Parents and Families

Royster Harper, VP for Student Life

The college experience can be an exciting, yet also anxious, time for both parents and students. It’s the start of something big and new; the next chapter in a young person's life and a significant change for parents. This time of year is the beginning of our students’ next steps to independence, and it will be filled with challenges, opportunities, fears, frustrations, and joy.

In order to make this time a resounding success, we know that students need support, friendship, and the opportunity to explore. 

Student Life is here to help.

As you prepare to send your student off to college -- whether for the first year or as a returning student -- remember to encourage your student to get involved. A great first way for your student to learn about opportunities for involvement is to browse through Festifall or Northfest, campus organization fairs in early September. 

Another one of the best places for them to start is the residence hall. Students spend hours together studying, laughing, dining, sharing experiences. As they develop these connections they can learn from each other and help each other figure things out along this journey.   

There are also more than 1500 student-run Student Organizations of a diversity of focuses that will be sure to peak your student’s interest. You can find a complete list, with details on how to get involved.

In addition, Fraternity & Sorority Life at U-M offers interested students a way to forge lifelong friendships, develop leadership skills, and build community within the larger University.  

You can also explore the Center for Campus Involvement website for even more ideas. And if your student is simply looking for something to do, take a look at the Happening @ Michigan calendar.

All along the way, reassure your student that you are behind them and available for support. That the distances between you can be traversed via phone, email, texting or in person. Sometimes just a quick message or call of support and encouragement can make all the difference.  

And right beside you, Student Life is here to support your student’s efforts in expanding their world, taking risks, and exploring life.  

Feel free to contact this office –, or (734) 764-5132 – or any Student Life staff whenever we can be of service to you.

We welcome your student and you to the University of Michigan. We’re looking forward to getting to know you and be a part of this next step in your students’ life.

Go Blue!


E. Royster Harper

Vice President for Student Life