First-time student move-in day took place Thursday, Aug. 20 at Carrocci Hall on the Newman University campus.
Newman athletic teams always pitch in to help the newest Jets move into their room quickly and efficiently. This year, the resident assistants and the men’s and women’s basketball teams lent a hand.
This year’s move-in consisted of slotted, staggered start times. Out-of-state students began their move-in process at 8 a.m., in-state non-local students began at 10 a.m. and local students began moving in at noon. Many athletes had moved in prior to Aug. 20 in anticipation of practices that have since been suspended.
Most international students arrived early as well and were isolated in Merlini Hall for two weeks before moving into their official room.
Residence Life Director Turner Middendorf said Carrocci Hall typically holds around 150 students but all rooms have been converted to single-occupancy for the fall 2020 semester and capacity is only 75 students. This meant a smaller number of freshmen needed to be moved into Beata Hall, which is normally reserved for upperclassmen.
Due to COVID-19, the requirement for all freshmen and sophomores to live on campus has been waived, which has allowed all students to fit in all three available residence halls with only a few spare beds.
Middendorf said this year he tried to group similar academic and athletic students together so as to lessen new student-to-student exposures.
Typically, students move in, take part in orientation the following day, where they enjoy lunch and an ice cream social before saying farewell to their parents. This year, however, orientation will be a virtual event.
No matter the circumstances, students are still excited to start their college adventure.
Znya Finch from Edmond, Oklahoma is planning to major in psychology and manage the soccer team to make new friends. She chose Newman because she was offered an academic scholarship that made her tuition to Newman one of the least expensive options for her.
Finch attended Harding Preparatory School and hopes that the private school atmosphere has prepared her well for Newman’s academic rigor.
Other than academics, she’s truly excited about the college experience. “I’m most looking forward to having fun and just enjoying myself while I’m here and creating new experiences,” she said.
Finch said though at first she was a little nervous for this journey, now that she’s on campus she’s more excited than anything.
Trevan Fenner from Denton, Texas is also excited to start his college journey at Newman. Fenner is majoring in business and is on the baseball team.
Fenner and his parents were “pleasantly surprised” with Newman’s campus and Carrocci Hall in particular. Due to COVID-19, they weren’t able to visit campus in person before move-in day and as first-time college student parents, said they just had to take a leap of faith.
Students gave mixed reviews on their feelings about having a double room to themselves but Fenner was definitely happy about the situation.
Although he’s excited to live alone, he also said, “I’m most excited to get to know people; it seems like a cool environment.”
Avery Mayfield had a short trip to Newman from McPherson, Kansas. She’ll be studying pre-professional – dentistry and is on the cheer and dance team.
She’s most looking forward to finding her independence and said living on her own will help.
“Trying to figure out stuff on my own … responsibility and time management and all of those things that my mom used to do for me but I just need to figure out on my own,” she said.
Moving onto a college campus for the first time is a big day for first-time students and their parents. It’s been uncertain whether or not this day would come in fall 2020, but it finally arrived and everyone taking part seemed to be in good spirits.
Middendorf said he is happy to have hit this milestone in 2020. “Hopefully we’re going to make it through the whole semester and the whole school year without having to send anybody home or even to quarantine. Ideally, we’ll get some sports seasons in. And I think anything from this point on that happens, I consider it a success,” he said.