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Parent Email–October 3, 2013

University Parent

Office for Student Affairs

October 3, 2013

Inside This Issue

  • Etiquette and Careers Dinner
  • Strengths at the U
  • Saturday Scholars
  • Financial Update
  • Safety and Security on Campus
  • Campus Buildings: From Cooling to Heating
  • Free Volleyball Tickets
  • Miscellaneous

Etiquette and Careers Dinner

A new venue is being used this year for the Etiquette and Careers Dinner, and we have space for additional students and family members. We are opening the dinner to first- and second-year students, along with parents, in addition to juniors and seniors.

The Etiquette and Careers Dinner includes a three-course meal, along with guidance on how to professionally handle any dining situation. A panel of experts will help students (and parents) put their newly acquired etiquette knowledge to work as a factor in the job search.

The event is from 5 to 7:30 p.m., Thursday, October 17, at Coffman Union. Parents and students who have joined the combined Minnesota Parents Association and U of M Alumni Association receive an Alumni Association discount. Cost is $10 for Alumni Association student members; $20 for U of M students who are not Alumni Association student members; $30 for parents and other family members who are Alumni Association members; and $35 for all other non-members of the Alumni Association. Registration is required by October 9.

Strengths at the U

The University of Minnesota uses a Strengths approach to enhance student engagement and well-being, which leads to improved retention, graduation, and life success. Students who are looking for ways to be involved on campus, or those who want to learn more about Strengths, are invited to visit Room 511 in the STSS Building to receive Engagement and Strengths Coaching. Through coaching, students will better understand their Strengths, explore their interests, and develop an action plan to make their goals a reality. Coaching is offered on a drop-in basis from 2 to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, and from 10 a.m. to noon, Wednesday and Friday. For more information, see the Strengths website.

Saturday Scholars

The College of Education & Human Development (CEHD) will host its annual Saturday Scholars program on Saturday, November 2, at the McNamara Alumni Center. Parents are invited to participate. This year's program is "Working in the Achievement Gap," and it focuses on the factors that affect a child's ability to learn. Information and registration is available on the CEHD website. Parents who have joined the combined Minnesota Parents Association and U of M Alumni Association receive an Alumni Association discount.

Financial Update

The second billing for fall semester will be sent to students on Saturday, October 5. Beginning October 7, the University will add Visa to the credit and debit cards that may be used to pay online tuition and fee payments (Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express). Please note that the University’s credit card processing vendor assesses a non-refundable 2.75 percent service fee when a credit or debit card is used. If you plan on paying with a debit card, you can avoid the service fee by paying directly from a bank account. Select the e-check payment option and enter both a bank account and routing number. If you have questions, contact One Stop Student Services at onestop@umn.edu or 612-624-1111.

Safety and Security on Campus

Each fall, the University of Minnesota Police Department releases its annual publication, "Safety and Security on Campus," in compliance with federal law. This report includes statistics for the most recent three calendar-year period, concerning reported crimes that occurred on campus, in certain off-campus buildings, or property owned or controlled by the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, and on public property within, or immediately adjacent to and accessible from the campus.

Campus Buildings: From Cooling to Heating

This is the time of year when we hear from our friend, Timothy Hoaglund, in the Facilities department of Housing & Residential Life, asking us to explain the changeover from cooling to heating systems. Although Tim works with the residence halls, his explanation holds for most U of M buildings:

"As we enter the transition between summer and winter temperatures, heating of the residence halls becomes a concern. Because of the design and size of the heating systems, they cannot be turned off and on daily to satisfy the large daytime and nighttime temperature variations. If heating is turned on prematurely it can cause great discomfort in buildings.

We turn the heating systems on when outside nighttime temperatures consistently fall into the upper thirties to lower forties (usually in mid-October). We try to gauge as closely as possible when this will occur by monitoring daily and long-range weather forecasts. It is during this transition period that the residence halls can be quite warm during the day and quite cool at night.

We therefore ask for everyone’s patience during this transition period and request that residents ensure that all windows (including storm windows) are closed tightly at night and that students use additional blankets and clothing as necessary until the heat is turned on."

Students can refer questions about conditions in their residence hall to the business director in the hall or file a work order form. (Parents: Do not fill out a work order for your student! Students are responsible for the information on the form, and submission means that the student gives permission for a maintenance person to enter the room.)

Free Volleyball Tickets

Parents can receive up to four free general admission tickets to the Women's Volleyball game against Michigan State (6 p.m., Thursday, October 17) and University of Michigan (7 p.m., Saturday, October 19). Purchase tickets at mygophersports.com using the promo code: UMParent. Tickets will be available while supplies last. U of M students receive free admission to all home Gopher Volleyball matches by showing their UCard. The Women's Volleyball team is currently No. 8 in the nation, and the Big 10 has 8 teams in the top 25, including No. 9 Michigan State and No. 14 Michigan.

The Women's Soccer Team will also be playing at home the weekend of October 18-20. Games will be played against Iowa at 7 p.m., Friday, October 18, and at 1 p.m., Sunday, October 20, against Nebraska. Both games will be at the Elizabeth Lyle Robbie stadium on the St. Paul campus.

Parents' Role in Student Success

In the past few parent email messages, we have discussed several of our University of Minnesota Parent/Family Outcomes. We developed these outcomes to facilitate discussion among parents, students, and University staff about appropriate and successful family involvement during the college years. Previous emails talked about parents' role in understanding the student experience and knowing the resources available on campus; supporting the University's goals for student learning; and determining when to empower your student to take responsibility and when to step in and help.

We also want to emphasize that we view parents as an important part of our University community. We hope that you feel a sense of pride in and connection with the University and that you are comfortable attending and participating in campus events. Our students benefit from the encouragement they receive from all members of the University, including the families of their peers, as they learn, perform, lead, and serve through campus and community activities.

The Parent Program's mission is to provide family members with information about the University and the student experience so that you are able to support your student. We also hope you will use the information we provide to help other families as they prepare their students for college or as they work with students who are in college--at the U of M or elsewhere. Finally, we hope that if you have a good understanding of the University, campus services, the typical stages of student development, and campus issues, you will serve as advocates for higher education and Support the U at the state and federal level.

Miscellaneous

In September, we posted a question on the University Parent website, asking about your student's greatest concern as he or she started the academic year. Based on parent responses, students were taking their education seriously: Most said their student was concerned about academics, followed closely by career planning. At the bottom of the list were health and safety. As they settle in, we hope students feel more comfortable with their academics and pay attention to their health. They can start by scheduling a free flu shot on campus.

Please respond to our October Question of the Month, and while you're on the Parent website, check out our Timely Issues for October.