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Parent Email–March 27, 2014

Office for Student Affairs

March 27, 2014

Inside This Issue

  • Spring Weather
  • Join the Legislative Network
  • Northrop Re-Opening
  • Making Sense of Learning Abroad
  • Feel Better Fast!
  • Smart Learning Commons
  • Free English as a Second Language (ESL) Support
  • Opportunities to Study Off-Campus This Summer
  • Financial Update
  • Paratransit Requests Online
  • Campus Pothole Hotline
  • Miscellaneous

If you have not yet responded to our 2014 U of M Parent Survey, we need your input! An interesting note as we look at the preliminary results—we have lots of responses from mothers, and very few from fathers. We have found in past surveys that some of the results are quite different for mothers and fathers. In order to serve ALL parents well, we need more input from Dads. If our drawing prizes aren't sufficiently compelling to draw male responses, how about if we add two tickets for a Gophers football game next September? Please take the survey online here. (Everyone who has already responded will be included in the drawing for the football tickets and all other incentives.)

Spring Weather

Not today maybe, but soon spring weather will bring students back to life. Bicycling, running, rollerblading, and other activities tied to speed are a common response to any hints of sunshine and balmy breezes. The hard part might be finding the helmets, pads, or other safety equipment that were stashed in the back of the closet in November. The uptick in bikes will mean more congestion on campus thoroughfares. The University will be reminding students of spring safety tips, but hearing the messages from multiple sources can't hurt. Please refer students to Boynton Health Center Pharmacy for inexpensive helmets, bike lights, safety vests, and u-locks, and to sports stores for other safety equipment. As for today, see if you can spot either snow or umbrellas on Northrop Mall.

Join the Legislative Network

In this year's Minnesota legislative session, the University is seeking $232.7 million in state facilities support to help renovate and rejuvenate aging buildings and to build new, state-of-the-art lab and learning spaces. The University is prepared to invest $66 million of its own funds to partner with the state and ensure students have the facilities to prepare them for the modern workplaces they’ll move into after graduation. For now, Governor Dayton is supporting about half of the U’s request, the House of Representatives a bit more,and the Minnesota Senate hasn’t yet weighed in. To stay informed and to help support the University’s Capital Request, please join the Legislative Action Network.

Northrop Re-Opening

The unveiling of Northrop Auditorium's renovation will begin April 4 and continue through the end of the semester with dance, music, scholarly presentations, film, and more. See the complete list of events and help celebrate. The building will house more student-centered facilities than ever before, and it will feature large and small performance spaces, exhibits, and a cafe. Please put the Northrop on your list of sites to visit when you come to campus.

Making Sense of Learning Abroad

The Learning Abroad Center is hosting a Market Your International Experience workshop series throughout spring 2014 for students who have had an international experience and would like to learn best practices in incorporating it into their job or graduate school search. Career counselors will share their expertise on the topics below. The first session is this Friday, March 28, from 2 p.m.-3:15 p.m. at the University International Center in room 101, and students can attend any or all workshops. 

  • Targeting your resume and cover letter for career success: March 28 from 2-3:15 p.m. with Sara Newberg
  • Effective Interviewing: Tell Your International Stories: April 2 from 2-3:15 p.m. with Maggie Kubak
  • Branding and Networking Your Way to Career Success: April 18 from 2-3:15 p.m. with Darren Kaltved

Workshops are held at the University International Center (UIC) Rm 101. UIC is located at 331 17th Ave SE. Further information and resources available at:

Feel Better Fast!

University Counseling and Consulting Services (UCCS) is offering two 3-week groups to help students manage stress: Tuesdays (4/1, 4/8, 4/15) 4:30-6:00 p.m. or Fridays (4/18, 4/25, 5/2) 11:30-1:00 p.m. Students should contact UCCS for information, or drop in the office on the third floor of Appleby Hall.

SMART Learning Commons

SMART offers peer tutoring for 250+ courses in 50+ subjects; problem solving sessions for CHEM 1015/1061/1062, MATH 1271, and STAT 1001; support and use of media production software, equipment, and facilities; and standardized test prep resources. All services are free for UMN students.

Free English as a Second Language (ESL) Support

Student English Language Support, a new resource for international undergraduates at the University of Minnesota, offers free, face-to-face ESL consultations. Student English Language Support is designed for students who want to address a particular English language concern in order to be more successful at the U of M; those who have a specific question about learning English; or students who need resources for polishing English skills.

Opportunities to Study Off-Campus this Summer

Join a community of students in southwest Minnesota exploring self, vocation, & community or explore Race in America in Jackson, Mississippi. For information on these and other opportunities, students can go to 230 Appleby Hall or email to learn how they can study on a different campus this summer through National Student Exchange.

Financial Update

Students who still have an outstanding balance on their student account received the third billing for Spring Semester on March 22. The third installment is due April 16. For details on Spring Semester billing, see the One Stop website.

Paratransit Requests Online

Students with a temporary or permanent disability can now request a pick-up online at Appointments can still be made by phone (same as before), but the new online system is convenient and easy to use.

Campus Pothole Hotline

Help Parking and Transportation Services find campus potholes, and PTS will do what they can to get them fixed as soon as reasonably possible. Call the Pothole Hotline - 612-626-7578 - with specific on-campus location details.


The work of one of the U of M's most amazing scholars/researchers is being recognized this week. Norman Borlaug, who was born 100 years ago, is one of just seven people to ever receive the Nobel Peace Prize, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and the Congressional Gold Medal. He spent his career advocating for and working toward the elimination of world hunger, and his research resulted in saving millions of people from starvation. His legacy continues at the University of Minnesota as students and faculty continue the research he began.

Please respond to the Parent Question of the Month, and check out both the Timely Tips for this month and the Seasonal Update for Spring, all on the Parent Program Website.