Conference looks at helping married students

By and

Massage therapy, financial aid and tax credits were just some of the workshops at the First Annual Married Student and Family Conference.

The conference was held Saturday, Jan. 31, from 8:30 a.m. to noon in the Union.

Along with 14 presenters, raffles, free babysitting and a vendor fair, April Heiselt, the Non-Traditional Student Services director at ASUU, says that she “hopes the conference will become an annual event and that the new person elected in my position will continue it.”

“There were workshops from anything to buying your first home, personal financing and investing, freebies, emergency preparedness and raising a child,” Heiselt said.

“I had people who lining up, wanting to be in the next conference.”

According to Heiselt, there were around 200 students who attended the workshop which she feels “for the first time is pretty good.”

“Married students are really easy to overlook,” Heiselt said.

“We don’t look at them in our planning, and we need more activities on campus that center around those students and their families.”

According the Heiselt, 37 percent of the students at the U in 1995 were married, and she says that she feels the percentages are now in the 40s to 50s.

“The typical student isn’t 18 anymore,” Heiselt said.

“We may have a higher rate of married students nationally, but I see more and more people who are getting married and bringing their families back to school.”

Heiselt says that she feels a married student gets the benefit of having a loving person while attending school and says that married students also have the “added privilege of having children.”

“We are all busy people, and having children on top of work and our spouse is more responsibility,” Heiselt said. “I’m a mother of three, and I have to make sure that my first-grader’s homework is done first.”

Heiselt says that the U is also trying to expand on the fact that people are working and having children.

“We’re working on getting family seating in the Rice Eccles Stadium that’s still located in the student section,” she said. “My job is to represent these married students and to make them feel like a part of the university campus and community.”

According to Heiselt, there are several programs for married students like the ASUU Student Spouse Card or the Child Care Coordinating office that have eight different locations and programs on campus.

“The Child Care Coordinating Office is a nice benefit and a lower cost to students,” she said.

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