Spring 2012: Robert Morris University Spring 2012 | Robert Morris University



Family Connections is a publication designed for the parents and families of Robert Morris University students. It is compiled by the Office of Student Life and printed in cooperation with the Office of Public Relations and Marketing.

Editions are printed in the fall, winter, and spring of each academic year. We are interested in your feedback about this publication. E-mail your comments and suggestions to studentlife@rmu.edu.


It is hard to believe another year is coming to a close.

2012–13 has been an exceptional year for the university and our students. We are full of excitement as we make final preparations for this year’s Commencement ceremonies, May 4–5. It is time to bid our graduates farewell with all the pomp and circumstance they deserve.

This year brought many exciting changes on campus with the completion of Salem Hall and the new School of Business building, as well as the construction of the new School of Communication and Information Systems at Wayne Center. The purchase of the Holiday Inn on University Boulevard will also enhance the living-learning environment of the campus in the years ahead.

Students achieved great success this year, both in an out of the classroom. Several new student organizations where chartered on campus this past year. Our Division I athletic teams, club sports teams, and intramural programs gave us exciting competition all-year long. Our students were also active members of the community, and we are proud to share our Alternative Spring Break stories with you in this issue.

We hope you enjoy our final issue of Family Connections for this year. As always, we welcome your feedback. Please email us at studentlife@rmu.edu and let us know what topics you would like to see us cover in future editions.

From all of us here in the Office of Student Life, we hope you have an enjoyable summer, and we look forward to seeing many of you back on campus with your student at the end of August. To our families with students graduating in May, we thank you for being a member of the RMU family these past few years. We hope you and your graduate will stay connected with the campus.


For spring break this year, the Office of Student Civic Engagement sent out two groups of 13 individuals (11 students and 2 staff persons) on two separate week-long service learning trips. These trips gave students the opportunity to not only volunteer in a different environment while on spring break, but also to discover a different city, make new friends, and have a lot of fun.

The first of these groups travelled to Washington, D.C., where students spent their week focusing on issues of hunger and homelessness in our nation’s capital, while working with the Youth Service Opportunities Project (YSOP). During the week-long trip, RMU staff member Mindy Somerville, area coordinator for Residence Life, and Todd Hamer, strength and conditioning head coach, led students in service projects that included working in soup kitchens and homeless shelters. Students who participated on this trip were given the opportunity to spend their spring break helping others, while also sightseeing in our nation’s beautiful and exciting capital.

The second group of participants travelled to the Appalachian Mountains of southern West Virginia to learn about and address rural poverty, sub-standard housing, and environmental issues. On this trip, led by Armand Buzzelli, director of campus recreation, and Jess Mann, volunteer service coordinator, students stayed at the Southern Appalachian Labor School in Kincaid, West Va., for the week while they worked on rehabilitating a house for a low-income family. Students also had the opportunity to learn about the coal industry and its effects on the environment. They also enjoyed scenic hiking along the beautiful trails of the Appalachian Mountains.

Both trips provided students of all years, majors, and backgrounds the opportunity to learn about social justice issues facing different parts of the country while actively volunteering for a week. In addition to learning about a new city or region, having fun, and making new friends, all participants successfully completed the community service requirement for the Student Engagement Transcript.

The Office of Student Civic Engagement hosts Alternative Spring Break trips every year. If your student was unable to participate this year, he or she will have another opportunity to do so in the next academic year. Your student can receive more information about our program by stopping in our office or visiting rmu.edu/volunteer.


The Alpha Chi Rho fraternity has had a year unlike any other in the history of Robert Morris University intramurals. They have come within one game of winning a championship in every organized league that has been offered this year to date. The team holds championship victories in co-ed kickball, dodgeball, 3-on-3 basketball, and indoor soccer. They have teams in the championships of the advanced and intermediate leagues in 5-on-5 basketball and will look to extend their winning ways in spring flag football and deck hockey.

Their only blemish thus far was losing in the fall semester flag football championship. The team is led by Nick Lackey, Teagan Lindsey, Chris Lockhart, and Lance Taylor—a core of juniors that recently represented RMU in the Pennsylvania Intramural–Recreational Sports Association state intramural basketball championships at Slippery Rock University.


Graduating students, families, and guests are encouraged to visit rmu.edu/commencement for up-to-date information on this year’s Commencement activities scheduled for May 4–5.


