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Parent Email–April 23, 2014

Office for Student Affairs

April 23, 2014

Inside This Issue

  • Light Rail Is Coming Soon
  • Recognition for President Kaler
  • Note to Parents of Graduating Students
  • Care Packages
  • Residence Hall Move Out
  • Off-Campus Move Out
  • Summer School Housing
  • Note to Parents of Incoming Students
  • Parent Fund
  • Miscellaneous

Students will be celebrating the season and looking toward the end of the school year at Spring Jam, a University-wide three-day music festival, April 24-26, featuring live performances, competitions, and a variety of special events.

Light Rail Is Coming Soon

In less than two months, the Light Rail Green Line will be in operation. As exciting as it will be to have the trains running through campus, we're also very aware that students rushing to class or hurrying back to their residence hall or apartment may not make the best choices about crossing the tracks. Safety campaigns are already beginning. We know that parents also spend time on campus, so we want you to know the messages too.

Recognition for President Kaler

University President Eric Kaler has been elected to one of the nation's most prestigious higher education honorary societies, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Note to Parents of Graduating Students

  • Reception for Grads and Families: The real reason for students to attend college is to earn a degree. We're almost as excited as parents are about their senior's upcoming commencement. President Eric Kaler and Mrs. Karen Kaler are inviting graduating seniors and their families (up to four guests per graduate) to a Graduation Reception at Eastcliff, home of U of M presidents, from 1-3 p.m. Sunday, May 18. RSVPs are requested by May 8, 2014.
  • About Commencement: For information about U of M commencement, including background on academic regalia, see the Graduation page on the Parent Program website.
  • About the Parent Listserv: We recommend that parents stay on this University Parent listserv until at least a few weeks after graduation. If there should be any changes to graduation ceremonies or any campus emergencies, we will address them through the listserv. (Your student, of course, will hear directly about these kinds of situations.) There also may be some messages for parents of graduates that come through shortly after the end of the semester, and there is likely to be a program or two you may want to suggest for your graduate. When you are ready to leave the listserv, please send your email address with a heading or message saying "remove" to We do not connect parent email addresses with students, so we don't know when your student is graduating. You will need to let us know.

    As a special favor, we would GREATLY appreciate if you could tell us in that removal message how long it took your student to graduate. If your student has a job or internship, is headed to graduate school, or is still seeking employment, we would like to hear that as well. We appreciate knowing what's next for our graduates.
  • A suggestion: By now, every senior has been asked many, many times, "What will you do after you graduate?" We're going to ask that you spread the word to family, friends, and well-meaning neighbors to please try to avoid that wording. We've found that students respond more favorably to questions like, "Will you be staying in the Twin Cities this summer?" or "What's the job market for graduates with your major?"  If they have a job, internship, or travel plans lined up, they will tell you. For students who don't have firm plans, it's much easier for them to respond—and it feels less like failure—when they can couch their reply in relation to their living situation or the job market.

    It's actually true that the living situation and employment market are legitimate reasons for not yet having a job, and it's true that the summer after graduation is a good time to work on the job search. Right now, seniors are heavily involved with writing final papers, handing over leadership responsibilities in student groups, and just plain studying. Those who have an apartment lease that runs through the summer may be obligated to stay for the next several months and can't yet accept work somewhere else. And while a job in a coffee shop or painting houses may not be the job you or your student were expecting with a college degree, the flexibility of part-time or service jobs can be helpful when scheduling interviews. Jobs open up throughout the year, and the right opportunity may not present itself until July or August.

    In the meantime, students can get assistance and support in their job search by visiting the career center affiliated with their college within the University.

Care Packages

The end of the semester and final exams are coming very quickly. Students are starting to feel the stress as the deadlines for major projects loom. A care package might give your son or daughter some energy to tackle the big tasks, or incentive to get through finals week, May 12-17. The Parent website has suggestions from parents on creating your own care package, as well as a link to Care Packages from Gopher Express.

Residence Hall Move Out

Although spring semester finals end on May 17, it’s a good idea for residence hall students to plan ahead for moving  out of the residence halls. The move-out itself tends not to be as hectic as move-in days in the fall. Students leave throughout the week of finals, after they finish their exams, so the activity is spread out through the week. Please note that parking restrictions are not changed for move out, and citations are issued for expired parking meters or for cars left in a no parking zone. For information on move out, please read the Seasonal Update page, scrolling down to "On-Campus Housing Move Out."

Off-Campus Move Out

Typically, students who live off campus have leases that continue through the summer. For those who do not, or for those who are sub-leasing their apartment for the summer, a reminder that University Student Legal Services can help with disputes between renters and landlords. Students are eligible for free legal assistance with most legal issues, including return of rental deposits.

Summer School Housing

Students who are enrolled for summer classes and need a place to live for the summer can apply for housing at the 17th Avenue residence hall and at University Village, Wilkins, and Yudof halls. Application information is available at the Housing website.


Note to Parents of Incoming Students

We are noticing that parents of next fall's incoming students are now signing up for the University Parent listserv. Welcome! As you read through our parent messages, you will notice that this listserv is addressed to all parents, not just those who have first-year students. We do this intentionally and for several reasons:

  1. Many of our incoming students have taken postsecondary coursework, and their parents need at least some of the information that affects upperclassmen;
  2. Students who have attended the University for a year or longer frequently need to step back and rethink issues or processes from the typical first-year experience;
  3. It's helpful for parents of first-year students to know what is normal and what to expect as their student progresses year by year through the University;
  4. It's sometimes refreshing for parents of upperclassmen to reflect on what their students have experienced and see how they have changed and matured over time;
  5. The majority of information we provide is useful for parents whose students are at all levels.

Please read what interests you and skip the rest.

And take a look at our University of Minnesota Parent Program Facebook Page, and "like" us!

Parent Fund

If the University Parent Program has been helpful to you, we ask that you consider making a donation to the University Parent Fund to help support special initiatives that benefit students and parents. This year, the Parent Fund has supported the Study PAWS program, bringing therapy pets to campus every Wednesday afternoon and giving students an opportunity to reduce stress by petting and playing with dogs, Woodstock the Chicken, and other pets. Thank you for considering a donation.


Please respond to our Question of the Month for April.

It's pretty gloomy on campus this afternoon. Here is your view of Northrop Mall, courtesy of the College of Science & Engineering.