Parents and Families

Our Time With Your Student

Dear Wolverine Families, 

With the new year here, MLK Day around the corner, and the new semester less than a week away, you and your students are likely wondering where winter break went (and if you find out, please tell me). For over a month, Student Life has been hard at work preparing for students to return to the physical and virtual campus. We are determined to facilitate as safe and engaging a semester as possible with snow and ice keeping us indoors during the ongoing pandemic.

Martino Harmon

Theme Communities Enhance Campus Experience

Next year your student has the opportunity to enhance their college experience by living within one of the many Theme Communities offered via Michigan Housing. As part of the University’s Living-Learning programs, theme communities are an opportunity to explore and experience college life with other students who share your students’ interests. Some communities encompass a floor, some encompass an entire hall, but all of them will help your student connect with peers, mentors and campus resources.

Applications for the Theme Community experience open on February 1, 2021, and close on May 5. 


Study Spaces at U-M

The University is committed to helping your student succeed during this unprecedented, challenging academic year.  To support students on campus, the University has a web-based space reservation system called Study Spaces at U-M available that helps your student find and reserve designated individual study spaces, computer stations, a space to take a remote class, or just a dedicated quiet touchdown spot between classes.

Study Spaces

MLK Symposium, Community Service Events

On January 18, your student can be involved in one of the largest University celebrations honoring the life and work of Dr. King. The 2021 Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Symposium, “Where Do We Go From Here?”, takes place on Monday, January 18, 2021 from 10 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. (EST).


Online Education Tips 

If your student is one of the many U-M students engaging in the 2021 Winter Academic Semester online, managing the class workload will be a different experience. They will need to balance academic focus while maintaining health and well-being -- doing it all on a virtual basis. 

Parents and families can help by encouraging students to engage in effective time management and wellness tips. One of the most valuable skills can have -- especially online -- is effective time management. The better they manage their time, the easier it will be to achieve their goals while enjoying the experience. We offer some tips to help your student best manage time.


Community Matters Cohort Program

Making connections can be one of the most rewarding aspects of your student’s time on campus but COVID-19 has made these things more challenging to do.
To help make those connections, your student can join the Community Matters Cohort Program, which provides a space for students to meet others and participate in regular social events. Program participants will be matched with a small group of other students who are interested in finding community and a pair of upperclassmen facilitators. Cohort groups will meet weekly for one hour throughout the Winter semester via Zoom. 


Housing Units Still Available

A number of spaces are still available in Michigan Housing for students in need. Your student can request to be considered for Housing by completing the Winter 2021 Housing Consideration form. 

Housing will evaluate submissions based on the following criteria: 

  • Housing insecurities. 
  • Health, wellness and safety concerns.
  • Financial circumstances.
  • International status.
  • Other extraordinary, extenuating circumstances. 

Application submissions will be reviewed on a rolling basis until spaces are filled. For more information on Housing, please see the Housing FAQs


What’s Winter Look Like at Michigan Dining?

Winter semester will look a bit different for students returning to campus. If your student will be back on campus this winter, you probably have several questions. Here’s some key information that may help. 

Please note that Dining halls remain open through December 18 continuing to serve takeout  meals. Halls in East Quad and North Quad will be open Monday-Friday; South Quad and Mosher-Jordan will be open seven days per week.

Isolation Meals

Celebrate Winter Commencement Virtually

Finishing a college degree during a pandemic is a feat that definitely deserves celebrating. Save the Date for December 19 to help Winter 2020 graduates experience -- virtually -- their achievements.The 2020 University of Michigan Winter Celebration will feature a message from campus leaders as well as greetings from across campus, allowing us to salute U-M’s winter 2020 graduates. Graduates will be able to customize their caps, as well as submit photos and add frames to share on social media. 

Details are available here.

Please plan on joining us for this celebration!


Our Time With Your Student

With finals right around the corner, your students are starting to hunker down over textbooks, laptops, and maybe a snack or two. To help you help them fuel themselves through the last stretch of the semester, this edition of Family Matters covers fun study break opportunities and virtual ways students can connect to important mental and emotional health resources. We will also give you an update on Winter Commencement and go over our plans for next semester as well as guidance for testing and housing for those on campus or in the Ann Arbor area. 

Martino Harmon