Did you know?
McMaster Celebrates 125 years in 2012!
Visit http://mcmaster.ca/ua/alumni/125/index.html to learn more about McMaster's founder, Senator William McMaster, nominate your pick for McMaster's 125 People of Impact and check events and activities taking place to celebrate this milestone including Open Streets Hamilton - McMaster Edition on September 23.
This Month with the President - March 2012
May @ Mac
The Student Recruitment Office is excited to be hosting the annual May @ Mac Open House event - Saturday, May 12, 2012. The event itself is designed so that prospective students and parents have an opportunity to come and visit the campus, and to gather in-depth information about the different programs that McMaster has to offer. Each Level I program will be offering a variety of activities, from sample lectures, lab demonstrations, to meet and greets with faculty, staff and current students. Visitors will also be able to tour all 12 of our residence building on a drop-in basis, as well as tour the campus on a 30-minute bus tour.
Final Exam Dates
Final exams run from Saturday, April 7 to Wednesday, April 25.
For final exam timetable for various programs visit: http://registrar.mcmaster.ca/scheduling/examfinalb.php.
Helping Students Achieve Academic Success
Students wanting to improve their academic or writing skills can now take advantage of a variety of support services offered by the Student Success Centre. Whether looking for one-on-one or group-based learning, students can find a service to suit their needs and enhance their academic success.
Several levels of support are available to meet different needs and interests. Academic skills workshops provide students with instruction and support in a small group environment, demonstrating effective skills and strategies to use both in and outside of the classroom. Workshops are offered throughout the year and cover a wide range of topics, from time management and study methods to lecture note-taking and reading strategies. Writing workshops are also offered regularly throughout the semester and guide students through the writing process for any academic writing assignment.
For students wanting more personalized attention, trained Academic Skills Assistants and Writing Assistants are available for one-on-one appointments. Bookable in advance, these appointments focus on individual concerns and questions and are available throughout the week. While Academic Skills Assistants concentrate on general academic skills and strategies, Writing Assistants will help students with all stages of the writing process.
Academic skills support is available to all undergraduate students. By logging into OSCARplus, students can register for workshops, make appointments with an Assistant, or see upcoming events.
The Student Success Centre is located in Gilmour Hall (GH) 110.
We are open Monday-Thursday from 9:00am-7:00pm and 9:00am-4:30pm on Friday.
LinkedIn: McMaster Student Success Centre Official
A Cumulative Average is a weighted average based on the grades obtained in all the students’ courses taken at McMaster University.
Students can calculate their cumulative average (CA) by multiplying the grade received in a course by the number of units in this course. This formula can be used for each completed course. Then, these numbers are added up and divided by the total number of units – this number is the student’s CA.
To find out more about the grading system used at McMaster and to see an example of how the Cumulative Average is calculated, go to the Grading System section on page 27 of the Undergraduate Calendar or to the following link:
Spring Summer Courses - Summer registration begins MARCH 21st
Students from outside the Hamilton area may also wish to consider the option of taking courses on Letter of Permission. This allows students to take courses at another university for credit at McMaster. Each course must receive approval from the student’s faculty and there is an application process. Students wishing to explore this option should contact their academic advisor in their respective Associate Dean’s office. A student must achieve a minimum grade of C- or 60% to have the credit successfully transferred. The course is recorded on the McMaster transcript as complete (‘com’). The grade(s) from courses completed on a Letter of Permission are not part of a student’s McMaster Cumulative Average.
Library summer hours
Is your student taking summer courses or trying to get ahead on fall assignments? Let them know that McMaster’s libraries are open all summer. All of our resources and services are available year round (access to public computers, collections, quiet and group study spaces, and special areas like the Map Collection and the Lyons New Media Centre). Check here for summer hours http://library.mcmaster.ca/content/library-hours-springsummer-2012. Even if we’re not open, our e-books and e-journals are available online anytime.
