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Parent Email–July 31, 2013

University Parent

July 31, 2013

Inside This Issue 

  • Parent Feedback
  • Prescription Transfers
  • Discovering Majors and Careers: CAPE
  • First-Year Parents and Residence Hall Planning
  • New U Partner for Car Share Program
  • Football Home Opener: Tickets for Parents
  • CFANS Study and Travel in Italy
  • Miscellaneous

As we finish the month of July and start on August, the pace is picking up across the University. Construction projects that are due to be completed by the first day of classes are getting their finishing touches. Calls for faculty and staff volunteers are going out for help with move-in, Welcome Week, and Convocation. The first football game (this year on Thursday evening, August 29) is the subject of a number of meetings, as well as a topic of conversation among season ticket holders. Mostly, we're getting excited about students returning to campus!

Parent Feedback

In our last email, we asked parents of upperclassmen to let us know what your student has been most excited about or most challenged by this summer. We are very grateful for your responses, and we have seen a couple of themes emerge. Not surprisingly, rising sophomores and even a number of rising juniors are concerned about their major—either because they have not selected a major yet, or they are unsure if they have selected the right major. Connected to that, sophomores, juniors, and seniors are wondering if they will find a fulfilling career when they graduate. (See the CAPE notice below for information to pass along to your student about majors and careers.)

We heard from a significant number of parents whose students have been unable to find a summer job. This appears to be more of an issue this year than in years past. We are talking with career advising offices to consider promoting workshops during fall or spring semester to help students prepare early for the summer job search.

Sophomores seem to be concerned that they will lose touch with their college friends who will no longer be living down the hall from them. In some cases, relationships or friendships have waned over the summer, and students are feeling lonely for the friendships they believe they've lost. (Please remind your student that friendships often pick up right where they left off when people get back together. Also, suggest that since they made friends this past year, they will most likely continue to make friends, not only where they live, but also in the clubs they participate in, in recreational sports activities, and in their classes.)

Juniors worry that when they start to spend more time in classes focused on their major, they will have less time for the friends they've made so far in college. (Students typically find it easier to make friends who share that major/career interest—a natural bonding affinity, but they keep their friends in other majors and enjoy the different perspectives of students who are inspired by other fields of study.)

We also saw a couple of trends in the "excitement" category. Most notable were students who either are now studying abroad or who are about to leave the country for a fall semester program. (One of the student workers in our office is getting ready to set off on an international internship program. All we have to do is say the word, "Australia," to see her face light up.) Another positive experience is focused on summer internships. Students have found some amazing summer positions that are giving them work experience related to their major or career goals.

Thank you for your observations. Your insights help us better understand what students and families are talking about, and we use that information to improve our parent communications. If you have comments about your student's challenges or successes this summer, please send them to

Prescription Transfers

Students can transfer their current prescriptions to the Boynton Health Service Pharmacy by calling the Pharmacy at 612-624-7655 with their name, prescription number, and the phone number of the pharmacy from which they are transferring the prescription. Please allow 48 hours for transfers.

If students have a current chronic health condition or allergy, they should consider wearing a medical alert bracelet or necklace, and having a medical alert card in their wallet or purse.

Discovering Majors and Careers: CAPE

All students are invited to visit the Center for Academic Planning and Exploration (CAPE) to sort through options and find the right fit for a major and career choice. A suite of services include one-on-one appointments, an online program, and workshops, all structured to help students find the career option that best suits the student, the majors that lead to that career, and the departments within the University that offer the majors to fulfill their goals.

Transfer students and second-year students are especially encouraged to attend a one-day workshop, Discover Your Major at the U, from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., Tuesday, August 27. There is a $15 cost that covers lunch and materials for the program. Registration information is on the CAPE website.

First-Year Parents and Residence Hall Planning

As students receive their room and roommate assignments, please encourage your son or daughter to contact the roommate(s) and suggest that they make plans for furnishing—and maybe even for decorating—the space together. While you may have some great ideas on how the room should look, it's important for the roommates to work through those decisions together. This is a way for them to talk about and compare their likes and dislikes, personalities, and communication styles. Also, keep in mind that not everything needs to be decided or decorated the day they move in. There will be a Target run during Welcome Week when students can shop for decorations and necessities together.

New U Partner for Car Share Program

Since 2006, the University has had a partnership with Zipcar, allowing students 18 and older an option for short-term car rentals. When the contract expired this summer, a request-for-proposal resulted in a lower-cost contract for the next two years. HOURCAR, the new provider, will begin service on August 1 with 10 new vehicles on campus. HOURCAR’s rates for University of Minnesota members are $8 an hour or $70 a day on weekends ($60 a day on weekdays).  All University rates include 180 free miles per reservation and fuel, maintenance, and campus parking. HOURCAR hubs at the University will be located in the Washington Avenue Ramp, near Sanford Hall, near Frontier Hall, in the 21st Avenue Ramp (West Bank) and at the Printing Services Building (near 29th and Como Avenues). 

Special membership plans are offered for University students 18 and older, faculty, and staff. Information is available online.

Football Home Opener: Tickets for Parents

We mentioned this in the last parent email, and the response was so positive, we're going to repeat it: Gopher Parents are invited to attend the Home Opener for the 2013-14 football season. Purchase a ticket to the August 29th game vs. University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) for just $15 (a savings of 50%). Tickets are on sale now. Availability is limited.

CFANS Study and Travel in Italy

We mentioned this in a previous email as well, but we've heard there are still a copy of spaces available. Parents of U of M students can join a Global Learning Adventures tour to Italy, October 4-13, sponsored by the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences. From Cinque Terre to Chianti, participants will learn about organic winemaking, traditional farming methods, modern enology, and land management practices, while touring the spectacular Mediterranean coast. The itinerary includes visits to an olive grove, a Pecorino cheese producer in Tuscany, and a Chianina cattle farm. The tour will be led by Mike White, a Morse Alumni Distinguished Professor in CFANS and head of the Department of Animal Science. See the brochure for complete tour details. Register now, and explain that you're a University Parent to be exempted from the July 15 deadline cutoff!


Please take a minute to respond to our Parent Question of the Month.

Be sure to check the view from the Northrop Mall webcam and commit that green lawn to memory. In a few months, it will look very different when it's covered with snow and divided by a snow fence. You may see some kids on the mall this week who look way too young for college. Those are the youth attending summer camps on campus.