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Parent Email–December 19, 2012

Winter Storm Notice: With a significant snowstorm predicted for Iowa, southern Minnesota, and much of Wisconsin tonight and tomorrow, please note that the Twin Cities is not expected to receive major snowfall in this storm. We are concerned, however, about students trying to get home tomorrow. We have heard that some bus routes already have been cancelled. Please advise your student to avoid travel during dangerous weather. Those with airline reservations or planning to use Amtrak or buses should check with the transportation provider, particularly if they're traveling to destinations within the storm area.

Students who live in the residence halls and were planning to travel home tomorrow, but who may be unable to do so because of the weather, should contact the Residence Director or the Business Operations Supervisor in their hall as soon as possible. (The Business Operations Supervisor is in the hall's business office.) Students who need to stay Thursday night will be able to stay in their own room, but it is important that hall staff are aware they are staying. Several of the halls will be closing for the break period on Friday evening—Pioneer, Territorial, Frontier, Comstock, and Bailey halls will close. The apartment-style housing (Wilkins, University Village, and Yudof) will remain officially open, as will Middlebrook, Sanford, and Centennial. If students need to stay beyond Friday afternoon, those in the open halls will be able to stay in their own rooms; those in the closed halls will be accommodated and should stay in close communication with their Residence Director and business office for details.

For contact information for residence halls, see


  • Talking About a Difficult Subject
  • IT Service Interruption
  • Bowl Game Update
  • Students Can Study Away in the USA (and Canada
  • Funding for Study Abroad
  • Final Deadline Approaching for Parent-Student Service-Learning Trip
  • Spring U-Pass On Sale Now
  • U of M Job and Internship Fair
  • Reduced Campus Shuttle Service During Winter Break
  • Miscellaneous

Finals are nearly done, and students are abandoning campus for winter break. Please note: The University of Minnesota does not mail grades to students. Grades are posted online, available through the One Stop website, and should be available by December 28. If your student's grades are not posted online by December 28, your son or daughter can check with the instructor or college office.

Talking About a Difficult Subject

From grades to health concerns, relationships, alcohol and drug use, or lack of motivation, students may experience a range of stressors and issues that can cause barriers to personal well-being. The end of the semester is a time when many of these issues reach crisis stage. Parents often are among the first to notice signs of significant stress, but initiating a conversation about your concerns can be difficult. The director of University Counseling & Consulting Services has provided suggestions for handling a difficult discussion.

IT Service Interruption

Annual Data Center maintenance for the University is scheduled for 6 a.m. Saturday, January 5, with restoration scheduled to begin at 6 a.m. Sunday, January 6, 2013. It is expected that any affected services will be restored by noon Sunday. Services such as Moodle, email, MyU, and other technology services may be unavailable during the maintenance window. Click here to view system alerts and click here to go the Data Center Operation Services website.

Bowl Game Update

The Gophers are headed to Houston to take on the Texas Tech Red Raiders in the Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas on December 28. For game, ticket, and travel package information, click here. Student travel packages are available now for $200. For more info call the Gopher Ticket Office at 612-624-8080 (option 1).

Students Can Study Away in the USA (and Canada)

The National Student Exchange (NSE) gives students the chance to study at another school in the United States, Guam, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, or Canada for a semester or year. NSE is also very affordable: most students continue to pay U of M tuition and receive financial aid. February 14th is the preferred deadline for the 2013-2014 school year. For information, students can visit 240 Appleby or go to the website for more information and a list of NSE schools.

Funding for Study Abroad

Application deadlines for scholarships through the Fund for Education Abroad are being accepted until January 18, 2013. FEA provides awards up to $10,000 to students going abroad the fall 2013, academic year 2013/14, spring 2014 or summer 2014 terms. Awards are open to US citizens of all majors, studying in any country, on any program four weeks or longer. Application details and forms are available online.The University's Learning Abroad Center has additional information about other scholarships and financial aid for study abroad.

Final Deadline Approaching for Parent-Student Service-Learning Trip

We must have applications in hand by January 22 for the Parent-Student Spring Break Service-Learning Trip to Guatemala. If you're still looking for a holiday gift for family members, this is a great option. And yes, students can go with siblings or other family members; parents can go without their children. The trip will be March 16-23.

Spring U-Pass on Sale Now

Students can purchase a U-Pass now for spring semester, giving them access to all regular route buses and light rail transportation. The U-Pass for spring semester is valid January 22-May 18.

U of M Job & Internship Fair

Encourage your student to attend the biggest student career fair in Minnesota from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Friday, February 22, at the Minneapolis Convention Center. More than 225 organizations will be recruiting for hundreds of jobs and internships. Students can visit the event website to learn more, register, and get preparation tips. The Fair is open to all U of M undergraduates, graduate students, and recent alumni. Free transportation will be provided from campus. Cost: $10, for pre-registration online by February 19th, or $25 at the door on the day of the fair.

Reduced Campus Shuttle Service During Winter Break

Campus shuttle service hours of operation will be reduced December 21 through January 21. From December 21 to January 18, Campus Connector buses will run every 15 minutes from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday. Connectors will not run during the evening hours or on the weekends. The East Bank Circulator will run from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. every 20 minutes; the St. Paul Circulator will not operate during winter break. Connectors will run every 20 minutes, January 20 and 21, from 9 a.m.–9 p.m. For more information, see busing details.


Many thanks, once again, to all who participated in our annual Adopt-A-Family project, providing gifts for student-parents who are attending the University. These students are raising children of their own and struggling to afford books and supplies while taking care of their family. It has been absolutely amazing to watch the staff in the Student-Parent HELP Center organize the piles of gifts as they come in. It's even more moving to see the tears and smiles of gratitude when the student-parents arrive to pick up their packages. These students are in significant financial need, based on their FAFSA applications, and your contributions make all the difference in helping their children to have a happy holiday.

We wish you and your family a happy holiday season and a wonderful winter break. Now if we can just get through this Midwestern snowstorm and make sure everyone is home and safe, all should be well.

Please respond to our December Question of the Month! This month's question: College students go through numerous stages on their journey to independent living. For what life skills did (or still does) your student need the most guidance? Respond here.