Student Accessibility Services
Learn2Learn Mentorship Program
The first year of the Learn2Learn Mentorship Program is coming to an end this April 2012. From its start in September 2011, this program has proven to be very successful. This year, twenty eight students registered with Student Accessibility Services were matched with mentors in the Learn2Learn program. Students have had the opportunity to meet with their mentors every week, getting assistance in accessing support resources available on campus, help improving basic study skills and organizational skills, and finally support in networking with peers. The mentors have been using a website designed for this mentorship program called Learn2Learn which allows the mentors to help their students gain specific study skills, learn better time management, set goals and track progress. Overall, the program has proven to be a great success. Stay tuned for more information regarding next year’s program. Very soon, we’ll be having our farewell get-together and we will be welcoming new volunteers!
Please email email@example.com if you would like to learn more. Also, visit our website for updates at http://sas.mcmaster.ca.
Shifting Gears Summer Workshops
Shifting Gears is a series of workshops designed for incoming McMaster students with diagnosed conditions including learning disabilities, ADHD, mental health concerns, chronic medical concerns, sensory, neurological or mobility limitations. These workshops provide important learning strategies, resources and tools to be successful at university. Students will also be introduced to the services offered through Student Accessibility Services (SAS) including the accommodation process, assistive technologies and study supports. Parents and friends are welcome to attend! Light refreshment will be served.
Academic Modifications at the University Level
Learn about academic accommodations available at university, including extra time for tests/assignments, the role of the IEP, documentation requirements and specific financial resources. The resources available through SAS will be highlighted.
July 3-7/12 – Please see our website for specific times and registration. Offered in conjunction with Student Success Centre Summer Orientation.
Driving School: Essential Skills for Success
Learn skills essential to success in university including McMaster website navigation (MUGSI/Avenue/SAS), time management and resource locations. Topics will also include academic accommodation use, course/timetable alteration, the role of the Faculty Advisor and financial resources specific to students registered with SAS services.
July 10th or August 8th/12 from 6:30 pm-9 pm.
Tune-up, Tune-In: The Lecture Experience
Learn and practice note-taking skills during real lectures! Professors from various subject areas will provide a short lecture. Note taking software will be demonstrated.
July 17th or August 16th from 6:30-9 pm
Information Highway: Library Use in the Fast Lane
There are 5 libraries on campus! Library skills are essential; learn how to find and access required resources. Assistive software and services located within the libraries will be highlighted.
July 19th or August 14th from 6:30 – 9 pm.
Saturday Sessions: A combination of Driving School and shortened version of Tune-up, Tune-In will be offered on July 14th repeated on August 11th from 10:30 am – 2:30 pm. A light lunch will be provided.
How to Register:
Please register online at: http://sas.mcmaster.ca/transition.html.
More information regarding room location and parking will be sent to you following registration.
If you experience any difficulties in the application process or have any questions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Spring Message from Student Accounts
2011 “T2202A” - Tax Certificates
T22O2A Tax Certificates are available to each student online only through MUGSI. Here, students can also access prior years from 2006 to 2010. If you require 2004 or 2005, please contact the Student Accounts and Cashiers office at email@example.com or 905-525-9140 x24478. We only keep certificates for 7 calendar years.
Important Payment Date
For students who opted to make tuition payments throughout the year, the final date for payment in full is March 15th, 2012. Student who have not paid their tuition, residence and meal plan fees in full will be assessed a late payment fee of $35, will not have access to their grades and will not be eligible to register for Summer courses.
If your child is scheduled to convocate this spring, it’s especially important for them to ensure that their entire student account balance is paid in full. Messages will be sent to them via their McMaster email. Students who are convocating and who have an outstanding balance owing may still attend their convocation ceremony, however their actual diploma will be held until payment in full is made.
Registration for the summer session begins March 21, 2012. Initial payments, as indicated on the students’ online Payment Agreement will be due May 1, 2012.
Continuing to Review online Account Statement on MUGSI
Students should be checking their Account Statements regularly on MUGSI during their academic sessions and managing their balance. While we strive to have all charges showing before the exam period, it’s unavoidable for some charges to show later. All students should continue to review their student account during the month of April and May. By making sure all balances are settled, students will have no issues registering for summer or the fall sessions.
Our Student Accounts and Cashiers’ website is an excellent source of financial information.
