Parents and Families

Royster Harper

In my service as Vice President for Student Life, I often have the opportunity to be a witness to true excellence; it comes in many forms in our students' lives:

  • The college junior who leads programs for first-year students on Making the Most of Michigan - learning to identify who they are, what they love, and then use that knowledge to make a difference in the world;
  • The recent graduate entrepreneurs who visit with me to share their newly launched business, grown from an idea that first came to them while serving in student government; and
  • The rising seniors, some of whom thought about dropping out in their first months on campus but called on their creativity and resilience to seek the support necessary to remain, to thrive, and to graduate despite challenges.

I cherish all of these examples of our students becoming the Leaders and the Best – that’s our phrase encapsulating what it means to be a University of Michigan student or alumni.

Unfortunately, it also happens sometimes that our students fail to live up to and reflect that standard. As you may have heard recently in the media, some U-M fraternity and sorority members significantly damaged property and engaged in unruly behavior at two Northern Michigan ski resorts in January of this year.

What has been consistent in all of the reactions shared with me is the conviction that this behavior is completely unacceptable. I agree. The university is investigating these incidents fully and those responsible will be held accountable. (A more complete university response can be found here on our website, where you may also read an open letter of apology from U-M student leadership.)

These incidents do not reflect the values of the University of Michigan or the university’s fraternity and sorority communities. We hold much higher expectations for our students’ conduct – on and off-campus.

As the investigations continue, I am grateful for the majority of our students, and for their parents and families. Together, we affirm the values that inform Student Life at Michigan – student centeredness, accountability and stewardship, collaboration, inclusivity, integrity, and excellence. Together, our work continues of ensuring that all of our students have what they need – to grow, learn, develop, graduate, and thrive throughout their Michigan experiences.


To help Student Life continue making a difference in students' lives, please consider making a gift.

Winter 2015 Newsletter

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