Huskie Minute – April 3, 2014

Dear Huskie Family Connections Member,

The following Huskie Minute features a few updates, events, and helpful tips to assist you and your student in having a safe and enjoyable semester. Beginning with the 2013 -2014 newly entering student group, ALL NIU families will begin receiving the Huskie Minute. Welcome to the Huskie Family!

In this issue

Tell Us What You Want, What You Really, Really Want!

HFC has begun to plan for Fall Family Weekend 2014. We want to plan a weekend that has something for EVERYONE. To make that goal a reality, we need you to tell us what you want. Do you have an idea of something you'd like to do with your student during Fall Family Weekend? Tell us! To reward your effort and creativity, your student will receive a Bag 'O Huskie Family Connections swag. Just send us your idea with your name and your student's contact information to We'll assemble a swag bag and contact your student to come and pick it up at the Campus Life Building. Make Fall Family weekend your own! Send us your ideas!

Get Covered

Congratulations are in order for our soon-to-be graduates and their families; but with this accomplishment, comes some serious reality. Maybe your student has already thought about how to get health coverage after college. Dealing with insurance can be tricky, but with the right information, you can feel confident making coverage decisions. The good news is that new options and consumer protections are making it easier and more affordable.

Here are some top health insurance tips for graduating seniors:

1. Check to see how your new grad can stay on your health insurance plan. Insurance companies must let young adults stay on their parents' plan until the age of 26.

2. Health insurance coverage may be a benefit of a new job. The supervisor or human resources department will provide your new grad with information.

3. Check out options at Get Covered Illinois  That’s the marketplace at which one can apply for financial help to lower the cost of coverage, and compare plans side by side. If moving out of state is in your future, you can find the marketplace for your new state listed at

4. Get a new plan right away if coverage is discontinued. If your student loses existing coverage -- by graduating or turning 26, for example – encourage him or her to sign up right away through a “special enrollment period.” Find out more at

Does your student have a passion for service and leadership and love to travel?

Encourage your student to become a Huskie Alternative Breaks (HAB) Site Leader! 

Northern Illinois University’s HAB program presents students with a non-traditional spring break opportunity where they can travel to perform service in another community. HAB has been sending students to participate in community service throughout the United States since its founding in 2009, when compassionate Huskies joined together to provide their assistance in the wake of Hurricane Ike in Galveston, Texas.

Since then, the program has dedicated itself to giving its participants a blend of direct volunteer service and exposure to the community, all while creating new and lasting friendships. This year students traveled to Pensacola, FL, where participants had an opportunity to work with Pensacola Habitat for Humanity building two homes and working with their ReStore facility, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Northwest Florida, and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.

Site leaders have the unique opportunity to help pick the social justice issues and project sites for their own trips during the 2014-2015 school year. Site leaders also will gain valuable leadership, organization and team-building skills throughout their participation in Huskie Alternative Breaks as they prepare other participants for the trip. Applicants must have previous experience with a service trip.

Applications are available online at and can be submitted by email to or turned into the Student Involvement & Leadership Development (SILD) office in the Campus Life Building, Room 150 by Thursday, April 17th at 4:00pm. When you turn in your application, please sign-up for an interview time at the front desk for the week of April 21st – April 25th. If you e-mail your application, please call the SILD front desk at 815-753–1421 to schedule an interview time.

For more information, contact Destiny McDonald at 815-753-6511.

Leadership Academy to Host an End-of-the-Year Celebration!

 Student Involvement & Leadership Development would like to celebrate all Leadership Academy members with an End-of-the-Year Celebration!

 Leadership Academy members are asked to join us on Thursday, May 1 from 5:30-7:30 pm for food, conversation, and activities! This event will be held in the Campus Life Building, room 100. Please encourage your students, if they are members of the Leadership Academy, to participate in this event!

 An RSVP is required to attend the End-of-the-Year Celebration. Students can RSVP to Kelli Bradley, Assistant Director for Leadership & Student Organizational Services, at by Tuesday, April 29. When RSVPing, students should indicate what Tier they are currently a part of (Tier 1, Tier 2, or Tier 3).

If your student hasn’t joined already, please encourage them to join the Leadership Academy! The Leadership Academy is a three-tiered, self-paced leadership program through Student Involvement & Leadership Development. By being a part of the Leadership Academy, students are able to gain leadership skills, meet others, and build their resume. To learn more about the Leadership Academy, students can visit To apply to the Leadership Academy, students can fill out our brief online application at

If you or your student has any questions, please contact Kelli Bradley at or 815-753-6505.

Huskies Student Food Pantry

Food insecurity should not be the result of seeking one's education. Many students do not qualify for food assistance programs, which is why Huskies Student Food Pantry steps in. The food pantry is intended to provide non-perishable, supplemental food and other necessities for NIU Students in need of support. ONLY Northern Illinois University Students are eligible. Students must present a valid, current NIU Student ID Card, Student number and a photo ID. The Huskies Student Food Pantry is located at 401 Normal Road, De Kalb, IL, in the Grace Place Campus Ministry building, across Lucinda Avenue from the NIU Holmes Student Center, at the heart of the NIU campus. Contact Huskies Student Food Pantry: 815-753-8344 or 815-756-7700

Correct Important Dates

April 13 Sunday Honors Day
May 1 Thursday Classes End
May 2 Friday Reading Day
May 3, 5 - 9 Saturday, Monday - Friday Final Examinations
May 9 Friday Spring Graduate Commencement
May 10 Saturday Spring Undergraduate Commencement

Sending Huskie Love Event

Two more happy NIU students Receiving Huskie Love (and snacks) from their families. If you would like a Sending Huskie Love event in your area, please contact HFC at

Feed Your Mind!

Join us on April 22, 2014, Tuesday, for our next STEM Cafe at O'Leary's Restaurant & Pub, 260 E. Lincoln Highway, DeKalb.
Chasing the Storm: Tornadoes in a Warming World.
Are more tornado disasters on the horizon? Storm chaser, meteorologist, and physical geographer Walker Ashley will discuss tornadoes, climate change, and strategies for survival in severe weather.

This event is free and open to the public.  Food and drinks are available for purchase.

Information for some articles has been taken from NIU Today and/or the NIU web site.

Final Note

If you prefer to have this information sent to a different email address or to remove your name from our mailing list, please notify the HFC staff at or by calling 815-753-4444.