The fall term seems to be flying by. Soon many of our students will be heading home for Thanksgiving, then two more weeks of classes, followed by study days and exams. This is a very busy time for them until they leave for winter break.
The holiday break can be something of an adjustment for many parents. Disappointing to those whose students don’t travel home for Thanksgiving, great anticipation for those who will be seeing their students for the first time since the school year started. For the students who remain in Ann Arbor, it’s an opportunity to rest, socialize with friends, and to have some quiet study time. Yet, they also would welcome a good conversation from the family at home, to keep in touch and share their thoughts and feelings.
Those who get home for a few days before the final push to the end of the semester welcome the brief time to reunite with family and hometown friends, relax, and enjoy the comforts of home. As much as they may seem the same, they have changed. They have new experiences and relationships. Their perspectives may be deeper or broader. Before the trip back to Ann Arbor, talk with your student about his or her campus life.
Whether you connect with your student by phone or while they are at home, talk to them about the classes and faculty that have engaged their interests, new friends they have met, their activities in campus organizations, and their general impressions of university life. Ask them, too, about anxieties they may have about their studies, relationships with other students, their upcoming exams and their plans for next semester and beyond.
Maintaining a close connection with your student is reassuring and supportive for both of you. And the programs and people of Student Affairs are tremendous resources to help your student, and you, make the most of her or his university experience.
Finally, you may be interested to learn that recent guidance from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights highlights the nationwide impact of sexual misconduct among college students and makes specific recommendations regarding how universities should respond to such allegations. As part of our ongoing commitment to create a safe environment for all students, a revised interim procedure for addressing allegations of sexual misconduct has been made available to all students. You may learn more from DSA’s Office for Student Conflict Resolution.
E. Royster Harper
Vice President for Student Affairs
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