on the patio. Oh, did I mention pickles? I really enjoy canning all sorts of pickles and sauerkraut.


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Updates from Residence Life

The Residence Life staff is looking forward to your return. We wanted to make you aware of a couple of policy updates so you may plan accordingly.

  • Painting of Rooms
    Painting residential spaces, including assigned rooms and common areas, is strictly prohibited. Students who violate this policy will be fined.
  • Pets
    Pets, with the exception of fish or aquatic turtles in small containers, are prohibited in all residential housing, including Green Village, Patteson House and House 5. Students found to be in possession of a pet (other than fish or turtle) are considered to be in violation of the Honor Code (Code of Conduct), and will be referred directly to the non-academic judicial chair.

    Any student found responsible for keeping a pet in a residence hall or apartment will be fined $100, plus an additional $50 per day for each following day that the animal is kept in the residence area or in any other student’s room on campus. Likewise, any roommate or friend who knowingly allows a pet (or pets) in their room is in violation of the pet policy and will be subject to the same fines listed above. Students may not foster animals of faculty or staff members or from local shelters or other organizations in the residence areas

It is the student’s responsibility to inform the director of residence life in writing (via email or letter) to confirm that the pet has been removed from campus. Repeat offenders may lose the privilege of living in a residence area (particularly Green Village and Patteson House).


  • MicroFridge Option Available in the Residence Halls
    In partnership with the Melvin Corporation, MicroFridge units are available for rent for 2013-14.

    Although students are able to purchase (on their own) small refrigerators, there are restrictions on having microwaves inside the rooms. However, the Melvin Corporation MicroFridge is allowed in all rooms in every residence hall on campus. We encourage the rental of a MicroFridge unit for the following reasons:

1. Electrical Efficiency: The MicroFridge is a compact appliance that offers a refrigerator, freezer, and microwave in one integrated unit. Its patented circuitry reduces energy consumption and prevents circuit overload, making it feasible to allow these units in individual rooms. The MicroFridge unit is much more efficient electrically than traditional refrigerators, which helps to keep power costs low

2. Convenience: The rental of a MicroFridge unit prevents students from having to transport a unit back and forth to campus. The unit will be delivered to student rooms and will be picked up at the end of the academic year. The Melvin Corporation offers a 100% guarantee on each MicroFridge unit it leases. If the MicroFridge stops working for any reason other than abuse or damage caused by the student, it will be replaced at no charge to you.

3. Microwave Availability: As previously mentioned, due to electrical and safety demands, students are not allowed to have microwaves in the residence hall rooms. However, due to the circuitry of the MicroFridge, the rental of a unit enables residents to have a microwave, in addition to a refrigerator and freezer.

MicroFridge units lease for $208.95 per academic year. To reserve a unit for your room for the fall, please go to and submit it with your payment to: The Melvin Corporation, 534 East Nelson St., Lexington, VA 24450.

We recommend that you speak with your roommate(s) to share the cost of the unit. For more information about MicroFridge rentals, go to If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Jay Melvin at (540) 463-3693. This product, offered exclusively through the Melvin Corporation, is the ONLY microwave/refrigerator/freezer combination allowed in student residences. Act now to reserve yours.


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Student Employment On Campus

Nell Schroer, coordinator of campus student employment, can help you connect with a meaningful campus job. If you plan to work on campus, please remember the following:

  • Don't wait!
    If you are interested in working on campus, we encourage you to begin applying as soon as you arrive at Sweet Briar.

Please contact Nell Schroer at [email protected] or (434) 381-6580 if you have questions over the summer. 

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Save the Dates

  • Welcome Weekend at Sweet Briar College — Aug.30-Sept. 1Students enjoy the 2012 Founders' Day Dance. Save the date for your first weekend on campus. The weekend will begin Friday with Quadrocks and the annual club fair, followed by a movie night and a night hike with s’mores! Saturday features fun and games during the day and the “Back to School Blackout Bash” at night — be prepared to glow in the dark! Finally, relax by the lake on Sunday at “Savoring Sweet Summer.” Bring your swimsuit to float on the lake or become canoe-certified, or both.
  • Founders’ Day Weekend at Sweet Briar College — Sept. 27-28
    Save the date for this exciting weekend of celebrating the founding of Sweet Briar College. Weekend activities will include the traditional walk to Monument Hill, a community picnic and a night of dancing. Plan to join these and other activities!
  • Homecoming and Families Weekend 2013 — Oct. 25-27
    Please join us on campus this fall to celebrate a weekend with fellow alumnae, students and their families, faculty and staff. Enjoy a community picnic, tours, the fall theater production of Shakespeare’s “Richard III,” a concert choir performance and more!


