Fall move-in hits as another school year begins

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Thousands will call campus home

Approximately 6,400 students moved into a residence hall or on-campus apartment this fall, and the majority moved in over the weekend.

Students and parents who chose to get an early start on their Saturday residence hall move-in lucked out this year, as severe thunderstorms rolled through and out of the area by midafternoon.

Jenna Stowe, a first-year kinesiology student from Northfield, Minn., left her parents and siblings outside with her belongings as she went into Centennial Hall to register.

“This is hectic,” she said. “Everything is just dumped on the curb and it seems like a lot at first.”

Stowe said she was excited to finally be at school.

“I was the last one of my friends to leave for school,” she said. “I was so bored.”

Her mother, Bonnie Stowe, guarded her daughter’s belongings on the grass along Harvard Street Southeast.

The move-in process is crazy but went more smoothly than she expected, she said.

“I was a little nervous, but every time we come here, things make a little more sense,” Bonnie Stowe said.

Volunteers lined the streets around the residence halls, helping families unload their possessions onto the curb.

Lech Literski, a political science senior, was one of the move-in volunteers who assisted the Stowe family.

Literski, also the Inter-Fraternity Council recruitment chairman, wore a T-shirt promoting Greek life.

“We aren’t doing recruitment, we’re just showing some school spirit,” he said. “We just want to get a positive image out there to new students.”

By noon, Sam Tietze, a first-year student, had moved all of his things into his room in Pioneer Hall. His three roommates had not yet arrived.

The campus is nothing new to Tietze, because he was a full-time, post-secondary student at the University last year.

“It’s a lot better to be on campus because of the commute,” he said. “I think I missed out on the experience last year.”

Changes to the halls

Returning students might notice several changes to the residence halls and dining facilities and a 4 percent increase in room and board charges due to fixed costs, said Mannix Clark, associate director of Housing and Residential Life.

“When you have buildings that are 50 to 60 years old, you need to do some work and a lot of preventative maintenance,” he said.

The residential facilities began a two-year plan to provide free Pioneer Press newspapers to students, said Susan Stubblefield, assistant director of Housing and Residential Life.

“I think (students) will really enjoy being able to receive a newspaper that has a combination of local, regional and national news,” she said.

Most of the residence halls also received new washers and dryers, Stubblefield said.

Centennial Hall received a small renovation to the dining hall that makes it more closely resemble Sanford Hall’s dining facilities, said Karen DeVet, operations director of University Dining Services.

“The dining commons and service area has an updated look,” she said. “We opened up the service area to ease traffic and have a more upscale food presentation.”

Hours of operations have been extended at many of the facilities based on student input, DeVet said.

The menu changes put into place give students more variety of food choices, she said.

“In the superblock, we have two facilities basically right next-door to each other,” she said. “We refined the differentiation between the two.”

Off-campus move-in

Along with the on-campus move-in, many students began moving into their apartments and houses last week around the University.

Accounting and finance junior Jenny Hasling was in the process of moving Thursday afternoon into the University Village apartments.

“I get excited. I always like moving,” Hasling said.

Her father, Jim Hasling, helped unload his daughter’s belongings into the new place.

“It’s been going pretty well, better than the dorm moving days,” Jim Hasling said.

University senior Kelly Dugan, who moved into a house in Dinkytown last week, said it was easier to move into a house than a residence hall.

The move was not as crazy as the residence halls, she said. There was less stress without residence hall elevators and people in the way.

Brian Nalezny, assistant property manager of GrandMarc apartments, said that when people moved in Thursday it went well, but was still hectic.

There were 119 people trying to check in to their apartments, and half of them were trying to get into the garage, causing traffic to be redirected, he said. There were also protestors at the nearby Holiday Inn, which added to the commotion, Nalezny said.

But it’s expected every year for move-in to get a little crazy, he said.

By Emily Kaiser
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– Elizabeth Cook contributed to this report.

Hotels won’t be temporary housing for U

Breaking with recent tradition at the start of a school year, University students will not be bunking at any area hotels this fall.

Mannix Clark, Housing and Residential Life associate director, said no student is being housed at the Days Inn on University Avenue Southeast, the usual remedy for a lack of University-run student housing.

Students were housed at the Days Inn last fall, the fourth time in 10 years the move was made.

“We use the hotel if admission numbers are higher than we thought,” Clark said.

There is still some overflow on campus. Currently 270 students are living in what is termed “expanded housing” this fall, Clark said. Students in expanded housing have been sent into study rooms, lounges or added into larger single and double rooms in residence halls.

There are nearly 200 fewer overflow housing students compared with last year, which Clark said was due in part to a smaller incoming first-year class.

Along with expanded housing, 168 students are on a waiting list for housing. It is common for 50 to 100 students to not show up for their rooming assignments when classes begin, Clark said.

More than 60 percent of University housing is filled by first-year students, Clark said.

Emmy Delaney is a first-year student in expanded housing. She and her roommate, Erica Leary, share a single room, which both had reservations about.

“It’s small,” Delaney said. “We had to squeeze in everything. I literally thought I was going to be living in a mousehole, but it’ll be fine.”

The two use a bunk bed to make room to fit most of their possessions, which include a desk, a TV and a coffee maker.

Leary, who will move once another space opens, said she is content with the situation.

“It’s going to be OK,” she said. “It could have been a lot worse.”

Of the eight residence halls and three student apartments run by the University, all are kept at full capacity, Clark said. This way fees remain low for all students, who share the cost of building upkeep.

The cost for a double room at a University residence hall is $1,943 per student per semester. A single room costs $2,309.

First-year students who apply early are given priority for living in the residence halls, Clark said. If student demand is too high, a limit is placed on the number of students who can return to residence halls after their first year. This year 6,550 students will live in the residence halls’ 6,290 spaces. Of those students, 4,250 are in their first year.

Joe Hazelton, Frontier Hall director, said his residence hall is full and that he has students in overflow housing. In the all first-year student hall, Hazelton said, students typically keep a positive attitude about their placement.

“I’ve never seen any major complaints,” he said. “We take good care of them.”

The University has no plans to build more student housing, though University officials have started to look into the growing need for transfer student and graduate student housing, Clark said.

By Kevin McCahill
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