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Parent Email–April 6, 2012

  • Parent-Student Service Learning Team
  • Mental Health Awareness Day
  • Parent Survey Reminder
  • Start Me Up
  • Gopher Cheer
  • 60K Day
  • Care Packages
  • Spring Jam
  • Miscellaneous

This message includes more requests than usual for your assistance and your response. Please help us out if you can!

Also, please note that if you want to contact the Parent Program or get an answer to a question, email messages should be addressed to Messages sent to the listserv or sent as a "reply" to a parent listserv message are not opened or read. We don't read or respond to messages sent to the listserv in order to reduce the possibility of delivering confidential student information to the thousands of email addresses on the listserv.

Parent-Student Service Learning Team

In May, a team of U of M students, parents, siblings, and friends are traveling to Guatemala with Common Hope, a non-profit organization that works to improve the lives of Guatemalan families through education, health care, housing, and family development programs. The U of M team will help by building a house for a family and working with children in daycare and in schools.

A significant part of Common Hope includes sponsorships of individual children, to ensure that they have an education, health care, housing, and community support. Unfortunately, more children are in need of assistance than Common Hope donors can sponsor. U of M team members have covered the cost of their own trip, but they are also raising money for an Unsponsored Children's Fund which provides education and family support for more than 900 Guatemalan children who do not yet have sponsors. Please consider contributing to the Unsponsored Children's Fund on behalf of the U of M parent-student team. Even small donations will be very helpful.

Mental Health Awareness Day

April 25 is Mental Health Awareness Day on campus, with the goal of reducing the stigma of mental illness and educating students about mental health resources available on campus. A coalition of student organizations are asking for students, parents, staff, and friends to help promote awareness about the impact that mental health issues can have on college students. They have put out a call for personal stories that illustrate how you or those close to you have been affected by mental health, illness, or suicide. The stories will be shared (and can be shared anonymously) during Mental Health Awareness Day.

Please send your submission by April 12 through the Google Docs site.

Parent Survey Reminder

I know, I know. You've seen this request before, but if you have not yet responded to our U of M Parent Survey, we really, truly want your feedback. If YOU don't give us your response, how will the U of M Parent Program and other offices on campus know how to better serve families like yours in the future?

We have made a special effort to round up incentives! Your responses are confidential, but we have one last question on the survey that allows you to sign up for a drawing for great prizes from some of our favorite vendors, both on campus and off: care packages for your student from Gopher Express, gift cards from the University Bookstore, lunch at the University's Campus Club, Campus Club centennial cookbooks, or a two-night stay at the Holiday Inn Minneapolis Metrodome.

Please help us by filling out the survey if you have not already done so.

Start Me Up

Students who have ideas for inventions or start-up businesses can attend the START ME UP Forum on April 12, 3:30 - 5:00 p.m., Coffman Room 319. Professionals will be on hand to talk about patents, intellectual property, and starting a business. Sponsored by University Student Legal Service (USLS).

Gopher Cheer

Anyone can cheer for the Gophers, but it takes special talent to be the official Goldy Gopher or a member of the Spirit Squad. Tryouts take place this month for the Spirit Squads, Dance Team, and Goldy mascot. If your son or daughter has lots of energy and is excited about the Gophers, please encourage him or her to try out.

60K Day

Parents are invited to help the U of M community raise $60,000 in one day, April 12, to sponsor a Habitat for Humanity home in south Minneapolis. The event, 60K Day, will be a joint effort between the university community and Habitat for Humanity. Check out 60K Day for more information.

Care Packages

During the next few weeks, students will be fighting the competing forces of springtime's urge to be outdoors with the academic demands that come up at the end of the semester. Plan now to send a Care Package to keep your student focused (and reassured that someone cares!). The seasonal offerings through Gopher Express include Spring Has Sprung and Finals Finale care packages.

Spring Jam

The University's spring semester celebration, Spring Jam, takes place over three days, April 19, 20, and 21. The event includes philanthropic activities (blood drive and food packing) as well as a wide range of music, dance, visual arts, and carnival-like activities.

Just as a reminder, the Minneapolis Police and University of Minnesota Police will have additional patrols during Spring Jam. Students who are hosting parties are cautioned that they may receive citations for providing alcohol to underage guests. In addition, the police and University President Eric Kaler are reminding students that there is zero tolerance for disruptive behavior or property damage. The University's Student Conduct Code applies to students on and off campus, and it specifically prohibits destructive behavior in connection with a University event.


The Facilities Management landscape teams are out, sprucing up the lawns around campus. You may not see them working, but you can see how nice Northrop Mall looks by checking the Walter Library webcam.

Please respond to our April Question of the Month on the University Parent webpage. Your feedback helps us as we work with U of M parents and continue to develop our communications and website information.

Last month, we asked which topics you find most difficult to discuss with your student. At the top of the list--sex and romantic relationships, followed by mental and physical health. At the bottom of the list--safety and religion.