March 2019

The WWU Family Connection newsletter is a monthly e-newsletter sent to all families throughout the year, produced by Western's Office of Communications and Marketing and New Student Services/Family Outreach.

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Freshman Hattie Bakke from Nederland, Colorado, a student employee with the AS Recycle Center, loads cardboard and other recycled materials into a truck. The AS Recycle Center processed 754,705 pounds of recyclables in 2018, an average of 3,000 pounds a day. | Photo by Roisin Cowan-Kuist, WWU Marketing and Communications Intern

Important Dates

Finnbogi Pétursson's "Infra-Supra 2019" at the Western Gallery: through Saturday, March 16

Drop-In Advising Lab: Monday, March 4

Student Outreach Services panel discussion on foster care: Tuesday, March 5

Off Campus Housing Fair: Wednesday, March 6

All-Campus Student Scholarship Workshop: Thursday, March 7

LGBTQ+ Western's "Spending Time with Family as an LGBTQ+ Person": Thursday, March 14

Last day to apply to graduate summer 2019 without a late fee: Friday, March 15

Finals Week: March 18-22

WWU Vikings at the Nordic Museum: Thursday, March 21

Winter Commencement: Saturday, March 23

Spring Break: March 23 - April 1

First day of spring quarter: Tuesday, April 2

Spring quarter tuition and fees due: Tuesday, April 2

Last day to pay account before late-payment fees are assessed: Monday, April 15

Spring Career Fair: Thursday, April 18

Double Major featuring Death Cab for Cutie and Odesza: Saturday, May 18

Spring commencement: June 14 and 15

Add WWU events, dates and deadlines to your own calendar: Event listings in Western's online calendar offer an "Add to my calendar" feature to download the event information in an .ics file, which works with most standard calendar apps. Open the .ics file and the event will automatically be added to your calendar on your phone or computer desktop.

Scholarship Center offers drop-in workshop and a chance to win a $500 scholarship

All students are invited to the All-Campus Student Scholarship Workshop Thursday, March 7. Students can connect with our on-campus partners for information on applying for scholarships, crafting their resume, writing scholarships essays, and more!

The workshop will be Thursday, March 7, 3:30-4:45 p.m., VU 565.

Students are also invited to complete their "Passport to Scholarship Success" to build their scholarship skills and earn a chance to win a 2019-20 scholarship for $500 from Western.

Currently enrolled WWU students can pick up their Passport at the Scholarship Center (Old Main 285) or print one from the Scholarship Center's website. Students must complete at least 6 out of the 9 activities and turn in their Passport to the WWU Scholarship Center by 4 p.m. April 12 in Old Main 285 for a chance to win.

Western Abroad 101 information sessions are held every day of the week

There is still time to apply for summer and fall study abroad programs. The first step to studying abroad is for students to attend a 30-minute Western Abroad 101 information session held this quarter:

  • Mondays and Tuesdays, 4 p.m. in Miller Hall 113
  • Wednesdays and Thursdays, 9 a.m. in Miller Hall 015
  • Fridays at noon in Miller Hall 113

Click here to view our Global Learning Faculty-led Programs for summer quarter And search for all programs here. The WWU Education Abroad office looks forward to working with your students on their international plans.

Alums Death Cab for Cutie and ODESZA return to Bellingham May 19 for Alumni Weekend

ODESZA and Death Cab for Cutie have announced Double Major, a co-headline benefit show at Civic Stadium at 6 p.m. on Saturday, May 18.

The show is a homecoming for both bands, having formed in Bellingham when their members were students of Western Washington University. In appreciation for the school and the city of Bellingham, net proceeds from the show will be donated to WWU’s Alumni Association Scholarship Endowment.

Learn more about the concert and ticket sales at

Moving out: Eight tips for getting students ready to move off campus

This is the time of year many students are looking for off-campus rentals for the upcoming school year. Moving off campus can be exciting, but also daunting, so tips and advice from parents and guardians can be helpful.

Here are 8 tips for you and your student to help get you started on the move out process:

  1. Attend the Off Campus Housing Fair: A great opportunity for your student to meet local landlords and property managers, find out how to apply for rentals and get an idea of the costs and the locations of housing. Wednesday, March 6, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m., Wilson Library Reading Room
  2. Start Now: Pre-leasing for fall usually starts in March and can be competitive. Starting early will give your student a chance to look at multiple places before they pick one.
  3. Money: Off campus living has a lot of hidden costs that your student may not be aware of, like home furnishings, bills, and extra transportation costs to get to campus. Help them create a budget that will set them up for success and less stress!
  4. Roommates: A good roommate not only is a fun person to spend time with but someone who will pay their bills, clean the kitchen and respect the rules of your home. Talk to your student about setting boundaries and house rules on cleaning, socializing and quiet hours with their roommates before they move in together.
  5. Choosing a Place: Apartments and houses come with different perks and responsibilities. Houses have more expensive utilities, require lawn care and responsibility to bring out the garbage and recycling, but they have a yard and lots of room. Apartment living is less responsibility, but you have to be much more quiet in an apartment. Help your student decide what level of responsibility they are ready for and what fits their lifestyle the best.
  6. Read the Lease: Reading a lease is worth your time. Many landlords require that all parties go on one lease which means that if you are a co-signer you may be held responsible not just for your student’s costs but costs for everyone on the lease in the case that someone cannot pay. Many leases also have rules and regulations about quiet hours, pets, garbage and responsibility for lawn care so make sure your student understands their responsibilities.
  7. Rental Registration and Inspection: Make sure that the property your student selects is safe to live in by ensuring that it has been registered with the Bellingham Rental Registration and Safety Inspection Program. Landlords are required to post a certificate of registration in their units or put it in with their leases.
  8. Be a Good Neighbor: Encourage your student to be a good neighbor by introducing themselves to their neighbors, leaving parking spaces for their neighbors on the street, ensuring their garbage doesn’t fall over and blow into their yard and let them know if they are having a party.

