Student Affairs

Being a Tiger Parent, to parents, fall 2011

Personal insight from VP DiSabatino, a first-time Clemson parent

As the beginning of a new academic year is well under way, I wanted to reach out and touch base with our parents and mentors. Clemson is an exciting community to be a part of and you are all vital members. This year I have a completely different outlook on what it means to be a part of our unique Clemson Family. My son is a freshman here; therefore I am balancing my knowledge of Clemson with the brand new experience of being a Tiger parent. I was recently asked several questions by our Student Affairs staff about charting this new territory and using my experience to give advice to others. From one Clemson parent to another, I wanted to share a couple of the questions and my responses with each of you.

Q: What Student Affairs programs and organizations are you most excited for your son to experience or become a part of?

A: My son loves outdoor adventure, so he has become involved with the Whitewater Club and CORE (Clemson Outdoor Recreation Education). He participated in the CU Outdoors program before starting school and came back more excited about getting involved at Clemson than I could ever imagine. I really hope he will keep himself open to new opportunities.

Q: How have you discussed staying on top of school work, maintaining a healthy lifestyle and making educated decisions regarding alcohol with your son? What programs and services does Student Affairs offer for students to assist them with these needs?

A: These have been topics of discussion in our household for many years. My son has had to experience the calls in the middle of the night, the days I had to go to funerals and the frustration I have had in dealing with students who did not apply themselves in college and flunked out. He has also accompanied me to student celebrations. He knows what it takes to be a successful student and he knows that he has choices to make. I cannot make those choices, but I do have great confidence in him. I also have great confidence in the services that Student Affairs and Academic Affairs have to offer each and every Clemson student. The web of services from counseling, to supplemental instruction, to resident advisors to campus police make for a great safety net available for students, if they chose to take advantage of what is here.

I hope you found my thoughts useful. Thanks for making our recent Family Weekend a success, the energy from the families helped with Clemson’s win over Florida State. We hope you plan to come back for the Homecoming game on Oct. 8! You are a valuable asset and part of what makes Clemson such a special place for our faculty, staff and students. Be on the lookout for more information about how you can help us care for your student. Also, please visit our Facebook page to view more of my responses at http://www.facebook.com/clemsonstudentaffairs.

Go Tigers!
Gail A. DiSabatino
Vice President for Student Affairs