“This is just the tip of the iceberg,” said Melissa Jensen, residence coordinator for the university’s new residence hall. The fast pace and energy exuded from new students, current students, and the faculty and staff on hand, were indicative of the excitement surrounding Wittenberg’s 2006 New Student Move-In Day, the official start of the 2006-07 school year.
With the new residence hall housing the largest number of first-year students, activity centered around the hall for many students and their families. As faculty and staff members and orientation assistants (OA) concentrated on helping new students move their belongings into their rooms, resident advisers (RA) focused on helping the students adjust to their new surroundings. They also provided information on New Student Days activities scheduled through Sunday.
“The new dorm is beautiful,” said Michelle Lanier, class of 2007, from Cleveland Heights, Ohio, and one of the OAs this year. “I’m a little jealous. It should have been a senior dorm."
OAs, along with faculty and staff members, were the real movers and shakers of the new student move-in, as they combined to outnumber the students and their parents in unloading the vans and cars lining Alumni Way.
“Being an OA is hard work, but a lot of fun. It’s cool helping the first-years move in. It brings back a lot of memories of how crazy moving in freshman year was; now I can give back,” Lanier said.
As the traffic of eager new students and their parents wound around onto Ward Street and stretched as far as Limestone Avenue, the collective effort displayed by the Wittenberg community allowed the moving-in process to run smoothly and swiftly.
Parents and new students took notice of the friendly attitudes and helping hands that everyone provided. It was a campus-wide effort that incorporated everyone from President Mark Erickson to Linda Lauffenberger, the school counselor, all of whom toted bags and other necessities to residence hall rooms.
“I’m doing the stair climb and the weights,” joked Tom Martin, professor of health, fitness and sport, describing the tiring task of moving in as his exercise for the day.
From futons to televisions to furniture, the Wittenberg community ensured that all the incoming students’ possessions arrived intact to their respective destinations, despite exceeding the capacity of the students’ rooms at an exceptionally fast rate.
“When I went to college I took a suitcase and books,” Erickson said. “Now you bring your TV and computer.”
As for students today, the thought of packing light never crossed their minds.
“I brought a van load with me, but my parents are worried that I haven’t brought enough with me because when my brother moved in to his university, he had double the amount of stuff that I have,” said Jennifer Knapp, class of 2010, from Stow, Ohio.
First-year student Jennifer Schorr, from Cincinnati, Ohio, demonstrated the art of moving your home to Wittenberg. Between Schorr and her roommate, a futon, couch, television, stereo and shelves have now found a new home in Woodlawn Hall, Wittenberg’s now all-female residence hall following the razing of Hanley Hall this summer.
Despite the construction of the new residence hall and it being a big hit with its new residents, the large class size of 643 new students forced traditional upperclassman residence halls, including Ferncliff Hall and the Polis House, to open their doors to first-year students.
Nonetheless, upperclassmen remain loyal to the older residence halls because of the history and character behind them.
“Myers is a symbol of Wittenberg. Myers offers beautiful rooms, character and a ghost,” said first-floor Myers Hall RA Brian Moore, class of 2009, from Chapel Hill, N.C. “I personally have always wanted to live in a civil war hospital.”
Whether moving into a new residence hall or an older one, starting college can be exciting, nerve racking and at times sad for students and their parents.
“My daughter has a great roommate, but this is my first child to leave home so this is hard,” said Celeste Baker, a parent of a Tower Hall resident. “The move-in was very smooth, though, and it was such a helpful group of people.”
“Having a large class is good for the university,” said RA Lindsay Dollinger, class of 2009, from South Vienna, Ohio. “It’s also scary for some of the freshmen because there’s so many of them, but it’ll be easier to make friends.”
With the highly anticipated Move-In Day finished by 11 a.m., New Student Days activities began with a march from Commencement Hollow to the HPER Center for a convocation led by Erickson. First-year students and OAs have a busy weekend ahead of them that is sure to be both memorable and rewarding.“
Everyone was helpful and friendly when I moved in,” said Troy Taylor, class of 2007, from Chicago, Ill. I made some of my best friends during the first few days I was on campus.”
- Dani Nicholson '07, Christi Lue '09, Erica Strauss '08
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