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The Daily Tar Heel

Parents --Stay in Tune With UNC

They want parents to be involved in campus activities and have resources to voice concerns. Year round.

The Carolina Parents Office is just one division of the Carolina Parents Association, which all parents become members of when their students enter UNC. The group keeps parents active in and informed of key decisions. It also connect parents' concern with UNC administrators.

Among the CPO's extensive list of priorities include the Carolina Parents Fund, Parent E-mails, a Parents Council and sponsored orientation programs that aid in acclimating both students and parents to university life.

The Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and The Parents Office devised Parent E-mails as a resource for information concerning UNC activities. Parent E-mails is a listserv where parents of undergraduate students can sign up to receive e-mails from the CPO.

Organizers said Parent E-mails creates good communication and helps establish a quality student experience. Coordinator of Parent Programs Sheila Hrdlicka said, "When parents are better informed, everyone is happier."

The Parent Council also has an active approach to parent involvement and has a number of plans for the school year. The group is broken down into several working subcommittees, each presiding over a particular issue.

This year the council will focus on student advising, a fund-raising campaign to renovate University Career Services and the Office of Greek Affairs. "We're also exploring what the council can do for students or parents who live a long way away from Carolina," said National Council Co-Chairman Albert Gard.

Hands-on parent involvement, Gard said, is very strong. "All of the parents on the council are very supportive and a number of them are involved."

He also said the Parents Council is not limited just to UNC alumni.

To further facilitate communication among parents and administrators, each class entering the University is represented by a class chairman who is a parent, Gard added.

With their sights set upon a busy year full of both parent and student agendas, organizers of the Parents Council and Parent E-mails services hope to increase awareness of issues around the University.

"The key is parents who want to stay involved in their student's affairs," Gard said. "The Parents Council are active people who want to make a difference."

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