Several hundred new freshmen and transfer students got settled into their residence halls today at the University of New Orleans—and they had a lot of help doing it. More than 150 UNO volunteers lugged boxes, bags, televisions, mini refrigerators and every other dorm necessity into Pontchartrain Halls North and South as part of the annual New Student Move-In Day.
New students and their families were greeted by faculty, staff, administrators and returning students who volunteered to lighten the load of the newcomers and welcome them to campus.
"Many of these students moving in today came to an orientation program on campus, but this is their first time back on campus since then, and we want make sure that they feel welcome and make sure that they are connecting with each other in the residence halls as well as also starting to build those bonds with current students, faculty and staff," said Christy Heaton, associate director of orientation and first year student success. "We want these students to know that when they start classes next week, they already have a community of support here for them."
The day was capped off by an evening cook-out for the new students and volunteers.
Move-In Day also kicks off Privateer Plunge, a six-week session that is packed with events, workshops, parties and presentations designed to introduce new students to available resources and help them get to know campus, all while making new friends. The program is co-sponsored by the Office of Enrollment Services and the Office of Student Involvement and Leadership.
"We focus on the first six weeks because national data shows us that students decide within that first six weeks if they are going to stay at a particular university," Heaton said. "So it's really important that they engage academically and socially and make at least one connection with someone or something at that campus so that they persist that first year and eventually to graduation."
The first day of classes for the fall 2015 semester is Wednesday, Aug. 19.