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Student Health Insurance Available

Sweet Briar College is participating in a consortium student health insurance plan with Gallagher Koster. Detailed information and an online chat option for questions are available here.


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Career Services Is Here to Help

Students committed to their educational goals early on are more likely to make steady progress toward their career objectives. Whatever your class year at Sweet Briar, the Office of Career Services has resources to help you. We have developed a comprehensive four-year plan that outlines specific academic, career and personal/social goals to help you reach your goals for life after Sweet Briar.

Also check out these two career services resources:

  • What Can I Do With This Major?
    This website allows you to investigate several different types of majors — whether you don’t know what to major in, or if you’ve declared a major and don’t know what you can do with it.

  • O*Net Online
    This is another great site to explore careers. You can complete an “Occupation Quick Search” to find more information about particular jobs skills needed for any career. This site also provides information about job growth and salaries.


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Exciting Performing Arts News!

Sweet Briar’s Performing Arts Division will hold a Welcome/Informational Meeting at
7 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 1, in Babcock’s Murchison Lane Auditorium. Find out about dance, music, theater, arts management and the Bachelor of Fine Arts. (Check out the link to the meeting flyer on the SB Theatre homepage.)

Auditions for “Richard III” will be held Monday, Sept. 2, and Tuesday, Sept. 3, in Murchison Lane Auditorium — ALL interested students are encouraged to attend.

Fall Dance Concert auditions will be held Wednesday, Sept. 4, in Babcock’s Upper Dance Studio — ALL interested students are welcome.

Broadway greats Ron Raines and Don Pippin will perform “An Evening on Broadway” on Friday, Sept. 13, as part of the Babcock Season. Tickets are required, but admission is FREE for SBC students! Visit the Babcock Season website for other performances.

The first 2013-14 Janet Lowrey Gager Community Concert will be held
at noon on Tuesday, Sept. 24, in Babcock 127. This is a non-ticketed event; admission is free for all.

For more information, please contact Shelbie Filson at [email protected].

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Invite Involvement

Want to know what events are happening on campus? Check out the Involvement Calendar to see events hosted by CEO, StARs, CCL and others.

On your Google calendar, in the box under “Other calendars,” type [email protected] to add the Involvement Calendar to your view.

Want to add your event that is open to all students to the Involvement Calendar? Simply “Invite Involvement” as a guest when you create your Google calendar event and we will accept.

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Caring Sisters: Sweet Briar’s Staff Resource Program for Students

Four staff members have volunteered to serve as Caring Sisters resource persons for students. Working in collaboration with co-curricular life, they can respond to student questions, serve as sources of information about the College and community, and as referral resources on campus.

  • Kerri Bond — Assistant director of admissions, admissions office, Ext. 6142
  • Jean Hazelwood — Director of sports information and athletic facilities operations, Fitness and Athletics Center, Ext. 6545
  • Masia Miller — Admissions counselor, admissions office, 2nd floor (first office on the right), Ext. 6720
  • Gloria Smith — Administrative assistant, co-curricular life, Prothro Hall, 2nd floor, Ext. 6134 or 6352

Watch for more information when you return to campus!


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Athletics Updates

Athletes on the dockThe athletics department joins the entire Sweet Briar College community in welcoming new and returning students to campus for fall semester 2013! 

Vixen student-athletes picked up a number of accolades last semester and we look forward to continued success this fall. A complete list of all athletics contests is available online at, the official site of Sweet Briar College Athletics.

During the summer, 34 Vixens were named Old Dominion Athletic Conference All-Academic honorees, 23 players made dean’s list and six student-athletes earned all-state academic accolades. Our swimming team garnered Scholar All America distinction and Vixen Tennis enjoys a top 25 recruiting class ranking for fall 2013 incoming players. 

