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Parent Email–April 4, 2013

University Parent

April 4, 2013

Inside This Issue

  • Classes Without Quizzes
  • Eastcliff Reception for 2013 Graduates and Families
  • Theatre, Arts, and Dance
  • If We Have Helped...
  • Miscellaneous

We saw hundreds of students walking across campus yesterday carrying ostrich feathers. The feathers were part of a Cirque de Stress event in Coffman Union promoting mental health resources on campus. Students learned to balance an ostrich feather on one finger as a message about seeking balance. The University's Unicycle Club and Juggling Club were there, illustrating the concept of balance and "successfully juggling responsibilities." Several therapy dogs and one therapy chicken were also on hand to be petted and cuddled. Several photos and a video from Cirque de Stress are posted on the University of Minnesota Parent Program's Facebook page. Note: Ostrich feathers are collected when ostriches molt, so no birds were harmed for this event. The dogs and chicken were willing participants.

Classes Without Quizzes

There's still time to sign up for this Saturday's Classes Without Quizzes. Each year, the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences (CFANS) offers Classes Without Quizzes, featuring the latest research from CFANS scientists. This year's program includes keynote speaker Mike Sadowsky of the Department of Soil, Water, and Climate. The half-day event is scheduled for Saturday, April 6, on the St. Paul campus and will include sessions on beer, robots, bioenergy, plants, and economics, as well as programs for kids and opportunities to network with college alumni and friends. Some of the topics may sound technical, but the instructors make the content accessible and very interesting. For more information, see Classes Without Quizzes.

Eastcliff Reception for 2013 Graduates and Families

U of M President Eric Kaler and Mrs. Karen Kaler are inviting graduating seniors and their families to an undergraduate reception from 2 to 4 p.m., Sunday, May 5, at Eastcliff, the home of University presidents. Graduating seniors will receive an invitation, and RSVPs are requested by April 29.

Theatre, Arts, and Dance

A number of productions are scheduled on campus throughout the month of April, and students can attend for free or at a discount. Some performances are free for all attendees. If you're coming to visit your student, check the schedule for arts events, or the campus events schedule for even more options.

If We Have Helped...

The University Parent Program works with the parents of all undergraduate students because the University of Minnesota believes that parent support is important to student success. In addition to working directly with parents, we collaborate with a number of offices around campus to promote student retention and success. As a unit within the Office for Student Affairs, we are currently seeking donations through the University Parent Fund for contributions to help students in crisis. Every year we have students who face a financial loss through such events as an apartment fire, crime, accident, or family emergency. There are times when insurance or family members cannot provide assistance in these critical situations, and this fund helps students as they work to stay in school and resolve their difficulties. If the University Parent Program has been helpful to you or your student in the past, please consider making a contribution to the University Parent Fund as a way to benefit those students who are facing a crisis.

Any contributions, large or small, are appreciated. For more information or to make a donation, see (scroll down to University Parent Fund in right-hand column or go directly to the donation page) and be sure to specify University Parent Fund in your contribution. 


During the month of March, our web-based polling question asked parents if their student has given them access to his/her student account. Nearly 90 percent of those responding said their student has provided parent/guest access. Some of those who said no indicated they had guessed their student's password; their student is comfortable sharing all information the parent asks for; or the parent does not want/need access to the student account. We will check with the One Stop office to find out how these percentages compare with One Stop records on the number of students who have granted parent/guest access.

Please answer our April question of the month. We're going to ask a few questions during the upcoming months to help us better understand the demographics of parents who interact with us through the University Parent Program website. (The University of Minnesota is a research university. We do research on everything, including the parents of our students. Thank you for helping us.)

To see the almost-snow-free Northrop Mall, check out the Walter Library webcam.