WOW: Fifteen hundred-plus new students move in at SRU
More than 1,500 first-year Slippery Rock University students are moving in today and Friday during SRU's Weekend of Welcome program. More than 1,800 returning students will move in over the weekend. Classes begin Aug. 24.
Aug. 20, 2015
SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - Their belongings have been packed and unpacked, lists checked a hundred times and tears shed. Yep, it's that time of year again - student move-in at Slippery Rock University.
The ebb and flow began today as 1,540 first-year students arrived with family and gear in tow.
The flurry of activity at the residence hall drop-off sites was like a scene straight out of "Bees - The Movie." Three hundred student volunteers swarmed cars, trucks and vans as they arrived and then hauled clothes, bedding and computers into rooms as the Class of 2019 began the process of letting go. Classes begin Aug. 24.
"I'm excited but I cried when I left my little brother," said Mara Shank, a safety management major from Ohioville, who moved into Building F.
As her father supervised, she made her bed and looked at the pile of furnishings from home yet to be set up.
"I brought my whole life with me, everything from home," she said. "I picked up my room and brought it with me."
The process wasn't easy for her dad, Dave Shank. "I hate to see her go, but I want her to be happy," he said.
Some students were nervous, others keyed up as a heavy rain dampened the occasion. One student, realizing she wouldn't be sleeping in a featherbed, brought a foam mattress. Other items from the home front included sports equipment, laundry soap, desk lamps, framed photos, mirrors, fleece throws, computers, flat-screen TV's, food and lots and lots of clothes..
"Move-in was easier than I thought it would be, with all the help," said Nick Donovan, a communication major from South Park. "It was the thing I was most nervous about."
Stacy Huffman, a marketing major from Harmony, said she felt excited and a little stressed out getting her room in Building F to feel like home.
"I haven't met my roommate yet," she said. "I hope we get along. I hope we click."
Student volunteers kept their eyes on the sky as bursts of rain complicated their work loading up bins and carts with student possessions.
"It was pretty hectic this morning, especially during the torrential downpour," said Emily Eichner, a secondary education major from Pittsburgh.
The mood? "Every student I see is either nervous or beaming," she said. "What they keep asking me is whether they brought too much stuff. Typically, I tell them yes."
Brandon Kraeer, an exercise science major from McDonald, said the work was tiring but fun. "Most of the students are talking about their roommate and major. It's like sensory overload," he said.
While move in gets most of the attention, Karen Perry, assistant director of campus recreation and WOW co-chair, said SRU cultivates a warm welcome from a prospects' first official campus visit to their graduation.
"We welcome them at showcases. We welcome them when they've committed. We welcome them at orientation, Jump Start and at move-in with all the activities, and it goes from there," Perry said.
Other WOW activities include "Rock the ARC" game night, a club sports informational session and Casino Night. Volunteers will conduct a campus cleanup Sunday to rid the grounds of trash.
WOW's "stop, drop and go" focuses on making students and their parents feel comfortable. SRU President Cheryl Norton and Slippery Rock Mayor Ron Foder greeted students and families as they arrived, handing out cookies, directions and a hello.
"Families know there are caring people here, just by the fact of how many volunteers there are. Parents are just amazed," Perry said. "Even though we tell them, 'hey we're going to help you move your student into their room,' they're not ready for 10 or 15 people meeting them at their car and getting all their stuff unloaded. We've got anywhere from 10, 15 to 30 volunteers at each location.
"Having the president and also the cabinet, faculty and staff helping with move in shows how close we work together," she said.
SRU's class of 2019 is academically accomplished and diverse. According to the Office of Admissions, the students hail from 65 of 67 Pennsylvania counties and 20 other states. Fifteen students are from foreign countries. Twelve percent identified as underrepresented minority.
More than 75 percent ranked in the top 50 percent of their graduating high school class, with an average SAT score of 1000.
"This year's freshman class illustrates the University's progress in continuing to enroll academically talented students from Pennsylvania and beyond," said Amanda Yale, SRU associate provost for enrollment management. "The average high school grade point average of our first year students is 3.40 and 84 percent achieved a grade-point average of 3.0 or higher."
"Everything at Slippery Rock University is about our students and their success. I am pleased to welcome new students and their families to the SRU family," she said.
More than 1,800 returning SRU students will move in this weekend.
To read more about the "mindset" of the Class of 2019, click here.
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