The Office of Parent Relations, which was established in November 2007, currently seems lost in the myriad of phone numbers parents look at when wondering whom to contact at UR for answers. As the office grows, its number one goal should be to publicize aggressively so that every UR parent knows that when they need to contact the school, they can go through this office first.
Meliora Weekend is the perfect opportunity to market the Office of Parent Relations as a brand name. As this is its first time weathering the weekend, it did well not to push too many Parent Relations events onto the schedule. Their one event, a coffee schmooze gathering, should serve as a sufficient jumping point for any parents who wish to learn more about the Office or become more intimately involved. It is especially important that it collects parent feedback and suggestions at this event, as it is the main opportunity for the Office to interact so closely with its constituency. The Rochester Revue and the Sunday parent breakfast with deans will be two more chances to have a visual presence wherever parents may be during the weekend. Because it is not possible to staff each event, posters and other techniques could easily capture additional attention.
The UR Family Newsletter, which was sent out in conjunction with the Parents Program, highlighted study abroad, Learning Assistance Services, UR Alert and athlete achievements. Their upcoming monthly e-newsletter will continue to promote a dialogue between the University and parents. Moreover, the Office can recruit obliging parents to share their own experiences with college life and the University through these newsletters a pretty useful facet for parents stressed about their children going to college.
Additionally, a strong relationship with the Admissions Office can lead to a presence at events that feature prospective parents, such as fall’s Research Rochester and Spring Open Campus, which is necessary to promote UR as a welcoming campus.
While this Office is clearly useful for parents who wish to gain more information about their children and is especially valuable for UR public relations, the Office must make sure not to encroach upon students’ independence college is, after all, the start of a different parent-child relationship.