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Parent Email–October 31, 2011

  • Parent Volunteers for Focus Group
  • Health Advocates
  • Application for Orientation Leaders
  • Career Planning
  • Planning for Spring Semester
  • Miscellaneous

Happy Halloween! There are a few people wearing costumes on campus today, but most students are dressed up as U of M scholars, carrying backpacks rather than treat bags. See what's happening on campus via the Northrop Mall webcam.

You can still apply for the Spring Break Service Learning trip to La Push, Washington. Parents, students, and other family members are invited to spend the week of Spring Break helping the Quileute tribe preserve its culture and language in the beautiful landscape of the Pacific Coast's Olympic Peninsula.

Parent Volunteers for Focus Group

We need your help. We're looking for volunteers for a focus group of parents to evaluate the University of Minnesota's new Homepage. The focus group is from 9 to 10:45 a.m., Tuesday, November 15, on the East Bank of campus. Participants must be able to come to campus. Parking and an honorarium ($50 gift card for the University Bookstore) will be provided. Please find more details and application information online.

Thank you for considering this. Parent input is very useful as we consider how to communicate to prospective and current parents of U of M students.

Health Advocates

When students are feeling sick, it can be challenging for them to decide whether they really need to go to the Health Service, if they should just try to get a few hours rest, or if they should buck up and go to class. Students who live in residence halls and Greek housing can turn to Health Advocates (HA's) to help out and provide information about common health-related issues. HA's can direct students to nearby clinics and other health resources. HA's also distribute cold and cough medicine and cough drops; ibuprofen and acetaminophen; bandages and gauze; condoms, dental dams, and lubricant; and pregnancy tests.

Health Advocates receive training from Boynton Health Service and can contact Boynton for advice or suggestions when needed.

All students can also call the Medical Information Nurse at 612-625-7900 for home care advice or to determine if they should make an appointment. The Medical information Nurse line is answered 24 hours a day.

Application for Orientation Leaders

Students can apply online by November 4 to be an orientation leader next summer. The training and experience of working with incoming students provides leadership, communication, and career preparation skills that will benefit them for years to come.

Career Planning

* Minnesota Supreme Court Tour, 3 p.m., Monday, November 14, at State Judicial Center Auditorium, St. Paul: Justice Paul Anderson of the Minnesota Supreme Court has invited students from the University of Minnesota to tour the State Judicial Center and Supreme Court. Students will see the courtrooms and conference rooms at the state judicial center, as well as the judge's chambers and robing room. Those interested should contact University Student Legal Services at 612-624-1001.

* Start Me Up Panel and Advisory Session, 4 to 6 p.m., Thursday, November 17, at Carlson School 2-206. Students who are considering, or have recently started, their own business can hear practical advice from an experienced attorney and tax accountant on the fundamentals for getting started. Topics to be covered:

  • What type of entity should I choose?
  • How do I register my business?
  • What partnership agreements do I need?
  • How do I protect intellectual property?
  • What other legal risks do I need to address?
  • What type of records do I need to keep?
  • What accounting software is recommended?
  • What sales/income/employment tax reporting requirements do I have?

Planning for Spring Semester

Registration for spring semester begins November 8. Students are assigned a registration time based on their class standing (semester/year in college), then by alphabetical order according to last name. The alphabetical order changes each semester so that students with last names later in the alphabet have an opportunity to register early at some point during their academic career. The full list of registration times is posted here.

Students—especially first-year students—should make an appointment to talk with an academic adviser before registering for spring semester. An online tool, the Graduation Planner, is useful for planning an academic path to graduation.

There are some one-credit, online courses that can help students learn campus survival skills to help with student success:

  • Alcohol and College Life class discusses the rewards and pressures of the college experience, particularly around friendships, parties and drinking.
  • Sleep, Eat, and Exercise provides students with the knowledge and skills they need to live a balanced life while in college.
  • Cash or Credit is designed to give students information on how to develop and manage a budget and ways to consider the impact of spending on their current and future life. Cash or Credit is designed for first- and second-year students, but upperclassmen can take FSOS 3101, Personal and Family Finance, either online or in person.


The second billing payment, for students who still owe on their tuition, fees, and other expenses, is due November 2. The third bill for the semester will be emailed to students on November 5. The full payment schedule is online.

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