Freshmen Flock Into Residence Halls With Help From Volunteers
4,100 Total Student Population Now Living on Campus Represents an 11 Percent Increase From Last Year
Aug. 28, 2013
Student Government sent volunteers to help students and their families on Move-In Day.
Incoming freshmen students and their families were surprised and more than a bit relieved to see UT Dallas volunteers ready to unpack cars full of everything they will need to survive their first year away from home.
Volunteers at the 2013 Freshman Move-In carried boxes and pushed bins full of clothes, lamps, microwaves, extra chairs and bedding as they helped students settle into their rooms Aug. 20-21 in the University Commons Residence Halls.
New students bid farewell to parents and siblings who were along for the ride.
“We wanted him to be away from home, but not so far away that we can’t see him often. His mom will miss him a lot,” said Raymond Lo, of Austin, as he was dropping off his son, Andrew, who is a new computer science major.
About 4,100 students are living in campus housing this year in apartments and residence halls, an 11-percent increase over a year ago.
Andrew Lo, a new computer science major from the Austin area, is dropped off by his parents and brother.
Residence Hall Southwest opened this fall, the fourth residence hall built at UT Dallas since 2009. Construction has already begun on the fifth and largest residence hall, set to open in fall 2014.
“We’re seeing a significant number of students who want to live on campus,” said Matt Grief, assistant vice president for student affairs.
“We have staff and student volunteers helping new residents move in quickly so they don’t have to spend a lot of time outdoors and in the heat. It’s been a great experience this year,” Grief said.
More than 1,250 freshmen students moved into the residence halls this year. They were given staggered arrival times so that 72 students per hour showed up at each location.
They each landed in a different themed building: Residence Hall North, for instance, was labeled Monster University, while each floor of Residence Hall West boasted names of heroes or villains from films such as The Avengers and X-Men.
New math major Sophia Azeba-Osime gets help moving in from her mother, Daniella. The family moved to Houston from Nigeria four years ago.
Volunteers kept things tidy, crunching and baling cardboard boxes for recycling at each location. A food truck doled out burgers for students, families and volunteers; chilled bottled water kept everyone cool.
Casey Sublett, a sophomore Student Government representative, said she remembered how friendly everyone at UT Dallas seemed when she moved in a year ago. This year she offered to return the favor.
“It’s a big help. It’s also a way to meet new people on campus and let them know about different organizations, including Student Government,” Sublett said.
For some, the parting was a poignant milestone. As new math major Sophia Azebe-Osime checked in to her new living quarters, her mom, Daniella, admitted to feeling a bit emotional.
The family, which includes three daughters, moved from Nigeria just a few years ago. Daniella said she hoped Sophia would at least be home for holidays.
“This is a great thing, but I’m going to miss her a lot,” she said.