Hamilton Hall decorated with banners that include the UArts logo in white on red and orange and blue and pink and green gradient colors

Generations - December 2023

Welcome from Parent and Family Council

Dear UArts families,

Welcome to the latest issue of Generations! UArts recently held Grandparents and Family Day, where grandparents, families, and students gathered on campus for lunch, heard from President Kerry Walk, and created a project together in the UArts Makerspace. Over 70 attendees participated and feedback regarding the inaugural event was overwhelmingly positive. Thank you to all who supported and attended this year. View some photos here!

Please take some time to view the UArts events calendar. Everyone is welcome to visit campus for events, exhibitions, and performances all year. Philadelphia is a city of neighborhoods, and each one has a unique set of restaurants, shops, and experiences inspired by cultures around the globe. A top travel publication recently included Philly on its “Best in Travel 2024” list. The City was also named the 2023 most walkable city in the U.S. by USA Today’s “10 Best Reader’s Choice Awards.” If visiting campus, check out things to do in the area, including a sampling of local dining options and events at Visit Philly

As a reminder, the Facilities Management & Operations Department remains committed to serving the needs of the broader UArts community by providing a clean, safe and supportive, learning and working environment. The Public Safety Department also helps to ensure the safety and security of faculty, staff and students, as well as campus visitors. This Community Safety Guide contains some basic reference information, procedures and important phone numbers to help promote a safe campus for all.

Interested in sharing what it’s like to be a UArts student? Encourage families to register for a student-led campus tour. Faculty, staff, students, alumni and families who support each other, make our community a unique and special place to be.

Winter break is also around the corner! Residence Halls close on Saturday, Dec. 16, at 1 p.m. and reopen on Sunday, Jan. 21, at 8 a.m. Additional details are provided below. Current parents and caregivers are also invited to join us for an informative Zoom session on Tuesday, January 30, at 6:30 p.m., to learn more about Counseling at UArts. Register and see below for more details.

We hope you enjoy the holiday season, and we wish everyone a safe and happy new year!


The Parent and Family Council


Message from President Walk

Hello, UArts families! 

Amid this season of reflection, I want to express my sincere gratitude for all that you do to support your students and our dynamic and creative educational community.

This semester, I’ve been thrilled to discover the phenomenal, professional-quality work being made by our students, alumni, faculty, and staff, across our galleries, studios, screenings, and dance, music, and theater performances.

Beyond the motivation, discipline, and work it took for all UArtists to use their new skills to express themselves this (and every) semester, I was particularly moved by the enduring appreciation and enthusiasm UArts students show each other by attending each other’s events and cheering each other on. This sense of community and shared commitment to the arts is a true testament to our students, and to you, for all you have done to support their passion, dedication, and personal growth. 

There are plenty of ways to keep the euphoric spirit of UArtists going. One way is by making a year-end gift to UArts Cares, which helps students in need with the tools and services—from laptops to food to counseling and more—they might not otherwise be able to afford. Please join me in celebrating the creativity of our students by making their dreams possible through a gift at uarts.edu/giving.

Thank you for entrusting us with your UArtist. This season, I wish you and the ones who are dearest to you rest and reconnection.



Kerry Walk, PhD


Leaving Residence Halls for Break

Students are required to vacate their residence halls any time after they finish their academic requirements but no later than Saturday, Dec. 16, at 1 p.m. Guests are permitted to help students prepare to leave the residence halls, but they must sign in at the Public Safety desk and stay with their resident for the duration of their time on campus. Students will not be able to access their residence halls after Dec. 16 at 1 p.m. until Sunday, Jan. 21, at 8 a.m., when they reopen for the spring semester. Residents should take any personal belongings that they might need during the break, but they do not need to move out all their belongings unless they are not living on campus for the spring semester. 

As students leave their residence halls and return home for winter break, it is important that they prepare their space to be closed while they are away. Residents must complete the following tasks.

