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Parent Email–January 18, 2013

University Parent

January 18, 2013

Inside This Issue

  • Influenza Message
  • Career Development
  • Learning Abroad
  • Student Support Through University Counseling & Consulting Services
  • Off-Campus Housing
  • Community Service for the Common Good
  • Miscellaneous 

The University of Minnesota acknowledges winter only through our designation of Winter Break. Starting Tuesday, we declare the beginning of spring as we kick off Spring Semester. Weather forecasters, unfortunately, don't share our optimism. The prediction is for subzero temperatures for Tuesday morning, with a high of somewhere around 7 degrees. And those temperatures are expected to be a warm-up from the weekend. To see how we all cope with the changing weather over the next few days, keep an eye on the College of Science and Engineering webcam (alternately referred to as the Northrop Mall webcam or the Walter Library webcam).

Influenza Message

Spring semester begins on Tuesday, January 22, in the midst of a busy influenza (flu) season. Students and faculty are receiving messages today about preventing the spread of flu and what to do if they are sick. We are asking parents to help us reinforce these messages.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) recommend that everyone over 6 months of age be vaccinated. If students have not yet been vaccinated, Boynton Health Service is still offering free vaccination clinics for students. Your own health care provider may also provide free or inexpensive vaccinations.

To prevent further spread of the flu, the University asks that students who are sick stay home and away from class. The University has temporarily suspended the requirement for a doctor’s note for excused absences from class due to illness and the University’s policy requiring mandatory attendance at the first class session. Students must, however,  be sure to contact their instructor by email immediately if they are or become ill and will miss class. They should also ask how to make up missed classes, tests, and assignments. Students remain responsible for in-class information and assignments, whether they attend class or not.

Students may return to class once they have been fever-free for 24 hours without using any fever-reducing medicine.

Career Development

The University of Minnesota hosts a number of job and career fairs annually. Simply attending a career fair doesn't guarantee a successful job hunt, though. The Career and Internship Services office has a 10-minute online workshop that provides tips for successfully preparing for and attending a career fair. A few upcoming career resources and job fairs are noted below. For additional information on career workshops and fairs, students can check the College Career Fairs webpage or talk to a counselor in the career center affiliated with their college.

  • International students who are looking for an internship or job in the U.S. can join the International Student Job Search Club to find support and resources for their search. They will learn about the U.S. hiring culture, work authorization, and job search tips for international students. Interested international students are asked to attend an information session from 4 to 5 p.m., Thursday, January 24, in Carlson 1-143. To make a reservation for the information session, students should email Drew Smith at with their name, graduation date, major, and expected degree.
  • The Environmental Internship & Career Fair will be from 1 to 5 p.m., Wednesday, February 6, 2013, in the North Star Ballroom, St. Paul Student Center. The fair will feature employers hiring interns and full-time employees for environmental and natural resources fields. Students from all majors are welcome.
  • The U of M Job and Internship Fair, the largest student career fair in Minnesota, is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Friday, February 22, at the Minneapolis Convention Center. Nearly 200 organizations will be recruiting for hundreds of jobs and internships. Students can visit the website to learn more, register, and get preparation tips. The Fair is open to U of M undergraduates, graduate students, and recent alumni. Free transportation will be provided from campus. (Sorry--this is not open to parents. Not even to parents accompanying their student.)
  • For students who are still deciding on their major, Exploring Interests and Majors will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Wednesday, March 6, in the Great Hall of Coffman Union. Students can learn about U of M majors, get help from U of M advisers and career counselors, take a short quiz to assess their interests and connect those interests to majors, and more.

Learning Abroad

Students can learn about May term and summer study abroad options at a learning abroad event from 12:30 to 2 p.m., Wednesday, January 30, at 101 Walter Library. Since food is always an enticement for students, pizza will be served at 1 p.m.

Student Support Through University Counseling & Consulting Services

In addition to individual counseling and academic assistance, University Counseling & Consulting Services provides workshops and support groups. Students can attend group programs on such topics as Assertive Communication, Understanding Self and Others, and Grief Support for Students Who Have Lost Parents or Siblings. A Feel Better Fast group is a three-week program that assists students who are feeling stressed or overwhelmed, offering techniques on stress management, relaxation, mindfulness, and general self-care. Groups are also available for international students, victim/survivors of sexual assault, and students who want to overcome procrastination. For details or further information on support groups, students can call 612-624-3323 or email

Off-Campus Housing

Students living in residence halls or on-campus apartments soon will receive information on how to reapply for campus housing for the 2013-2014 academic year. Room reapplication will be done online. Renters Workshops will be provided in residence halls in late January and February; students will receive information on time, date, and place for workshops held in residence halls.

Those who plan to live off campus next year are encouraged to attend the Off-Campus Housing Fair from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Tuesday, February 12, in the Great Hall of Coffman Union. In addition to workshop information about living off campus, students will be able to meet with landlords from the area surrounding campus.

Community Service for the Common Good

The University of Minnesota is introducing a pilot project to promote opportunities for students, faculty, and staff to work with neighbors on behalf of our greater community. Through a voluntary Service Pledge website, the project will provide a snapshot of volunteer hours that University members provide each year. The service pledge drive kicks off on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Monday, January 21. Individuals can pledge any amount of volunteer community service hours through March 31 and complete their hours by May 17. Students can volunteer with organizations they know or seek new opportunities, and those who are currently doing volunteer work can count their hours in this drive.

The service pledge reflects the University's commitment to public outreach, and it projects our vision of inspiring students to make life-long positive contributions to society and of enriching the University of Minnesota community. Parents are encouraged to promote the service pledge to your son or daughter. While parents and family members are not included in this pledge, you are, of course, welcome to volunteer with or without your student in your own community or the campus area.


Students can rent lockers on campus by the semester or use a coin-operated locker on a short-term basis.

As students inventory their old belongings and pack up their new things for a fresh semester, please keep in mind that the Coffman Union and St. Paul Student Center Information Desks accept the following items to be either reused or recycled:

  • Batteries
  • Eyeglasses and sunglasses (given to the Boynton Eye Center for those in need)
  • Working cell phones (given to the Aurora Center for charities that help those in need)
  • Small electronics (includes iPods, chargers, cameras, etc. Must have a U of M ID)

Please respond to our Parent Question of the Month for January. We incorporate your responses into our planning and implementation of communications with parents, as well as in our work with students, staff, and faculty across campus.