Still have more questions? The Off Campus Living website is a great resource for students needing practical guidance about living off campus and for parents who might want to read up about co-signing leases and landlord-tenant laws.

Sending a package to your student on campus? Make sure it gets where it's supposed to go

Click here to learn more about mailing to University Residences.

Help WWU students and families as our Family Outreach Manager

Western's New Student Services and Family Outreach office is looking for a Family Outreach Manager who will play an integral role in supporting the transition of new WWU families to the university community.

Click here to learn more about the job.

LGBTQ+ Western offers family resources

LGBTQ+ Western’s website includes lots of information that may be of interest to families of LGBTQ+ students.

The Lifelong Learning page includes written resources such as publications from PFLAG about supporting loved ones who come out as LGBTQ+, the Trevor Project’s guide “Coming Out as You!,” and resources about Black LGBTQ+ history for Black History Month.

Students, parents, and families are encouraged to sign up for the LGBTQ+ Western email list on the website.

Reconnect with your student over spring break

University students are always excited for spring break, whether they're heading home for a week or on an out-of-town adventure.

Parents and families, on the other hand, might be experiencing a wider spectrum of emotions.

Maybe you are excited to have your student home, but worried they might get bored. You also may have concerns about their out-of-town destinations, but want them to have a fun, independent experience. Or potentially you are feeling sad that they won’t be making it home for this break.

But, no matter the particulars you probably want to connect with your student and be updated about their world. Here are some light-hearted, engaging topics and questions to bring up with your Western student to help stay connected and in the know.

  • When was the last time you tried something new? What was it?
  • Who did you spend the most time with this quarter?
  • What is the most interesting thing that happened this quarter?
  • Where is the best place to eat in Bellingham and what’s your favorite food there?
  • Why are you most grateful for spring break?
  • How does a normal day look like for you? And what do you wish you could add to your day?

Winter Commencement is March 23

Click here to learn all about the ceremony, tickets, parking, and where to see it online.

Remind your student to check their WWU email regularly for commencement updates and reminders.

Encourage your student to apply for these on-campus opportunities

Western Libraries Undergraduate Research Award: Awarded to students who demonstrate outstanding library research in the writing of papers for courses at Western. Each Undergraduate Research Award winner receives $500 and publication in Western CEDAR, Western’s institutional repository. Click here to learn more.

Peer Health Educators: Prevention and Wellness Services is recruiting Peer Health Educators for next academic year. The PHE program is a professional-development volunteer opportunity for Western students of all identities who are interested in promoting wellness, gaining new skills, and getting more involved on campus. The application deadline is Friday, March 8. Students can learn more about the program and apply online at

WWU funding for student research: Twice a year, Western's office of Research and Sponsored Programs provides funding for undergraduate research projects. The next deadline is March 11. Click here to learn more.

Spring youth programs feature the sciences

Western welcomes your child to participate in spring Youth Programs. Offerings include Computer Science Club (Exploring AI in Minecraft), Kids Night Out @ Western (What's in Bellingham Bay?) and GEMS Academy. Visit to learn more.

WWU news from Western Today

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Western Today is WWU's daily news source. Visit at or click here to have it delivered to your in-box.

To the Roof of the World: WWU Faculty, Students Headed to Mount Everest this Spring to Study Climate Change

Odesza, Death Cab concert at Civic Field to highlight Alumni Weekend May 18

WWU Ranked Third Nationally in Number of Student Fulbright Scholars

Sarah Sze’s ‘Split Rock (Northwest)’ to be Newest Installation in WWU’s Renowned Outdoor Sculpture Collection

WWU’s Jenise Bauman Partnering with State and Local Agencies on Cleanup of Port Orchard’s Harper’s Creek Estuary

Retirement celebration Thursday for Larry Estrada, who spent 30 years building courses and programs devoted to diversity and inclusion

Western Offers Counseling, Support after Death of Student Madeline Hurd

Local prof hopes classical music podcast connects generations | Bellingham Alive

Laments over unbridled growth in our beloved Northwest are nothing new | The Seattle Times

Southern Resident orca hunting behavior studied for clues to survival | KING 5 TV