Humboldt State University
Letter from Humboldt
November 2009

Hello Humboldt families! Did you enjoy Homecoming & Family Weekend? Share your memories by posting a photo on the Family network. It's easy: Visit (and register if you haven't), go to the forum "Homecoming & Family Weekend photos," and send a reply with a photo attached (use the camera icon).

Germs: Hidden Hunters

by Dorothyann Guido

DottieAbout the editor – Dorothyann Guido is from Dana Point, Calif., and is a Journalism major with a concentration in Public Relations. She is currently an intern with HSU Marketing & Communications. Her hobbies are writing short stories and living life to the fullest.

Coughing, sneezing, runny nose, and exhaustion. Many students, including myself, may feel tough and independent until that first sickness of the season sets in. Then comes the wishing I was back home to be taken care of, not here taking care of myself in between homework and classes and work.

It's tough, I'll admit it. The flu and the cold hunt students down in their cramped living quarters, small classrooms, and wet weather. Living in on-campus housing, it's hard to avoid germs. Staying healthy is about getting enough rest, washing hands, and eating healthy foods to keep your immune system strong.

But once your student has caught a bug, what can you do? Well, here are a few suggestions:

  • Give them five bucks to head to the health center for a cold pack (filled with general anti-cold symptom medications). James Kenney, our friendly on-campus pharmacist, says "cold packs are very popular and are the simplest solution for students."
  • "Students should definitely get the flu shot," says Karen Moulton, a doctor at the Student Health Center. "It protects against regular flu, and the H1N1 flu vaccinations will be available within a few weeks." The shot costs $12 or $2 for the spray. H1N1 vaccinations will be offered to students 25 and younger Nov. 17 & 18 for free.
  • Urge your student to use common sense. According to the staff of the Student Health Center, "Students should stay at home until their fevers have gone down. Try the best you can to wash your hands frequently, and try to avoid people who are sick."
  • Send a pre-made get-well package (available through housing and dining services if your student lives in the residence halls). Parents have told us that sending care packages made them feel more connected to their student—and of course students are thrilled to receive them.

You could also use my grandparents' solution—they create their own shoebox-sized care packages tailored to me. They put in a few movies they know I will like (for watching when one has to stay in bed), some microwavable soups, some anti-cold medications , and a few surprises (usually along the lines of my favorite candy, or a really amazing book, or even some clothes that I've had my eye on), and of course, the card with the loving encouragement and a list of things I should do to get better (parents and grandparents seem to just know these things).

Ultimately, the challenge isn't necessarily what to do for students when they're sick, but to show them that you care about them. For some students, this may be the first time they haven't had you around to help them. Phone calls with reassurance and information about the health center could be helpful if your student is really ill. Also, stay up to date on what is happening with the H1N1 flu. If you are aware, and your student simply throws away those emails from the Health Center, at least one of you will know what to do if the situation arises.

One final thing…boxes of tissue are like gold.

H1N1 (Swine) Flu Information »

HSU will provide the H1N1 vaccinations on campus Nov. 17 & 18 for students, faculty and staff under the age of 25. Visit our campus flu web site for updates.

Overheard this month on the family network »

"Last weekend I took my daughter to Target for a "few things" and ended up with a basket full of stuff, just like moving in all over again! Her biggest request: a crock pot to make soup—to take to other students who would be getting sick this week. She said the best things for her recovery (other than meds and her Mommy!) were Gatorade, Blistex for the chapped nose, lozenges, and chicken soup (this from a vegetarian…)."

Read more from HSU families. Or, if you're not part of the network yet, sign up now.

Latest News from HSU

Homecoming & Family Weekend Coverage»
Hundreds of people travelled to HSU to watch the Jacks triumph over Southern Oregon, catch up with old friends, take in a campus tour and enjoy the fun of Homecoming & Family Weekend. Three student writers from the Marketing and Communications Office spent the weekend covering the festivities.

Share your memories by posting a photo on the Family network. Visit (and register if you haven't), then go to the forum "Homecoming & Family Weekend photos,".

Housing Project Nears Halfway Mark»
Work on the College Creek Apartments has lent shape and structure to the new housing facility. With windows, roofing tiles and the beginnings of a soccer field in place, it's starting to look like a place to call home.

Marching Lumberjacks
The Marching Lumberjacks prepare to take the field during halftime.
» More Humboldt photos on flickr

Stay connected

Important Dates

Did you attend Homecoming & Family Weekend?
» Tell us what you think.

On Saturday afternoon during Homecoming & Family Weekend, there was a photo booth set up on the Quad for students and guests to mug for the camera.
» Check out some of the shots.

Parents & Family Fund

Donations to the Parents & Family Fund are immediately put to use on campus, for things like the new wireless Library café, science labs, student support programs, instructional technology, and much more…
» Learn More


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1 Harpst Street Arcata, CA 95521

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