NEW ALBANY – Coming from states as far west as Texas and as far east as Massachusetts, students who will live on campus congregated at Indiana University Southeast on Thursday for move-in day.
“I love move-in day," said IUS Chancellor Ray Wallace, who was on hand to help with some of the moving. "It’s a day for us to get to know new students and welcome back old ones. It’s a great time — has a great vibe to it.”
Around 400 students moved in this week. A majority moved in Thursday, though some got the chance to move in early.
Linda Cowell felt a mix of emotions over moving her daughter, Tori, into her residence hall room. The Cowells lived in Kentucky a few years ago, but moved to Houston, Texas. Tori decided to go to IUS to be closer to her older sister.
“I’m overwhelmed, excited and sad — all at the same time,” the mother said.
She had packed three cars full of necessities and goodies for her daughter and made the 16-hour drive from Texas.
Tori, a nursing major, said she’s “really excited to meet [her] roommates and get into the groove of things.”
Planning for the next move-in day starts basically as soon as the current one ends, according to Abbi Dupay, interim director of residence life and housing at IUS.
“It takes quite a bit of planning,” she said.
From combing through student applications to preparing the residence halls and organizing events to make students feel welcome, every detail is planned and coordinated.
“It’s all a team effort getting it done; everyone has a part in it,” Dupay said.
More than 200 students and ISU faculty volunteered to help new arrivals carry in their belongings.
IUS opened the five residence halls in 2008 and have had nearly full capacity, with wait lists, ever since.
Students who live on campus tend to graduate on time more often, participate in clubs, attend more functions and volunteer for more projects, according to Wallace.
“It’s not surprising, considering their proximity to faculty and student services,” he said.
While Wallace maintains that IUS will keep its identity as a commuter school, he said the university will break ground on a new residence hall within two to three months. That hall will house 87 students and should be completed by summer 2018.
The difference between a dorm and a residence hall may seem minor, but Amanda Stonecipher, the interim vice chancellor for enrollment management and student affairs and former director of housing, said they are quite different.
A dormitory implies a place to “just eat and sleep” she said.
“The goal of on-campus housing is more than a place to sleep but a place to call home … academically focused, community focused,” Stonecipher said.