Movin’ on in: Scenes from freshman move-in day at UW-Green Bay

UW-Green Bay welcomed some 600 new freshmen to residence hall living Aug. 29, as the class of 2017 settled into its on-campus digs.

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“We have 100-plus volunteers moving approximately 600 freshmen in, and they arrive in three shifts this morning — we’ll check them in between 8:30 and noon,” said John Gerow, associate director of Residence Life. “We have students; we have student-athletes; we have faculty, staff; and this year we have some alumni and retirees that have come back to help us with move-in.”

All those volunteers helped move-in go quickly, despite the large number of freshmen and families converging on residence life.

“It’s a little chaotic when you have 600 people and their cars and families come to move people in, but what people appreciate is that their cars are unloaded and there’s lots of people to help,” Gerow said. “And it’s a great opportunity for faculty, staff and students to connect with our new students, and it’s one of the first times that we start to form a relationship with them.”

For UW-Green Bay senior Erin Zimmermann, volunteering brought back memories of her own freshman move-in day. In hauling boxes filled with freshman year must-haves, she also hoped to help ease new-to-campus jitters.

“It’s really fun helping the freshmen move in because they’re all nervous as you said, and they just want their college career to start off right,” Zimmerman said. “So if you can have like an upperclassman helping them out and helping them through the ropes, it’s really comforting for them. It’s comforting for the parents to know that they have a warm atmosphere to come to.”

The abundance of help also means move-in goes more quickly than many parents anticipate, said junior Morgen Clarey.

“The parents really appreciate it,” she said. “They’re always surprised when we empty the car and they’re like ‘oh, you got it already.’ “

The assistance was a pleasant surprise for parent Terry Vanevenhoven, who was helping daughter Chelsey Schumann get settled.

“When we pulled up, my husband was going to park on the other side, and I’m like ‘no, pull right up,’ ” Vanevenhoven said. “And it’s unloaded already and up there.”

Campus living is both enjoyable and beneficial for students, Gerow said.

“There are a lot of advantages for freshmen living on campus,” he said. “Research shows that students that live on campus are more likely to stay at the institution, be retained by the institution. They’re more likely to earn better grades and graduate and they report a greater level of satisfaction with the whole university experience. So they’re happier — they’re happier students.”

For freshman Jeffrey Bodin, the day was all about excitement and anticipation.

“Well, it’s a beautiful day today, and I’m really excited to get to freshman year, start school and meet a bunch of new people,” Bodin said. “I’ll miss home but I’m excited to go to school here.”

Click here for more information on UW-Green Bay Housing and Residence Life.

See a photo gallery of Freshman Move-in Day.

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