Also during the summer, Vixen Athletics welcomed new head lacrosse coach and assistant athletics facilities director Hayley Engster.

The Fitness and Athletics Center begins fall semester hours on Wednesday,
Aug. 28. Students should be on the look-out for fitness opportunities such as the ever-popular kickboxing, NIA and Zumba classes. 

Stay in the loop: Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, read our blog and visit our Vixen YouTube channel.


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Student Voter Registration

Sweet Briar College encourages every student to register to vote. Voter registration deadline is 22 days in advance of the election date.

Student groups will have voter registration tables at Quadrocks on Aug. 30 from 5 to 7 p.m.

If you are not a registered voter, please visit these links for more information and to register:


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Title IX: It’s About More Than Sports

Our culture of inclusivity and respect is supported by our policies that prohibit discrimination. In compliance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Sweet Briar College does not discriminate on the basis of sex in its educational programs and activities or in employment. It is the College’s intent to maintain an environment free from all forms of harassment and discrimination, including but not limited to bullying, hazing, sexual harassment, sexual violence, sexual coercion, rape and sexual assault. 

It is a violation of the College’s Anti-Discrimination Policy for any member of the Sweet Briar community to discriminate against any other member of the Sweet Briar community on any basis, including but not limited to race, religion, nationality, sex, age, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or its expression, socioeconomic circumstances, political convictions, or other personal circumstances or characteristics.

The College provides an administrative process (not legal or criminal) for prompt and equitable investigation and resolution of complaints alleging violations of our Anti-Discrimination Policy. For more information, visit


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Emergency Response Planning

We encourage parents to share your current email address with the College, if you have not done so already, so that you can receive general information from the College, including communication about situations such as local and national health and/or weather situations. You can email an updated address to [email protected].

Information regarding the e2Campus Emergency Communication System and the College’s emergency procedures can be found on the Department of Campus Safety website. New students will be enrolled in e2Campus during Orientation. The College website will be a resource for updates if situations occur.


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Parent Steering Committee

Greetings, Sweet Briar Families!

Welcome to our new incoming students, welcome back to our returning students, and a special welcome to all of our families.

We are very proud and thankful your daughter chose Sweet Briar for her college experience. It is a wonderful institution full of tradition and scholarship. Her academic experience will be rich and challenging, and her memories and friendships will last a lifetime.

Sweet Briar College recognizes the importance of partnering with parents during a student’s college career. We look forward to working with you and other family members to maximize your student’s learning experience. It is our goal to assist you in the transition and academic success of your student as Sweet Briar prepares her to be a successful professional and citizen in an ever-changing and challenging world. The process begins with this newsletter and exploring the opportunities to engage with the College and support your student and others.

First-year families should bookmark the First Year Blog. Read through the archives for helpful insight into the traditions of Sweet Briar and more on what to expect as your student enters the College.

All SBC families should save the date for Homecoming and Families Weekend 2013, Oct. 25-27, 2013. The 2013 program is available there for you to get an idea of the weekend’s events and check back soon for an updated schedule.

Also, visit the Parent Steering Committee page to explore the many opportunities for parents to “go to work” for students and Sweet Briar. PSC families receive a special orientation session to become engaged volunteers who:

  • Contact fellow Sweet Briar families to grow connections in our network;
  • Become a helpful resource to those families by answering questions on what to expect when your student is transitioning to college life;
  • Share opportunities on how families can be helpful recruiters of new students, for example by hosting an event;
  • Share opportunities for families to contribute to the academic and real-world work experience of students, for example by offering internships in their companies;
  • Share information on why they make gifts yearly to the Annual Fund to directly support scholarships and enhance academic programs for their student and yours.

The Parent Steering Committee enjoys a long history of actively engaged families committed to the success of every Sweet Briar student. Learn more and get involved in ways you may not have imagined. We look forward to your family joining our family!

To learn more about the Parent Steering Committee, contact me, Terry Nash, director of reunion and parent giving, at [email protected] or at (434) 381-6372, or toll-free at (888) 846-5722.

I look forward to connecting with you. Thank you for choosing Sweet Briar and getting involved. It makes an immediate and positive impact!



P.S. You can make your Annual Fund gift now!