Health and Wellness
Final Exam Stress
Preparation for exams truly begins when the course begins. Good study habits, time management, frequent review of the material and, if possible, relating the studies to everyday life will go a long way toward preparing your student for his/her final exam.
Exam anxiety is the most common concern of students at this time of year. It is important to recognize that feeling anxious is normal before any big event e.g. before writing an exam. Nervousness indicates alertness, and that your mind and body are prepared for some kind of action. Anxiety can even help a person to prepare to meet the challenge at hand. If, however, anxiety gets too overwhelming, it can be a concern. Encourage your son or daughter to visit the Student Wellness Centre for help with this issue. There are, however, some helpful tips to follow to cope with anxiety:
First, accept anxiety as a normal occurrence. Everyone has anxiety even though it may not appear that way. Being human means at some point you will have anxiety. Being completely free of anxiety should not be one’s goal. The goal should be to manage anxiety so that it doesn't run one’s life.
Second, learning and practicing preventative strategies: get enough sleep, eat healthy food, reduce caffeine intake, exercise, or meditate. All of these reduce one’s susceptibility to being overwhelmed by anxiety.
Third, when facing new or threatening situations, PREPARE, PREPARE, PREPARE!
Occasionally, lack of preparation and/or lack of motivation/interest and other personal worries may contribute to difficulties in preparing for and eventually writing exams. Students should visit their academic advisor if they have grave concerns about their ability to perform up to their ability due to personal concerns. Once an exam is written i.e. he/she puts pen to paper so to speak, the results are final. It is, therefore imperative that any action be taken prior to writing the exam.
Finally, learn to have faith. As someone so aptly said "being general manager of the universe is hard and exhausting work!" We simply cannot control everything. All of us need to learn to do what we can do … and then have faith that things will work out for the best.
The final exam schedule is available to students on their MUGSI/SOLAR.
April is quickly approaching, and this may mean that your child is returning home for a couple of months. For some students this can be as much of a transitioning process as was moving to McMaster in September. Although the place they are returning to is what your child calls “home”, it is important to understand that during their time at McMaster they have built a community around themselves and leaving this may feel overwhelming. Keep in mind that your child may be leaving their partner, the person they turned to during the difficult times over the past school year, or even a close-knit group of friends. Suggesting ways that your child can stay connected with these people could be a way to help alleviate some of their stress.
5 Ways For Your Child To Stay Connected:
(From our March 2012 Wellness @ Mac newsletter)
#1: Set a Skype ‘date’, and stick to it!
- You don’t have to be together to have a face-to-face conversation. Plan a specific date and time where you and a friend will go on Skype to chat. Think of it as meeting them for coffee in Westdale – you wouldn’t ditch them if they were meeting you in person, so don’t ditch them online!
#2: Send emails or write a blog
- Sharing all of the details of what you’ve been up to over the summer will help your friends feel like they were a part of it!
#3: Send a video message via Facebook
- Instead of using long distance minutes, send your friends a quick hello to let them know you’re thinking about them.
#4: Share photos
- This is a creative way to show all of your friends what is going on in your life – you can also talk about what they’ve seen you doing in your pictures.
- This is a quick and convenient way to stay connected to your friends. Even a simple hello can make them feel like they are still important to you!
These suggestions can also be useful for yourself in September when your child is returning to McMaster for the school year. Knowing that you have many options to stay connected may even alleviate the overwhelming feeling that can arise when they leave for another 8 months!
To view some of the previous Wellness @ MAC newsletters with other great information for your McMaster student, see our collection at: http://wellness.mcmaster.ca/wellness-education/newsletter.html
Student Wellness Centre
Phone: 905-525-9140, ext. 27700
Important Convocation Dates
Parents we encourage you to speak with your son or daughter to ensure they are aware of some very important dates if they are planning to graduate this spring. Here is a link http://registrar.mcmaster.ca/convocation/spring/Important_dates-spring.html.
General information for parents http://registrar.mcmaster.ca/convocation/spring/For_Guests/General_Information_for_Guests.html
Arranged by the Alumni Association, professional photographers from Grad Images attend each convocation ceremony to capture the moment when your degree is conferred, as well as a few moments later when you pose with your diploma. These special shots provide the type of picture your folks can't get sitting in their seats! Within one week of your convocation, proofs are emailed to you so that you can review and if you choose order online. Proofs are also mailed to you and you can also order by mail.
