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New Students FAQ and Welcome Guide


Welcome to the Nicholas School!  Although the entire Nickipedia is your guide to student life here, here are answers to some Frequently Asked Questions, and some basic need-to-know info about the school.  (See also the latest tips for summer 2009 in this news post.)

How Do I Make an Appointment with Career Services?

Karen and Glenda will be your dedicated career and internship counselors during your time here -- not to mention for great conversations.  You should set up a meeting with either Karen or Glenda (your preference -- they're both great!) early in your first semester, so they can get to know you and your interests.

To request an appointment, use dCal, the Duke scheduling system:  http://schedule.duke.edu/.  This is also used by most Nicholas administrators and many faculty and Institute people (and lets you stalk them a bit and help you track them down for signatures and meetings!)

  1. Follow the instructions on http://schedule.duke.edu/ to set up access.  You will need your Duke Net-ID.
  2. Go here to access your personal dCal Web Client:  https://schedule.duke.edu/ocas-bin/ocas.fcgi?sub=web&web=calendar ; (bookmark this for future use).
  3. Once you are logged in, find the little "View Agendas" icon and click on it.  It should look like a little calendar with people, near the top.
  4. In the "Search for" drop down menu, select "People", then type in either "Glenda Lee" or "Karen Kirchof".
  5. Glenda or Karen's name will now appear below.  Click View.  (You should also click "Add To Favorites" too another time)
  6. You'll now see Glenda or Karen's calendar!  Click to view by day, week, or month.  Wherever you see a little (plus) sign, you can click on that timeslot to make an appointment.
  7. You'll now be taken to the "New Meeting" page.  Fill out the "General" and "Details" section.
  8. Click "Create".  Glenda or Karen will now automatically receive an email about this appointment, and confirm it with you by email. 

That's it! 

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How Do I Set Up a Meeting with Dean Chameides or Dean Klein?

Dean Chameides has an open door policy, but both he and Dean Klein are busy busy people.  The best way is to make an appointment through Laura Turcotte in the Dean's Office (email here)...

...ESPECIALLY if you're making a business visit (you won't be the first person to ask for money to fund a student event... and odds are that's why you want to drop in for a visit...).  Keep your time efficient: 5-10 minutes tops.  Come prepared.  Don't bother emailing too much detail ahead, although a super concise outline/memo (who, what, where, how much?) and a budget always helps.  Bring a printed copy too, since they don't always have time to read.

How do I get help with my computer?

  • If question is related to your NetID, NetID password, e-mail account, Web mail, wireless registration, VPN, Exchange, Blackboard or other Duke-wide resources:
  • If question is related to Nicholas network login, your Nicholas network data, your desktop computer, your local printer, Nicholas-provided software, or audiovisual equipment:
  • If you are at the Marine Lab:
    • E-mail marineit@nicholas.duke.edu
    • Call Office: 252-504-7599 or 252-732-5489 (mobile)
    • Visit 116 Bookhout

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How Do I Look Up Nicholas Alumni and Alumni Mentors?

Look up alumni of the Nic School (and the old School of Forestry/Environment) on the Career Services database, here:

The database is searchable by name, location, expertise, company, and more.

Alumni visit campus 2-3 times a year, usually for Nicholas School Alumni Council functions.  Some offer their time as mentors.  To request a list of mentors and get in touch with the Alumni Council, contact the current NSSC Alumni Council student rep.

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Can I Bring My Dog to School?

Aid dogs aside:

OUTDOORS:  We have a lot of socials and parties out in the lovely LSRC courtyard or out in Troy Couch Farm, and people always want to bring their pups to play and meet other pups.  Unofficially, we've never been told no, so enjoy it!  But just keep in mind that a) there are some people/cultures that do not like being around dogs, and one should be sensitive to those situations and leash up if they arise; and b) keep your four-legged friend out of food meant for two-legged folk, esp. at picnics when everyone has food on the ground.

INDOORS:  "Our building has no pet policy here... If someone brings a dog in and they bite someone and haven't had their shots, it's a liability... Even though dogs are precious, let's leave them at home and if you happen to see someone in our building with a dog, please gently remind them that we have a no animal policy here or if you prefer, call or email [Anne Marie Davis, Dean's Office]." -- memo distributed 6/10/2009
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Where is the Lost and Found?

The Lost-and-Found Locker is located on the first floor of the LSRC A-wing.  Walk all the way down the west hallway (past Career Services, EEP faculty) to the large lockers.  The locker is all the way on the left.  There is a checklist there to record and claim items.  The locker is always unlocked.

  • In most cases, textbooks, flash drives, and notebooks are left alone where they were by others.  Always go back to that lab computer or lounge couch before you panic!
  • If you find an item that's more valuable (jewelry, iPhone, etc.) that risks theft in the Locker, then please deliver to Anne Davis in the Dean's Office on the 2nd Floor.
  • If you do suspect a theft, please notify the Dean's Office immediately.

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How Do I Survive the Nicholas School?

You'll work your tail off here, but there's plenty of ways to have fun and stay sane too.

  • Sign-up for a class that has a great prof or on a topic you're really interested in, even if it's not your concentration/research. 
  • Join a student group, and work at a community garden, local farm, or volunteer event.
  • Restore yourself in the outdoors and wilderness of North Carolina, and plan trips with your new friends and colleagues.
  • Catch a Duke Performance event -- all student tickets are $5!
  • Don't be afraid to visit the nice folks at Duke CAPS or various Campus Ministries.

...and many, many other tips sprinkled throughout Nickipedia.  Just remember, we're all in this together!
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Student Lounge Etiquette

MEM Student Lounge:

  • Microwave:  Please clean up after yourselves after that nasty exploding soup or cheesy overflow.
  • Fridge:  Don't forget to take all leftovers and containers home each week.  And don't just stuff your whole lunchbox in the fridge -- that really fills up the space.
  • Coffee Machine:  Empty out those grounds!  Take them home and compost if you want. 
  • Plates and Silverware:  There is usually a set of reusable plates and plasticware in the cabinet.  Please don't take off with them... wash well and return, please.  Feel free to donate to this stockpile, too.
  • Sink:  For goodness sake, don't pour food bits down there.  There is NO disposal, and you're just clogging things up. And please don't leave dirty dishes in the sink!
  • Volunteer for weekly fridge cleanings, and help tidy up magazine stacks and kitchen counter.

PhD Student Lounge:

The Christensen Reading Room (next to Hug Commons) and the ACL (3rd Floor Computer Lab) are both quiet study spaces.

  • Please turn all phones to vibrate before entering.  Also, no talking or even light whispered conversations in these rooms -- this just snowballs and pretty soon there's a constant annoying buzz in the room, and it really pisses off people who are trying to study.  Take all conversations outside, please. 
  • Feel free to tap someone on the shoulder to tell them about this rule.  Enforce your commons!
  • And if you are a known snorer, don't get too comfortable on the napping couch in the Reading Room!
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    Listserv and Mass Email Rules

Please use the Nickipedia News and Announcements page as your primary method to send out public-interest announcements, such as housing, for-sale ads, basketball tickets, speakers/events/meetings,  etc.

If you feel use of a Nicholas Listserv is justified, then please...

  • Limit your speakers/event/meeting emails to two emails:  1) one announcing the event, and 2) one reminder the day before.  No more, no less.
  • Use the appropriate listserv by looking up on https://lists.nicholas.duke.edu/sympa/lists.  Remember that "profjoint" is cross-listed with "profsecond", so beware of sending duplicates. 

How Do I Start a New Student Organization?

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