Helping your student from miles away



Things don’t always go according to plan. Grade-point averages miss the mark, parking tickets wind up on windshields and students make bad decisions.

In high school, you were always there to bail your students out. Now they’re away from home and have to figure out solutions on their own.

We’ve provided the answers to a few common college dilemmas, so when you receive a phone call from your student asking for advice, whip out this article and help point them in the right direction.

Academic Problems
Problem Your freshman gets their first midterm grade back in economics, and it’s a failing grade. Or maybe the first week of school the class that sounded so awesome over the summer isn’t so awesome after all.

Solution Instruct your student to make an appointment with an adviser (which can be done online at starnet.indiana.edu). Dropping classes can then be done online via OneStart. Dropping a class during the first week of classes won’t show up on the transcript, but a fee will be charged to the Bursar. Classes dropped after the first week, however, will result in a W for withdrawal on the transcript.   

Problem Your freshman realizes that the standard five-paragraph essay that got them through high school might not cut it in college.

Solution Send them to Writing Tutorial Services, which can provide them with a free 50-minute session with a peer tutor. They can also call 812-855-6738 to make an appointment.

Housing Problems
Problem Your freshman calls home after the first week. They are convinced that if they continue living with the current roommate, it’s going to be a very long year.

Solution Your student should go to the Resident Assistant first. If the conflict still cannot be resolved, students can request a roommate change. To get the process started, students can go to their residence hall’s center desk and fill out a roommate change request form.

Legal Problems
Problem Your student received a court summons (we won’t speculate why).

Solution IU Student Legal Services, located across from Dunn Meadow on Seventh Street, offers students who have paid the Student Activity Fee complimentary legal advice and if necessary, legal representation with their staff of four full-time, licensed attorneys and about 25 second- and third-year IU law students. Have your student call 812-855-7867.

Health Problems
Problem Your student wakes up with a fever of 104 degrees or breaks a finger playing intramural volleyball.

Solution The Health Center, located on the corner of 10th and Jordan streets, staffs nurse practitioners who can help. For more serious situations, the IU Health Bloomington Hospital Emergency Department, located at 601 W. Second St., can be reached at 812-353-5252.

Problem You can’t quite put your finger on it, but your student hasn’t been their normal self lately. You’re concerned they might be depressed.

Solution Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) is located within the Health Center and provides counseling as well as psychiatric consultation and treatment. Encourage your student to make an appointment by calling 812-855-5711 or stopping by for a walk-in appointment.

Emergency Contacts
Although we hope your student never has to use them, it is always helpful to have local emergency contact information on hand. If students find themselves needing one of the following phone numbers, here’s what to tell them.

Indiana University Police Department
Available 365 days a year, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call 812-855-4111, or dial 911 for emergencies. Located at 1469 E. 17th St.

Bloomington Police Department
Located at 220 E. Third St. The department can be reached at 812-339-4477 or 911 for emergencies.

Bloomington Fire Department
Located at 300 E. Fourth St. It can be reached at 812-332-9763 or 911 for emergencies.

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