  • Unplug all personal appliances (except their fridge and microwave).
  • Take home or lock up all valuables (i.e., cash, passport, laptop, jewelry).
  • Remove all belongings from the floor (put clothes and items away or on their bed, etc.).
  • Take out all trash to dumpsters, trash cans, recycling bins, or trash rooms.
  • Empty the fridge and/or discard perishables.
  • Discard all non-refrigerated perishable food items, including fruit, decorative pumpkins, etc.).
  • Place any non-refrigerated, nonperishable open food items in sealable containers, like Tupperware or plastic bags (i.e., chip bags, cereal bags, etc.).
  • Wash all dirty dishes and put them away.
  • Wipe down and clean all counters and surfaces.
  • Move items away from the heater and remove any items from on top of the heater.
  • Close all windows, turn off all lights, and lock the apartment door.

Students will be required to go to a floor meeting led by their RA, during which this information will be communicated in detail and they’ll have the opportunity to ask questions.

Finally, if a resident has an empty space in their apartment, they must clear the space for any potential roommates arriving in January. Your student will be notified at least a week before the arrival of a new resident.

For any questions about residence hall closings, encourage your student to reach out to their RA or email reslife@uarts.edu.

New! Parents and Families Information Session: Counseling 

Tuesday, January 30
6:30 p.m. via Zoom

Current parents and caregivers are invited to join Student Affairs, Counseling, the Advancement Office, and the Parent and Family Council for an informative Zoom session about Counseling at UArts. 

Hear from Beth Couture, Director of Counseling Services; Sara Pyle, Associate Vice President for Student Affairs; and members of the Parent and Family Council as they discuss counseling services available to students and how to access them. Please register below to attend and submit your questions! A Zoom link for this session is forthcoming.


How to Reach Us

Students enjoy the winter break from Dec. 16, 2023, until classes resume Monday, Jan. 22, 2024. Your student may wrap up their semester earlier, depending on their due dates for finals and critiques. Residence halls will be closed from Dec. 16 at 1 p.m. and reopen Sunday, Jan. 21, at 8 a.m. for returning students. 

Faculty and staff will be on winter break from Dec. 16 to Jan. 1, 2024. If you or your students are experiencing an emergency and need to speak with someone from the university, call 215-717-6666 and request to speak with a staff member from Student Affairs. You will need to leave your name and phone number with Public Safety staff, and a member of our staff will call you back.

For all non-urgent issues, faculty and staff will return to the office Jan. 2.

Final Grades

Final grades are posted by the Office of the Registrar at the end of each term, in accordance with the dates published on the academic calendar. Parents and guardians do not get a notification of their students’ final grades or academic standing and progress. 

Your student can access their grades in Student Self-Service. Once they are logged in, they should click Grades and select the term they wish to view. If your student does not agree with their final grade, they should file an academic grievance. Academic standing is calculated once the semester’s grading is complete.

Your student will also receive an email from their academic advisor that shares their progress toward degree completion. If your student withdrew from or failed any courses, they should contact their academic advisor to discuss their next steps. 

Contact the Office of the Registrar at registrar@uarts.edu with any questions you might have about final grading.


View UArts’ grading policies

FAFSA Reminder

Because the FAFSA Simplification Act was enacted by Congress, significant changes to the FAFSA are being rolled out in phases, with full implementation of the largest changes in the 2024–2025 aid year. 

This is the first major redesign in over 40 years, and is intended to make applying for federal student aid easier for students and parents. The simplified FAFSA will include fewer questions and requirements. A video created by the Department of Education breaks down the changes. 

Watch the video

The 2024–2025 FAFSA release is delayed and will be available by Dec. 31, 2023. There is a consensus that the FAFSA is most likely to be released at the end of December, if not on Dec. 31, due to the extensive changes that are still in progress. 

This change is only temporary for the 2024–2025 academic year. In the 2025–2026 aid year, the FAFSA will be available beginning Oct. 1, as usual.

If you have questions about the updated FAFSA or your student’s bill and account, contact Student Financial Services at finaid@uarts.edu.

New Dean of Film Appointed

Susan Skoog was appointed as the new dean of the School of Film effective November 1, 2023. Susan has been an associate professor and director of the Screenwriting program at UArts since Fall 2019 and has served as the interim dean of the School since July 2022. Prior to coming to UArts, Susan was faculty in the BFA Filmmaking program at Montclair State University and has taught at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. She also served as the director of programming for the Film Institute at Montclair State. Susan earned her MFA in Screenwriting from National University and her BFA in Theatre from New York University. Susan has had a successful career as a filmmaker, screenwriter, director, and producer.

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