Students receive VIPservice

Jeremy Taff

Incoming freshman Reed Bisson didn’t carry his stuff to the third-floor room in the Day’s Inn on Saturday. University President Mark Yudof and company took care of that.
Bisson and more than a thousand other freshmen moved into University residence halls and the nearby hotel this weekend with a little help from more than 100 volunteers that donned blaze yellow shirts reading “Yudof’s moving crew”.
“They carried everything up for me while I checked in,” Bisson said. “The whole thing took five minutes.”
Because of the shortage of residence hall space, more than 200 students are staying in the hotel until rooms become available on campus. Yudof said he expects students to be out of the hotel by the end of November.
“We had a huge increase in applications this year,” Yudof said. “We ran out of dorm rooms.”
Bisson said his hotel room became more endurable Saturday after hanging posters of John Belushi, the Grateful Dead, and Minnesota’s Grainbelt Premium beer on the wall.
The amenities of the room make up for having to move again in a few months, Bisson said.
“It’s pretty nice,” Bisson said. “We get cable, air conditioning and a parking spot, not to mention bigger beds.”
Outside the hotel and residence halls, parents, students and volunteers unloaded numerous packed cars and vans that lined the streets of campus. Volunteers encouraged parents to park in University lots and ramps available for free for the first time this year.
“I did successfully give directions to one lost person,” said Yudof, who in the past has claimed to have trouble getting around the city. “I pointed them to a parking garage.”
Another first this year will be the convocation for freshman at 11 a.m. Wednesday on Northrop Mall, where Yudof will address the class.
Day’s Inn Resident Assistant Tiffany Rankin said she urges students to attend the ceremony.
“It’ll be a good way to meet new people, not just from the Day’s Inn but from the other halls, especially since they might be moving in with them soon,” Rankin said. “We’re all really excited to get this year kicked off.”
Yudof said the University’s strong emphasis on undergraduate education and tuition prices might account for the more than 13 percent increase in freshman applications this year. Still a newcomer to Minnesota himself, Yudof stressed the importance for students to use the University’s assets.
“Have fun and lighten up,” Yudof said. “It’s a fun place to live, except for an occasional blizzard or two.”