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Parent Email–October 16, 2013

University Parent

Office for Student Affairs

October 16, 2013

Inside This Issue

  • President Kaler's Update
  • Change in Thursday's Volleyball Time
  • Open Basketball Scrimmage Friday
  • Dakota Sacred Sites Tour
  • Guidebook for Second-Year Students
  • Well-being for Students and Parents
  • Parents Weekend Update
  • Campus Safety
  • Miscellaneous

Quick changes in the weather during the past week or so are contributing to students' low energy levels, and cold season is upon us. You can see what today looks like on Northrop Mall by viewing the College of Science & Engineering webcam. If your student has not yet received a flu shot, please encourage him or her to make an appointment. Flu shots are free for students, and they can get a Tootsie Roll Pop for rolling up their sleeves.

President Kaler's Update

University President Eric Kaler reported last week to the Board of Regents on the many comings and goings at the U during a "typical month." His report, available online, included lots of news and celebrations.

Change in Thursday's Volleyball Time

We have been promoting the Women's Volleyball games scheduled for this week, and we recently learned that Thursday's game with Michigan State will now begin at 7 p.m. The start time had previously been scheduled for 6 p.m. The match will be televised live on ESPN2. Saturday's game with University of Michigan remains at 7 p.m. If you have any questions, please contact Gopher Fan Relations at 612-624-8080 (option 2).

Open Basketball Scrimmage Friday

The University of Minnesota Men’s Basketball program is opening the doors of Williams Arena to the public on October 18 for what will be the first official showing of the 2013-14 Golden Gophers and the new basketball coach, Richard Patino. The “Raise the Barn – First Look Scrimmage”, which will be in the format of an actual game, will begin at approximately 7 p.m. The Williams Arena doors will open at 6 p.m. in preparation for the scrimmage. The event will be free and open to the general public.

A "Pick Your Pack" offer for Men's Basketball is currently on sale through Gopher Sports.

Dakota Sacred Sites Tour

Parents are invited to sign up for the University's Circle of Indigenous Nations free bus tour of sacred sites of the Dakota nation starting at 2:45 p.m., Friday, October 25. The tour will illustrate how colonization has impacted Dakota use and access to these sites and how Dakota people have established a continuing relationship with the sites. All sites are within the Twin Cities area, and the tour will end at approximately 6:30 p.m. Information and registration is available online. Space is limited.

Guidebook for Second-Year Students

The second-year experience at college provides unique challenges and opportunities. Students have a better sense of what college is about and are able to take more ownership in creating their own experience. They also may experience the “sophomore slump”. After the excitement of the first year has worn off, the reality, routine, and pressures of college set in. Students may feel anxious about major and career decisions, struggle with motivation, or experience less satisfaction overall.

The University has collected a series of resources for second-year students, including an app for a Second Year Experience Guide Book. For parent/family information about the second year, see the SYE website.

Well-Being for Students and Parents

Results from a 2013 Boynton Health Service survey indicate that 29.9% of U of M Twin Cities students have been diagnosed with at least one mental health condition during their lifetime, and 45% of students report experiencing stress related to personal relationships, the death or illness of someone close, or family conflict. We ask parents to periodically check in with your student about how he or she is doing personally and academically. You know your student better than anyone and you may pick up on some cues that your son or daughter is having a difficult time. While it is typical for many young adults to seek independence from their families and avoid discussing things that are not going well, students do need the emotional support and love that only the people in parental roles can provide.

While it can be difficult to initiate a conversation about a sensitive topic, staff from University Counseling & Consulting Services have provided some suggestions for raising sensitive issues.

We also recognize that your student's transition to college means change at home, and change can elevate your stress levels. The University's Center for Spirituality and Healing offers information online and on campus that parents may find helpful.

Parents Weekend Update

We're looking forward to our largest-ever participation in Parents Weekend. Those who have registered for Parents Weekend should have received confirmation information. If you have not received your confirmation, please send an email to Registration is closing after today, and there is currently a late fee of $10 per person added to the cost of the weekend. Lunch registrations are no longer available.

Participants will need nametags to attend all Parents Weekend events, and please remember that space is limited for workshops. We encourage you to arrive early for the workshops you plan to attend.

Campus Safety

On recent weekends, there have been serious crime incidents on or near campus, including four robberies last weekend. Police believe that the same suspects are responsible for all four crimes, and University of Minnesota Police are working closely with Minneapolis Police and Metro Transit Police on these cases. When incidents like this occur, University Police send a crime alert to all U of M email addresses, letting the community know what happened, where, and what is being done to address the situation. The Parent Program posts those crime alerts on our website.

Not all safety hazards are related to crime. Anyone who has been on campus recently is aware that there are a lot of bicyclists—the University's fall bicycle count estimates that there are more than 8,500 bikes on campus, about 1,000 more than last year. A recent email from the Vice President for University Services notes, "The increased number of bikes, along with our on-going traffic pinch caused by the construction of the Green Line (light rail), has resulted in a growing number of interactions between bikers and pedestrians that don’t meet the definition of Minnesota Nice." If you are visiting campus, please be alert to cyclists when you're driving, walking, or for that matter, riding a bike during your visit.

University of Minnesota Police have begun targeted enforcement activities, writing tickets to bicyclists who ride on sidewalks in highly congested, marked areas. These tickets come with a fine of $98.

It is especially frustrating that we rarely see students wearing helmets while cycling. Boynton Health Service's Pharmacy has bike helmets for sale at a very reasonable $15.


Please visit the University Parent website. We have lots of parent information on that site, and we especially want you to respond to our October Question of the Month.