Please feel free to visit http://www.gradimages.com/ for further information or to order prints. You may also contact them by phone at 1-800-424-3686.
Degree Frames for Convocation
What an exciting time! Your son or daughter has worked very hard to achieve their degree. It's time to celebrate and commemorate their achievement by pre-ordering an official McMaster University crested frame to showcase their degree.
When you pre-order a degree or portrait frame for convocation pick up you receive additional online savings, guaranteed availability and free framing the day of the ceremony.
Order online to save*
- Save 10% on individual frame or portrait purchases
- Save 15% when you buy a frame and portrait package
- Save 25% off all clothing, accessories, gifts & insignia from our online catalogue with the purchase of a degree or portrait frame
*Offer applies to pre-order purchases only. Orders for May convocation dates must be placed by Sunday, April 29, 2012. June Convocation orders must be placed by Sunday May 20, 2012.
Order Today! www.bookstore.mcmaster.ca/grad/
Summer Orientation Program
The 2012 Summer Orientation Program will be taking place from July 3 - July 7. The focus of Summer Orientation is academic success. The program features topics that will directly impact success in the classroom.
Sessions taking place during Summer Orientation may include:
- Discovering learning strategies
- Learning how to take effective study notes
- Setting goals and developing life skills
- Understanding university lectures and academic expectations
- Having an outstanding university experience
For more information visit: http://studentsuccess.mcmaster.ca/orientation/summer-orientation-programs.html
This orientation program focuses on Student Life. Welcome Day is all about getting to know the campus and surrounding community, learning about the support services and resources available. Welcome Day 2012 is scheduled for Friday, August 10.
Welcome Day includes a variety of sessions, programs and resources that will help you get to know more about your McMaster support network including:
- Residence Tours
- Transit Tours of Hamilton's hot spots
- Financial Aid and Managing your Student Account
- Library Tours
- First Year Parent Program
- Living Off-Campus, commuting and more
- First Generation Students Information Session
- McMaster Fair
Attending all of the orientation programs gives you the opportunity to start meeting new people and building connections before University starts in September.
For more information visit: http://studentsuccess.mcmaster.ca/orientation/welcome-day.html
The purpose of Welcome Week is to offer five opportunities that will help first year students make a good start at University.
Welcome Week helps students:
- Make connections with McMaster, their academic faculty program office, student faculty society, residence/off-campus community, with other students and the city of Hamilton
- Develop an identity as a McMaster student within their faculty, residence/off campus community
- Be and feel safe, both physically and emotionally
- Connect with academic, emotional and university support systems
- Meet and connect with student leaders, who are positive role models
Welcome Week involves events, activities, concerts, tours and welcome ceremonies. Unlike any experience you have had before, Welcome Week will provide you with educational seminars and social events that will connect you to the Hamilton community, McMaster University, your Faculty, your residence or off-campus society and, most importantly, to other students.
This orientation program is centred on your successful transition into the University environment. Throughout Welcome Week you will connect with academic and non-academic University support systems, meet student leaders and members of the McMaster community and participate in fun and safe programs and activities.
For more information visit: http://studentsuccess.mcmaster.ca/orientation/welcome-week.html
Mac10 is the new name for the McMaster Alumni Association’s young alumni program for graduates of the last 10 years. The program was designed with input from thousands of young alumni. Mac10 offers year-round events and resources to support alumni in their professional, social and intellectual development long after graduation. Events are also open to students, friends of alumni and interested community members – including parents! Go to www.mac10.ca for more information and upcoming events.
For those on the job search: In February, the Mac10Professional Non-Academic Job Search series outlined the steps to succeed in a targeted job search. The archived videos of these sessions are available online, just go to www.mac10.ca (Session titles: From CV to Resume, Identifying Potential Employers, Personal Branding and Informational Interviews).
Upcoming events (go to www.mcmaster.ca/ua and click on Alumni Events)
April 13 – Mac10Intellectual: The James North Art Crawl through a McMaster lens. Featuring an informal talk by art professor Judy Major-Girardin on the work of McMaster faculty and students at the April art crawl. Baltimore House, 43 King Street West, Hamilton. 6 p.m.
