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Parent Email—May 16, 2011

  • Congratulations to Parents of Graduates!
  • Parents of Students Home for the Summer
  • Review of Spring Break Service Trip
  • Spring Semester Grade Reports
  • The University's Economic Impact on the State of Minnesota
  • New Routes for Campus Shuttles and Buses
  • Miscellaneous

The traffic around the residence halls was heavy on Saturday as students moved out of their rooms and headed home or to new adventures for the summer. As you can see by the Northrop Mall webcam, there are still students out and about, but the campus is quieter and the atmosphere is less stressed today with exams finished and the scent of spring in the air.

Congratulations to Parents of Graduates!

Nearly all the graduation caps have been tossed as the final commencements for 2011 wind down today. We offer our congratulations to seniors and to their parents, and we wish the best for graduates as they begin the next phase of their lives. We recognize and celebrate the role that parents play in their students' achievements, and we share your pride in the growth and maturity your students have attained during their academic career.

If you want to be removed from the Parent Listserv, please send a message to parent@umn.edu, saying "Remove" and include your email address. But before you leave us, please answer our Question of the Month for May!

Parents of Students Home for the Summer

If your student is back home after living on campus this year, he or she may be slowly adjusting to the homecoming. While students are relieved to have finals over and are looking forward to some unstructured time, they also may be struggling to figure out friendships. The high school friends they were so dedicated to a year ago might seem like strangers now. They miss their college friends and the independence of campus life. One first-year student announced to her family during Spring Break that "There's nothing for me at home anymore. My life is at college."

You might find your student criticizing segments of family life that never were an issue before—like the contents of the refrigerator ("Can't you buy organic foods?"), the kind of car you drive ("Electric cars make so much more sense!"), or the TV programs the family watches ("Really? Reality shows?").

Students will settle in, and patience among all family members will help. It's important to set boundaries and define responsibilities, while giving students at least a few days to savor being back in their own bedrooms with no homework hanging over their heads.

Review of Spring Break Service Trip

Please join the participants of the Parents and Students Spring Break Service Trip as they share highlights from their service learning trip to Guatemala this past March. Learn more about Common Hope, the Vision Team experience, and involvement opportunities, including how you and your student can travel to Guatemala in 2012. Light refreshments will be served. The event will be from 6:30 to 8 p.m., Wednesday, May 18, at the Common Hope Office, 500 Vandalia Street, St. Paul, MN 55114. For more information, contact Chelsea Petree at 612-626-8770 or email petre025@umn.edu

Spring Semester Grade Reports

Final grades from spring semester will be recorded and available online this week (within three days of the final for each course) through the One Stop website. Students can print out a copy of their grades from that site. The University does not mail grade reports because of cost and because student addresses are frequently not current.

Students who feel their grades are inaccurate should contact their instructor for clarification. If they cannot resolve issues with the instructor, they can contact the Student Conflict Resolution Center (SCRC) for further discussion. The SCRC works with students to resolve campus disputes and problems. In addition to conflicts with faculty, the SCRC can consider problems related to billings and payments, roommate conflicts, including issues among off-campus roommates, and other university-related issues. For information, see www.sos.umn.edu/

The University's Economic Impact on the State of Minnesota

The University's primary purpose is to educate students and citizens through teaching, research, and outreach, but its impact goes beyond education. The U of M provides more than $8 billion in total economic impact annually, and each dollar invested in the U of M generates $13.20 in the statewide economy. A list of facts and figures on the contributions the U of M makes to the state economy is available online.

New Routes for Campus Shuttles and Buses

Starting today, the Campus Connector and East Bank Circulator change their routes drastically, due to construction on the new light rail line through campus. The Washington Avenue Bridge Circulator no longer runs at all. For details, see the maps of the new routes through campus.

Miscellaneous

Sometimes students don't want to talk with their family about new medications or treatments that they began during the school year, but it is possible they may have had a recent medical appointment or need follow up. If your student is home for the summer, you can simply let your son or daughter know how to access any needed health care through your home clinic this summer.

Each month we ask parents to respond to an online polling question. In April, we asked about your communication methods with your students. According to the results—except for the 15 percent of you who don't text at all—parents are texting your students more often than you're phoning. What's more, you're texting and phoning considerably more than you're emailing. The results are posted here: www.parent.umn.edu/previous.html

Please respond to the Question of the Month for May.

 

Sincerely,
Marjorie Savage
Parent Program Director
University of Minnesota
www.parent.umn.edu