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Parent Email–September 3, 2013

University Parent

Office for Student Affairs

September 3, 2013

Inside This Issue

  • President Kaler's Message to the Class of 2017
  • Parents' Role in Student Success
  • Student Health Benefit Plan
  • Student Shopping Day at the ReUse Center
  • Boynton's St. Paul Clinic
  • Financial Information
  • Move-In Reports
  • Miscellaneous

Students are on campus, they're going to classes, and they seem pretty happy. It's busy and lively around here, and we're so glad to have our students back. While we haven't heard major concerns about homesickness or students having second thoughts about coming to (or returning to) the U of M, we recognize that any significant transition raises both excitement and fear. If your student is calling home with concerns, the best advice is that being busy will help, setting up a routine will provide stability, and all students—even seniors—feel at least some stress at the beginning of a new semester. Emotional ups and downs are normal. For students who are deeply unhappy most of the day, more than a few days in a row, University Counseling & Consulting Services can help. Our counselors are familiar with college-student issues, and they're great people.

Watch students on Northrop Mall this week on the Walter Library webcam.

President Kaler's Message to the Class of 2017

President Kaler spoke to the incoming Class of 2017 last Thursday at Convocation. Before he took to the podium, a video was shown to help the new students "Feel The Power" of the "M" that symbolizes the University of Minnesota.

And here's a transcript of the President's remarks.

Speaking of the Power of M, here's a video of the Class of 2017, forming an M for their official class picture. For more about Convocation, the first day of classes, and other updates, please visit the University of Minnesota Parent Program Facebook page and "like" us.

Parents' Role in Student Success

The University of Minnesota views families as a key component in student success. In order to support your student, however, we believe you benefit by receiving information that explains the college experience at the U of M and that helps you assist your student's learning. We hope you will work with the University to empower your student to take personal responsibility for social and academic choices. In order to help parents understand those steps at the college level, the Parent Program has worked with parents, students, and student development professionals to create a set of Desired Outcomes for Parent/Family Involvement. Our goal is to work with families on appropriate and successful parental involvement during the college years.

The first of these outcomes says, "Families contribute to student success by understanding the student experience and knowing about resources available at the University of Minnesota." We want parents to be aware of the unique challenges and opportunities facing today's college students, including the academic and out-of-the-classroom expectations for students during the college years. Those expectations are defined in our Student Learning and Development Outcomes.

It is also helpful when parents know about student support services available on campus and understand how students can access those services. That's why we use the parent listserv to mention services like the Center for Academic Planning & Exploration, University Counseling & Consulting Services, SMART Learning Commons, and other campus services that contribute to student success. Although students are likely to report problems to their parents, and they often will ask family members for help before they talk to anyone on campus, it is important for parents to encourage their student to independently seek the support and assistance they need. When students make contact with the people on campus, they learn about the institution, they gain problem-solving skills, they establish connections on campus, and they develop self-confidence.

Student Health Benefit Plan

All students who are required to have health plan coverage are automatically enrolled in the University-sponsored Student Health Benefit Plan. They may, however, waive the plan by providing proof of alternate coverage by September 16. If your student is covered by your family health plan and is eligible to waive the University insurance, please have him or her check to ensure the plan has been waived. Students can check their health plan status at the One Stop website by linking to Health Plan Coverage in the right-hand column under "Registration tools." For more information, visit

Student Shopping Day at the ReUse Center

The University's ReUse Center collects surplus office furniture, supplies, equipment, and parts from throughout the Twin Cities Campus and makes them available to University departments or individuals for purchase. On Saturday, September 7 from 12-4 p.m., students with a valid I.D. can ride the #3 bus to the warehouse for free, receive 25% off their entire ReUse purchase, and shop the final day of the ReUse free store (Pack & Give Back). Learn more...

Boynton's St. Paul Clinic

In addition to the Boynton Health Service clinic on the East Bank, Boynton Health Service's newly remodeled St. Paul Clinic re-opens September 9. Besides primary care and Gopher Quick Clinic, students can access mental health services. Physical therapy and nutrition services start September 16.

Financial Information

  • The first billing for fall semester will be emailed to students on Saturday, September 7. Due to federal data privacy restrictions, bills are sent to students, but students can provide access to billing and payment information through the One Stop website (parent/guest access). Please check with your student for access to your student's account. The first payment will be due on October 2.
  • Third Party Billing is now located in 169 Fraser Hall. If an organization is paying a student's educational expenses, those third-party sponsors must send authorization documents in order to receive billing information. Third Party Billing can be reached at or 612-625-8559. For more information, see the Third Party Billing webpage.

Move-In Reports

We had a wonderful time visiting with family members at our Parents Move-In Receptions last Monday and Tuesday. We were grateful for the patience families showed, especially given the brutal heat we had both days. Your positive attitude, along with the amazing energy and excitement of the Welcome Week volunteers, made all the difference.

We know, however, that things never go perfectly for everyone. We'd like to hear your perspective--good and bad--on how move-in went. If you moved your student into a residence hall or on-campus apartment within the past week, please send your comments to Lisa Schulte at If your student moved into an off-campus apartment in one of the neighborhoods surrounding the University, please send your report to Kendre Turonie at


Each month we post Timely Issues, providing information about the topics students are likely to face at this time of the year.

We also post a Parent Question on our website each month. Last month we asked, "How much influence do you think you, as a parent, should have on your student's career choice?" Responses followed a bell curve:

None (4.8%)
Very little (22.9%)
A little (37.2%)
Some (30.4%)
A lot (4.6%)

We received more comments on this question than any we've ever had for a Question of the Month—great comments that provide some helpful insights into how parents are handling discussions about careers with their students. We will work on a format for posting your thoughts on this topic. Thank you for your responses. And please respond to the September Parent Question of the Month.