April 26 – Mac10Social: Let’s Get Cooking! Maple Leaf Gardens edition. Learn to cook a three-course dinner during this small group lesson with a professional chef in the new Loblaws at the iconic Maple Leaf Gardens. 60 Carlton Street, Toronto. 5 p.m.
June 21 & 22 – Mac10Professional: Career Bootcamp Conference. Open to new graduates and young alumni. Come back to Mac for a Thursday night networking soiree, one last night in residence (optional) and a full Friday of dynamic sessions designed to help you focus on a career path and find that dream job. More details to come in the spring. Stay tuned to the Alumni Events page for registration information.
Summer Accommodation at Mac
Is your son or daughter attending summer school, working at McMaster, or in the Hamilton area this summer? Residence is a great option...here’s why:
- reasonable rates
- convenient - being on campus makes it easy to get to class, the job and the libraries
- suite-style accommodation is provided in Mary E. Keyes Residence
- weekly housekeeping of living area and washrooms
- internet is included
Please visit stayatmac.ca for additional information.
Summer in Hamilton
Hamilton is a vibrant, dynamic city that extends well beyond the borders of Westdale. Sometimes it’s hard to find the time to explore the city when school is in full swing, but summer is the perfect time to discover all that the city has to offer! Here are five key steps to having a fun, fulfilling summer at McMaster:
1. Get a job!
You can’t enjoy summer without a little bit of cash in your pocket. You can look for jobs on the McMaster site at oscarplusmcmaster.ca
but also try eluta.ca
for Hamilton job listings. Or, drop in to the Student Success Centre in Gilmour Hall 110 for more information on job finding resources.
2. Get a room!
If you are between leases or otherwise in need of accommodation, you can find plenty of sublet listings at macoffcampus.mcmaster.ca
, or you can apply to stay on campus – just go to housing.mcmaster.ca
for more information.
3. Get to class!
Use these summer months to sign up for something you don’t have time for in the fall and winter. Take a fun fitness class at The Pulse, enroll in an art class at The Print Studio or pick up an instrument at the Hamilton Conservatory of the Arts. Be creative!
4. Get out!
Get out of Westdale, get out of your comfort zone, get out and make the most of your summer freedom! Attend a James Street North art crawl. Visit the Art Gallery of Hamilton. Meander down Locke Street and Ottawa Street for some sunny sidewalk shopping. Take in a music festival like Festival of Friends or Burlington Sound of Music. Take a hike down around the Hamilton Bayfront Park. Venture even further and explore Hamilton’s many conservation areas or the Royal Botanical Gardens. Tourismhamilton.com
has information on events and outings across the city, or check out happeninghamilton.ca
, a great local blog run by McMaster students and grads that has up-to-date local event listings.
Follow this advice, and you’ll return to classes in September with a greater appreciation for this city that McMaster calls home. Have a fantastic summer!
MSU Recognition Award Winners
This past Tuesday, the 32nd annual Student Recognition Night (SRN) was held to honour the outstanding achievements of student leaders, from all facets of campus. Awards highlighting major contributions to student life, McMaster spirit and campus dedication were featured, along with recognition for exceptional leadership within the service and political branches of the McMaster Students Union. Student Recognition Night is co-sponsored by the McMaster Students Union, McMaster University and the McMaster Alumni Association.
MSU Alumni Association Lifetime Leadership Award: Edward Minich
J. Lynn Watson Award: Smiling Over Sickness
MSU Spirit Award: McMaster Mens Varsity Basketball Team
Part-time Manager of the Year: Gillian England-Mason, MAC Bread Bin
SRA Member of the Year: Andrea Somers
MSU Merit Scholarship Award: Hannah Markham, Adrianna DiStefano, Melissa Tom-Kun
Rudy Heinzl Award: Dr. Patrick Deane
Honour M Award: Huzaifa Saeed, Tanya Kuzman
Policies and Procedures
April Move-out Procedures
Where has the time gone?
