UMass Boston held its second annual Move-In Day for new students living in the Residence Halls on Aug. 31, 2019. Move-In lasted from 8 a.m.– 4 p.m. and each new resident was given an assigned block of time within that time frame to move into their rooms.
Residents and families were directed by UMass Boston police to the appropriate drop-off location according to the hall—East or West—and greeted by volunteers with large rolling bins, ready to help transport all belongings to the appropriate room. Volunteers worked quickly and in an orderly manner to guide residents and families to the students’ rooms, grab the large rolling bins once they had been emptied, transport them back downstairs and hand them off to volunteers helping those who just arrived.
The organized manner and staggered time slots of the move-in process allowed for a calm and orderly aura around campus at the start of the day. Freshman resident, Ali Baker-Hughes, described the move-in process as “very easy, very fast, and very exciting.”
As the day progressed, the lines into East Hall grew more congested due to it housing many more residents than West Hall. The East Hall building has 12 floors and contains the dining commons, whereas the West building has nine floors. In total, the residence halls contain 1,077 beds, with single, double, triple and quad floor-plans. Some rooms even contain private bathrooms.
Not all students moved in on Aug. 31: international students moved in on Aug. 25, returning students on Aug. 30, and some new students opted for an early move-in on Aug. 28 and Aug. 29. However, the vast majority of the over 1,000 students who moved in did so on Aug. 31. Despite the end of the day congestion, the over 125 staff, faculty, student volunteers, and 31 Resident Assistants (RAs) worked efficiently to ensure the best Move-In Day possible for all students.
Conversely, the University’s first Move-In Day in 2018 was not such smooth sailing. There were no assigned blocks of time for move-in, so many residents and families rushed to campus right at the start of the day. This caused large amounts of traffic around campus, and a large line of students and families with moving bins that snaked around campus. Current sophomore and former resident of East Hall, Henry McIntyre, was caught up in chaos on Move-In Day 2018, citing traffic on campus as the largest obstacle in his move-in process. “Everyone was there at the same time, so it took a very long time to do anything,” said McIntyre.
Move-In Day 2019 proved far less stressful than in 2018 for volunteers of the event as well. One volunteer, Slandy Sanon, spoke about the issues with last year’s move-in when asked how the 2019 Move-In was going. “Compared to last year, this year is going so smooth,” said Sanon, who also spoke of the traffic Move-In Day caused in the city, saying “you wouldn’t be able to get from here to JFK/UMASS without it taking thirty minutes.” Though those who moved in at the end of the day on Move-In Day 2019 faced a longer move-in process than those with earlier move-in blocks, it is clear that UMass Boston has made some vast improvements to their system.
Following the actual move-in process, students could head to the dining commons to enjoy a BBQ lunch and/or dinner with or without their families. The dining hall staff was friendly and informed the crowd that they welcome suggestions about which dishes to make.
Following dinner, all residents attended a floor meeting in which they met their floor’s RAs, and learned the rules of the Residence Halls. Students were then invited to an ice-cream social right outside of East Hall. Following that event, provided transportation brought students to South Bay to shop for any items they may have realized that they had forgotten.
All students who moved into the Residence Halls this year were sent an email containing a survey about their Move-In Day experience. It is encouraged that all new residents complete the survey to ensure that UMass Boston can further the expediency and improve the overall experience of the day in preparation for Move-In Day 2020.