Parents and Families

off campus housing

This month we want to hear from you. As a parent of U-M students, are there any favorite lessons learned about off-campus living that you'd like to pass on to other parents? How do you prepare your students for living off-campus? Share your thoughts here.

We’ll share your responses in a future newsletter for the benefit of other U-M families!

Last time we asked – What’s your Greek Life experience? How can we best inspire our fraternity and sorority students to live up to chapter, community, and campus values? How can parents continue to play a role in reducing high-risk behavior on campus?

Don't be afraid to expect more mature and reasonable behavior of your children…Don't lower your standards.  Make it clear to them you will hold them responsible for their behavior ... and stick to that.  This applies to all students - not just to those in the Greek system.

The intense pressure of doing rush during the first month of school meant that our daughter had no time to figure out how to adjust to the new academic demands of college, and no opportunity to really get to know people who weren't in Greek Life. It also meant she didn't have a chance to get a clearer sense of the different personalities of the different sororities so she could make a well-informed choice about which sororities she might want to join…Good luck making changes; they are needed and overdue.

We are happy that our daughters have found fun, happiness and life skills being in a sorority and not giving in to the poor choices that can be made. The one bad apple cliche certainly applies and all of Greek Life should notbe judged because of  the poor choices of others.  I believe the university handled the ski trip effectively and it was good that they reached out to the Greek Life members at the beginning of the semester reinforcing expectations. Parents need to have regular dialogue with their students that foster their independence with  good choices and  encouraging them, to encourage others to reduce poor behavior.  

Our Greek Life experience has been very positive. Our daughter, too, was on that trip, although not at Tree Tops. She has enjoyed her leadership opportunities with Panhel. Inspiration to live up to values must be combined with consequences for those who do not. 

Parents play a huge role: teaching values at home from a young age and ultimately expecting their college students to live up to them. Most parents are paying some part, if not most or all of, their child's college education. That is a privilege and something that can be used as leverage to help kids understand that if they tarnish their reputation, their chapter's reputation, Greek Life's reputation, or the University's reputation, they will have to come home…This Greek Life section of Student Life could be emailed directly to parents.

The Greek Life Task Force is to be commended for its efforts to align the values espoused by the Greek system and the actual behaviors of Greek Life. Some of the disconnect and bad behaviors are rooted in human nature and group dynamics, but some no doubt can be mitigated by system-based controls and solutions.  I look forward to hearing about their ideas for improvement and reinforcing these values in our students.

It is a very bad idea to allow rush for Greek organizations to start fall semester freshman year.  It would be much better to do it in the spring when the new freshman has had a chance to adapt to their first year experiences, dorm life, etc.  Causes way too much additional stress.

Greek organizations should not be permitted to fine members for missing meetings - this can interfere with academics!

Greek organizations should require all of their members to register to vote as part of the process to give the students a sense of civic duty and encourage active participation in outside community affairs.

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