Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


What They Don’t Tell You

During orientation, you will be told of all the wonderful things that FAU has to offer. However, there will be many things they won’t tell you.

There are countless resources that FAU has to offer and it took me over three years to find them all. As incoming students of the university, it is vital to make the best out of what you are given. Use these tips as a guide to surviving your freshman year.

The “Meal Plan”For on campus students, having a meal plan is mandatory, but not always enjoyable. As a resident veteran for my first two years of college, I didn’t eat all of my meals at the Marketplace Cafeteria. When choosing a meal plan, it is probable that you will not eat 17 meals a week. I signed up for 12, and that was the best decision ever. Most of my friends signed up for 15, and they were lucky if they ate 10. Recently, a 10 meals-a-week plan was added with $400 flex bucks available, but it actually ends up costing more. Stick with 12.

Get free stuffIn your General Education classes, you will find a few different grading methods that your professors use. One in particular is a scantron. The Student Government Office and the Dean of Student Affairs offer free scantrons and bluebooks. Luckily for you, the ability to make these free to students already comes out of your tuition funding. Instead of forking over 37 extra cents at the Bookstore, save it for a stick of gum and head over to where they are free. The Dean of Student Affairs office is located on the second floor of the Breezeway. The Student Government office is located on the second floor of the Student Union.

Choose your professors wiselySince many of your classes are pre-requisite courses that you must take in order to move on to courses in your choice of major, you will have more options in terms of who your teacher is. While some people look at the course itself, who teaches it is just as important. SPOT (Student Perception of Teaching) surveys are given out at the end of every semester to students. You can access them by going to http://iea.fau.edu/reports/spot.aspx. This resource is fantastic for not just your general education classes, but also when you move into classes for your major.

ParkingEnglish major and former Housing Resident Assistant Dan Alexander says that one thing students always disregard is the available parking on campus. Don’t waste your time driving around campus following other cars looking for parking.

“The parking garage by the Social Sciences building is always empty,” Alexander, a senior, says. “Parking in front of the gymnasium is always available too.”

Far too many students are worried about the walk. Nowadays, you should be worried about the gas. Take the walk, save the gas (and the environment).

Solve your problemsAnother tip that Alexander brings up is the purpose of FAU’s Ombudsman. According to the Office of the Ombudsman Web site, the position was created to “solve problems, to allay frustration and advise those requesting help.”

Alexander says that when he has felt that he was right about an issue that faculty members have argued with him over, the Ombudsman was there to fix the problem.

“If you feel that you are in the right about anything and you don’t know what else to do,” Alexander says. “Call the Ombudsman. She was amazing.”

Patty Singer has been FAU’s Ombudsman since the spring of 2006. For further questions about her position, call her office at (561) 297- 3693.

If you have any more questions that aren’t answered here or in your Orientation, feel free to ask the UP at http://asktheup.blogspot.com/.

The Orientation Staff Answers the Top Five Most Common Questions

How do I pay my bill?Bills can be paid through OASIS, at the Cashiers office in the Student Support Services building or by using the drop boxes. Bills must be paid by the last day to pay for each semester. No bills are mailed to a home address; they are sent to the FAU e-mail account on file.

How do I get a meal plan?All students living on campus MUST have a meal plan. Go to www.fau.edu/mealplan to sign up for a meal plan. There are several to choose from.

How do I get my parking decal?Four weeks prior to classes starting (or 24 hours after registering for classes), students can go to www.fau.edu/parking to register for their decals. Every student pays for parking, the cost of which is included in their tuition and fees. Every student must have a decal.

How do I choose my instructors?You can access the SPOT evaluations from Oasis, where students have given feedback about their instructors. Also, you can go to pickaprof.com and ratemyprofessor.com

How do I get involved on campus?There are numerous ways to get involved on campus. There are over 200 clubs offered at FAU; visit the Office of Student Development and Activities’ Web site www.fau.edu/sda for a full list of clubs. You can join a fraternity or sorority, inter-murals for athletics, or you can join a peer-mentoring program.

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