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Parent Email–May 10, 2013

University Parent

May 10, 2013

Inside This Issue

  • Finals Time
  • Summer U-Pass
  • Residence Hall Heating/Cooling Transition
  • Global Learning Adventure Tour
  • Off-Campus Housing Fair
  • A Note about Apartment Subletting
  • Miscellaneous

With the end of the semester upon us, we have several messages that offices around campus want parents to receive. We know  there are a lot of parents on this listserv whose students will be first-year students in the fall, and we recognize that there's not a lot of news for you in this week's email. Please take a look at the items below anyway to give you an idea of what you'll be thinking about in the next few years. Information specific to parents of incoming students will be showing up in emails very soon.

In the meantime, please join us in wishing the best to students taking exams and to our graduating seniors.

Parents of seniors: Please stay with us for another few weeks. There will be information of interest to you through at least the end of May.

Finals Time

Students can "Occupy the Libraries" throughout finals week. Walter, Biomed (East Bank), and Wilson (West Bank) libraries are open 24 hours a day through May 18. Magrath Library (St. Paul) also has extended late night hours. The libraries will be hosting study breaks with treats, games, plants, and more.

Finals and end-of-the-year tasks make this a stressful time in students' lives, but there are campus resources for helping reduce stress. This afternoon, for example, the therapy dogs will be back on campus from 1 to 3 p.m. at 303 Coffman Union. Exam Jam offers tutoring and consultants in math, science, social science, writing, and other courses from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, May 11, at 140 Appleby Hall, sponsored by the Multicultural Center for Academic Excellence (MCAE) and other campus offices. MCAE will also have practice tests and snacks available.

Following finals, the next stressful event will be waiting for grades to be posted. Final grades should be submitted by the instructor no later than three business days following the date of the scheduled final examination (whether or not there is actually a final examination given). Grades are posted online, at the One Stop website. If students have questions about a missing grade, they are asked to contact their instructor.

Parents play a major role in identifying when their sons and daughters are feeling stress. In a recent survey of first-time visitors to the campus mental health clinic, Boynton Health Service asked students what or who influenced them to come to the clinic. The top response: "The support of a parent."

For information on stress symptoms, see the University's mental health website.

Summer U-Pass

Students enrolled for summer classes, as well as those who took classes during spring semester, can purchase a summer U-Pass now before the semester ends. U-Pass costs $97 for unlimited rides on city buses.

Residence Hall Heating/Cooling Transition

We were wondering if we'd even get to deliver this message this year, since the long winter nearly convinced us that warm weather was not going to arrive. Each spring, we get a request from the Housing & Residential Life office to let parents know what students are being told about the changeover from heating to cooling in the buildings. Here is an excerpted version of the message, and it applies to the process for nearly all large U of M buildings:

In most homes, the process of switching from heating to cooling is as simple as flipping a switch. In our Residence Halls, the process is more complex and requires much more time. The changeover includes filling cooling towers with water. Because freezing temperatures would cause complications to the switching process, the water must be added only when temperatures are consistently above freezing.  

Please be aware that during this transition, we have limited options for bringing cooling and heating into our buildings. When the outside temperatures reach more than 60 degrees during the day and nighttime temperatures drop to the low 40s, we anticipate that some areas may experience discomfort. We therefore ask for patience during this transition period and request that residents close their windows (including storm windows) tightly at night and that they use additional blankets and clothing as necessary as we anticipate cool nights."

Global Learning Adventure Tour

Curious about food culture? Wonder what a short-term study abroad program might be like for your student? Interested in reliving your own study abroad experience? Here’s your opportunity to discover Italy through unique experiences focused on food culture and sustainability. The University's College of Forestry, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences (CFANS) has scheduled its first  Alumni (and friends) Global Learning Adventures tour for October 4-13. The tour is open to the U of M community, including parents. It will be led by Mike White, a Morse Alumni Distinguished Professor in CFANS and head of the Department of Animal Science. Professor White has led numerous student trips to Italy.

Participants will learn about organic winemaking, cheesemaking, Italian land management, and visit an olive grove and a cattle farm, while visiting the Tuscany region of Italy and traveling along the Mediterranean coast. The first two lessons of the trip: The study of winemaking is called enology (or oenology); Chianina is one of the world's oldest breeds of cattle, now raised mainly for bistecca alla fiorentina. Learn more about the tour.

Off-Campus Housing Fair

The "Last Chance Off-Campus Housing Fair" is scheduled from 1-3 p.m., Wednesday, May 22, in the Mississippi Room, 3rd floor of Coffman Memorial Union. The housing fair will connect students with area landlords and property managers who are still looking for residents to fill apartments for the 2013-2014 academic year. Students and parents are invited to attend. The fair is sponsored by Housing & Residential Life, Student-Community Relations, and Orientation & First-Year Programs.

A Note about Apartment Sublets

Students who will not be living in their off-campus apartments over the summer often try to sublet. Before finalizing any sublet agreements, students can have University Student Legal Service check their lease to make sure they're doing everything correctly.

In addition, there have been instances where students subletting their apartments have been subjected to fraud. They may get a money order or check for more than the asking price, along with a request that the student wire funds back to the sender. After refunding the overpayment, students find out the sender's check or money order was invalid. Students should always confirm that any money received, in any form, has cleared his or her bank account before returning funds. If students have any questions or concerns, they should contact University Student Legal Service at 612-624-1001 or call University Police.


Congratulations to graduates and to the families of those who are graduating! This is a significant accomplishment for the whole family. The students are responsible for their success, but the support role that family members play makes a huge difference. We're happy for all the graduates, and we're particularly proud that the Parent Program Assistant Director, Chelsea Petree, will be receiving her doctorate degree in Family Social Science next week, and that our Parent Program Intern, Emily Lammers, will receive her bachelor's degree from the College of Liberal Arts.

If you want to try to catch a glimpse of graduates in their caps and gowns during the next 10 or 11 days, check the commencement calendar, then link to the Northrop Mall webcam before and after ceremonies. There's nothing like posing on the Mall for a graduation photo.

Please respond to the May Question of the Month!