Parent Times
Photo of classroom.

Greetings, Hawkeye parents!

Spring weather is just around the corner, and students are wrapping up work in the classroom before spring break begins. Whether your student is coming home, heading south with friends, or participating in an academic or service-learning project, mid-semester is a good time to touch base and firm up plans for fall.


A message from the interim vice president for student services
Tom Rocklin, interim vice president for student services, discusses the latest community effort to curb high-risk alcohol consumption. Link to message.

Some students opt for nontraditional excursions over spring break
During spring break, a group of University students will help with prairie management and explore a rare ecosystem in a trip to the Loess Hills region in western Iowa. The trip is one of many alternative spring break options available to students through the University. There are 16 classes for academic credit as well as service-learning and volunteer opportunities. To learn more, see this University news release.

Help available for off-campus housing hunt
If your student is not planning to live on campus next year, now is the time to make living arrangements for the fall; leases for off-campus housing often are signed before spring break. The University maintains a couple of useful web sites for apartment hunters: a listing of off-campus rentals is available at, while contains info about how to determine a budget, signing a lease, and what safety features to look for in a property.

UI Dance Marathon has record-breaking year

For the third straight year, University students have raised more than $1 million to benefit pediatric cancer patients and their families in UI Dance Marathon, one of the largest student-run philanthropic events in the country. Some 1,300 students participated in the Feb. 5–6 event at the Iowa Memorial Union, generating $1,058,568. To catch a glimpse of the dancers and their effort, check out the slide show at

UI course offers opportunities to learn from Haitian earthquake
The Haitian earthquake has been resonating with students taking a course on global health taught by Maureen McCue, an adjunct assistant professor in UI International Programs and coordinator for Iowa Physicians for Social Responsibility. To read an article about the class in the Daily Iowan, see [See also this University news release.]

Ombudsperson’s office can assist students and parents
The UI Office of the Ombudsperson provides conflict management services and information on University policies and procedures to help students and their parents as well as faculty and staff members with a wide variety of problems and questions. The office is confidential, neutral, informal, and independent. Staff members listen to concerns, provide relevant information, help develop and implement possible solutions, and make referrals to other resources when necessary. More information is available at

UI alumnus makes gift to start philanthropy course

The University will soon launch one of the nation’s first undergraduate programs in philanthropy, thanks to a gift from a UI alumnus. To learn more, see this University news release.

Fraternities and sororities have “parents” away from home
Next year, all UI fraternities and sororities will be required to have a “house parent” living in their chapter’s home. Most sororities and some fraternities already have house parents, and some are hiring recent college graduates to fill the roles. Read an article and view an accompanying slide show at the Daily Iowan.

Parents invited to put pen to paper at Summer Writing Festival

Got a story to tell and not sure how to get it out? Always wanted to try your hand at poetry? Then consider signing up for the 2010 UI Summer Writing Festival. Iowa is the “Writing University,” after all. Weeklong and weekend workshops on fiction, poetry, nonfiction, and playwriting will run from June 13 through July 30. To learn more about the 150-plus noncredit workshops, see

This Parent Times e-mail update is produced for family members of University of Iowa students by the Office of University Relations in collaboration with the Division of Student Services and the Office of the Provost. A print publication is mailed four times a year. Visit Parent Times online at, which includes archives of print and e-mail content.