During the 2011-12 academic year, RMU's tutoring program has increased to include a total of 30 peer tutors and four professional tutors. In addition to the peer and professional tutors, there are many study groups that have been developed for such courses as marketing, psychology (introductory course and upper level courses), marriage and the family, and history.

The study groups are offered online, using Quizlet.com, as well as on-ground, where the students meet with the professional or peer tutor and other students in the class to review the material together. The use of Quizlet.com allows the students to take the information in the course, use it to study as flash cards, and also to have the program arrange the information into tests, with multiple choice, true/false, fill-in, and matching questions. The program corrects the tests and highlights any incorrect answer, thus allowing the student to identify their problem areas. The site allows for a reconfiguration of test material, so students can prepare for upcoming tests by taking sample tests, playing games, and studying flash cards. One of the biggest draws for using Quizlet.com to study is that it allows the student to log-on when it is convenient for him/her to do so.

The on-ground study sessions have the benefit of student interaction, where the students can ask the peer/professional tutor a question and receive an immediate response. These groups meet weekly to review information and to discuss the implementation of ideas presented in lecture and within the textbook, something that Quizlet.com does not allow for.

For upcoming semesters, the goal is to implement the two diverse study group concepts into one idea: an on-ground group that meets weekly to discuss how to apply the concepts and ideas presented in the course material, with an online component to help the student(s) study at times that are convenient for him/her.


For students returning for 2012–13, please remember that you are required to adhere to the university’s Student Health Insurance Policy. Visit the Student Health Services section of rmu.edu to review the policy and instructions for providing your student’s alternate health insurance policy information to the university via the "Sentry Secured Services" feature on our website.

RMU student accounts are charged the annual insurance cost upon registration. If you do not wish to enroll the RMU insurance plan, which will be provided by Highmark, you must provide proof of comparable insurance to RMU via the website. Once comparable coverage has been provided to the university, the charge will be removed.

For more information about the insurance requirement, contact Student Health Services at 412-397-6221.


Just as Robert Morris University’s residential community grows, so are opportunities for students to be involved outside the classroom. This spring, 36 students are working to re-establish the Phi Upsilon chapter of the Delta Phi Epsilon sorority. Founded in 1917 at the New York University School of Law, Delta Phi Epsilon previously had a chapter at RMU from 1983 until 1995. More than 100 Robert Morris alumnae are initiated members of the sorority.

The addition of a third sorority to campus creates nearly 40 additional opportunities for our students to experience Greek life. Sorority membership is one of the most comprehensive experiences for young women attending college. Each organization has its unique take on building better women through shared values, personal development, and a commitment to serving others. In their case, the students in Delta Phi Epsilon work to exemplify the ideas of justice, sisterhood, and love, while upholding their motto: “Be Rather Than Seem to Be.”

On March 1, dozens of RMU students gathered around the campus fire pit as the sorority sponsored a candlelight vigil to remember past, present, and future victims of various eating disorders. The program is part of their commitment to working with Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders. Delta Phi Epsilon also plans to build a program that supports their other partner cause, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

If their hard work pays off, the chapter’s petition to charter will be accepted and 36 women will be initiated into Delta Phi Epsilon in mid-April. Among those planning to assist in the installation and initiation ritual is the international president of Delta Phi Epsilon sorority, Michelle Gilboy, a 2002 graduate of RMU in Information Management Systems.


RMU-degree-seeking students are eligible to be considered for free summer housing if they:

  1. Are taking a minimum of six (6) credits toward degree completion.
  2. Are doing an approved academic internship.
  3. Have approved summer RMU on-campus employment.

For further information and to obtain the Residence Hall Summer Accommodation Request Form, visit the Office of Residence Life webpage at rmu.edu/residencelife.


The Robert Morris Chapter of the National Residence Hall Honor Society exists to recognize students who have attained high scholastic achievement and who provide outstanding service and leadership within our residence hall community.

One percent of the residential student population is selected into honor society membership each year. The Gamma Class induction ceremony will be held this year on Thursday, April 12.


At the 2012 Annual meeting of the Association of Fraternal Leadership and Values, the Robert Morris University Interfraternity Council was victorious in receiving an award for outstanding achievement in Membership Recruitment in the IFC Division I category. Accepting the award in St. Louis, Mo., was IFC President Rick Goughneour and IFC Vice President Bill Uebele.

The award criteria is based on a council that coordinates a successful year-round recruitment program that promotes positive fraternity membership to students and their parents. Councils that receive the award successfully educate chapter recruitment chairman on effective recruitment techniques and monitors campus enrollment and retention trends.