From the 2011 Parent Orientation Newsletter
Whenever you have questions about the University, its policies, or procedures, or about resources available for your student, we encourage you to first ask your student to find the answer or information. Moreover, if your student calls, emails, or comes home with a problem, your primary role as a parent is to encourage your student to take responsibility for resolving the issue. When students take care of their own problems or seek out campus resources, they meet people who can be helpful later, they develop important problem-solving skills, and they gain confidence in themselves.
You can guide your student to talk to the right person by determining the category that best fits the concern:
- Academic issues: For problems related to coursework, students can talk to the instructor if the concern is related to a specific class. Otherwise students can talk to their academic adviser. Academic advisers provide guidance on working effectively with instructors, planning an academic schedule, and finding tutoring or help with study skills and time management. Students can find the name and contact information for their academic adviser on the student web portal at myu.umn.edu.
- Residence hall issues: Students can first talk to their community adviser (CA). If additional assistance is needed, students should contact their hall director. To report disturbances or illegal activities in the residence hall, students can call the information desk to report the incident or call University Police (emergency, call 911; non-emergency, call 612-624-2677).
- Commuter issues: The Commuter Connection office on the second floor of Coffman Union provides guidance and direction on issues related to the commuter experience. The phone number is 612-624-5491.
- Personal issues: Students are encouraged to talk to a counselor at University Counseling & Consulting Services, uccs.umn.edu, 612-624-3323. Academic advisers may also help students find resources related to personal concerns.
- Physical or mental health issues: Students can make an appointment or call the Boynton Health Service’s nurse line at 612-625-7900.
- Safety or legal issues: Call University Police, 612-624-2677 or 911.
Before you become involved with your student’s issue, consider the following:
- Can your student learn something by handling the issue independently?
- Who has the full story? If your student has the details about the situation, it is easiest for all involved if your student makes the call. Otherwise, considerable time will be spent relaying information back and forth.
- Will your involvement complicate matters or make things worse for your student? Generally, it’s best for students to handle their own affairs.
- Would you be comfortable with your student knowing you called about the situation? Although parents sometimes ask that we not tell their student they called, please keep in mind: we need your student’s permission to address most situations, and students usually figure out their parent called anyway.
You should be involved when:
- Your student is too ill to handle his/her situation.
- Your student has mental health issues that prevent him/her from making well-informed decisions.
- Your student’s finances are likely to affect the family finances.
- You cannot locate your student.