FMU had a total of 475 freshmen and 100 transfer students move into their on-campus residences the Saturday before classes began. These students were all beginning their first year as FMU students.
FMU has a large commuting population, but according to Cheryl Tuttle, director of housing and residence life, students are able to experience more of what the university has to offer when they live on campus.
Resident Assistants (RAs) filled the roles of organizing and passing out housing paperwork to new students, giving out keys and standing outside to direct new students to their residential buildings. Many RAs said their favorite part of move-in day is meeting their new residents.
“My favorite part of the day is seeing all the new faces and how excited they are to begin their college experience,” Jericka Waller, RA, said.
According to RA Amari Boyd, this move-in process was successful because of students’ patience.
“Everyone wants to get in their rooms as quickly as possible, so the key to a good move-in day is having no hassle,” Boyd said. “People have been very patient, which makes the day so much easier for everyone.”
Throughout the day, faculty members including FMU President Dr. Fred Carter and Provost Dr. Peter King served hot dogs and beverages to new students, their parents and the volunteers.
For one of the new resident students, Andisi Kita, college is both a social and professional experience.
“I plan to enter a career in sports journalism when I finish my degree at FMU,” Kita said. “I’m most excited about meeting new people and taking exciting classes, but I’m also excited to take the next steps toward my career.”
Kita also said she was glad to see Carter serving hot dogs to the students because she attended a small high school where she had that kind of support and did not know that she would also have such caring educators at a university.
Bejal Patel, another RA, said that having higher-up university faculty serve the students uplifted her.
“It’s really encouraging that our president cares enough about the students that they are taken care of like that on such a hectic day,” Patel said. “If it wasn’t for that, people would be getting overheated and sick. At the same time, they get to meet some of the people that will be important for their time at FMU.”
In addition to the faculty serving food, upperclassmen students and alumni volunteered to help during the move in process. Many groups, including sororities, fraternities and clubs, helped new students carry items to their rooms, direct them to campus locations and make connections with them to help them feel more at home at FMU.
Housing office staff said that new students and their families made the day run smoothly with their patience.
“The Resident Assistants are doing an incredible job not only with their jobs but also assisting the housing staff,” Joey Webster, administrative assistant in the housing office, said. “We appreciate all the parents and students understanding that even when things aren’t running smoothly, we are doing our best to get them in their rooms as quickly as possible. Everyone has been understanding of how chaotic this process can be.”