With the fall semester finally here, new students are streaming into the dorms to start their college lives. While the thought of moving out of the family home is exciting and fresh, move-in day is full of people running around hectically and that can cause a lot of confusion.
Even for returning students, move-in day can prove to be a challenge. With so many new students walking around in a lost daze, veterans can find themselves just as dazed and confused in the midst of it all.
The University of Utah’s Housing & Residential Education (HRE) has a volunteer program to help out new students with the big move. UCrew is a group of student volunteers — first-year, upper-class or graduate — that lend an extra hand to those who are moving into student housing.
When applying for housing, students were asked if they wanted to be a part of UCrew. Benefits of being a part of this group were listed, along with expectations for move-in day.
“Volunteers assist in ensuring we provide a smooth welcome to new students and residents,” said Lexie Maschoff, Assistant Director of Communications & Assessment. “Move-in day is a busy and exciting day — UCrew volunteers help us ensure that we are able to interact with and assist as many incoming residents as possible.”
This year, move-in day landed on Thursday, Aug. 15. UCrew volunteers were there to help out from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Volunteers wore matching UCrew t-shirts and assisted everyone accordingly.
“UCrew volunteers also help generate excitement about being part of the U of U community, and can answer students’ questions about other aspects of campus life,” Maschoff said.
Volunteers were assigned a shift and an assignment on move-in day. UCrew members were in charge of greeting new students and helping unload items from students’ vehicles immediately when they arrived at HRE. Along with helping a fellow student out, UCrew hoped to alleviate the stress in the process.
“UCrew volunteers have specific assignments on the day of move-in,” Maschoff said. “They may be assigned to help with things like traffic control, unloading belongings, distributing red carts, and generally spreading excitement about the U. Volunteers will approach students and their families… greet them and assist with unloading. New students will also approach volunteers because they value their insight on campus life.”
While helping students settle into their new home, UCrew members were able to explain more about what campus life is like, sharing their past experiences or their excitement for new events. It’s a chance to make new friends and ease those fears that tend to come with moving somewhere new. As a new student or resident moving into the dorms, there is no need to be afraid or hesitate to ask for help, even after move-in day.
UCrew members were not allowed to receive tips or donations, so even if a new student/resident or parent felt grateful for the help, they should refrain from rewarding in cash. “Volunteers should exercise caution when assisting with unloading and handling students’ possessions. If a UCrew volunteer receives a question they are unsure about the answer to, they should direct the question to an HRE team member,” she said.
To those who are starting new at the U, we hope that move-in day was a success and wish good luck for the new school year. The UCrew volunteers hope they have helped students settle in comfortably and mitigated concerns.
The benefits of being a volunteer include moving in a day early if you are a housing resident, two free meals, a free t-shirt, and a chance to get a picture with Swoop! If you’re interested in volunteering with the UCrew next year, please go to https://housing.utah.edu/ucrew/.