It seems like just yesterday when you helped move your son/daughter into residence and wondered how all of his/her “stuff” was going to fit.
Well, as the school year ends and students clean out their residence rooms, they typically find that they have more “stuff” than they are able to take home. Encourage your son/daughter to pack-up ahead of time and even bring loads home early wherever possible.
To help students plan for a successful move-out this month, all residence students will be sent an e-card outlining important dates and move-out procedures in late March. This information is intended to make sure that a student’s final days in residence are spent studying for exams rather than packing or cleaning their rooms.
We have also created a brief move-out information guide for parents (below) with answers to frequently asked questions about how you can help your student move out of residence.
Please read the following move-out information carefully. These timesaving tips will help make the final move-out smooth and stress-free for you and your son/daughter.
If you have any questions or concerns about the move-out process, please contact us at 905-525-9140 x 24223 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are glad that you have been part of McMaster’s extended residence community, and we hope that your son’s/daughter’s residence life experience has been a memorable one.
See you at move-out!
- McMaster University Housing & Conference Services
Frequently Asked Questions:
What can I expect during move-out?
Because the majority of students are moving out between April 20 and April 26, there will be lots of traffic in and around the residence buildings, elevators, and parking lots.
Arrive early and follow the instructions of the Move-Out Parking Assistants (students who will be wearing orange safety vests) to avoid traffic congestion on the roads and on campus.
Peak move-out times and heavier traffic congestion on campus are during late afternoon/early evening, Monday to Friday. You may want to plan with your son/daughter to avoid these times during move-out.
Move-Out Parking Assistants will be on duty from 12 pm to 7 pm daily between Friday, April 20 and Thursday, April 26. Please follow their directions and all move-out signs posted. Much planning goes into ensuring that the move-out operation flows smoothly; please help us in this task by following the guidance of the assistants.
When is my son/daughter required to move-out of residence?
Students are required to vacate their residence by 5:00 pm on the day following their last exam. This is done out of consideration for students who are still studying for exams as well as to assist with security in the building.
There is a $50 fine for every day that a student stays in residence past his/her designated move-out date and time.
Please note: a student is only considered officially 'moved out' when they have returned both their access card and room keys back to the service centre (Commons Building or Mary E. Keyes Residence). If students realize they have failed to do so, they need to contact the university ASAP at 905-525-9140 x 24223.
Will the move-out process be the same as the move-in process?
The assistance you received during move-in from our enthusiastic upper-year students will NOT be available during move-out, as these students will also be writing exams. Please plan accordingly for any help you think you will need with the move-out process.
The flow of traffic may also be different. Please pay attention to move-out signage and direction from the Move-Out Parking Assistants.
Do I need to bring anything to help with move-out?
Feel free to bring along any move-out aids and equipment to help with your son/daughter’s departure from residence (i.e. dollies, trolleys, extra boxes, etc). If possible, we recommended that you bring a small vacuum and cleaning/dusting supplies to ensure your son/daughter has the tools they need to leave the space in an acceptable state before departure.
Where can I park at move-out?
From now until April 19, parking will be as per usual. The following lots can accommodate visitor parking: B, C, D, E, G, H, I, M, P, and Underground Parking (see parking map for locations).
West Quad – Between 12pm to 7pm daily between April 20 and April 26, please follow the direction of the Move-Out Parking Assistants. You will be given a time stamped parking pass to put on your dashboard that will allow you to park for one (1) hour in a designated move-out parking zone.
North Quad – A move-out parking voucher is available free of charge from the Service Centre in the Commons Building when your son/daughter returns their keys at move-out. Please ask for this voucher, as it will entitle you to one (1) hour of free parking in any of the following parking lots: B, C, D, E, G, H, or Underground Parking (see parking map for locations).
Parking Lot Instructions:
Push the button for an entry ticket, park, move-out, sign-in your keys and ask for your voucher from the Service Centre in the Commons Building. (Please note: In order to exit the lot, you will need to put in your entry ticket AND your voucher ticket.) Between 12pm to 7pm daily between April 20 and April 26, please follow the direction of the Move-Out Parking Assistants, as they will direct you to your designated parking lots.
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Where is McMaster University located?
Giving to McMaster
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