Thursday was a significant transition for 1,200 freshmen at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville as they moved into their residence halls – their new home away from home as they begin their journey in higher education. The students are among the approximately 1,800 freshmen comprising SIUE’s Class of 2021.
“The transition from high school to college is fun,” said Jeffrey Waple, PhD, vice chancellor for student affairs. “It comes with excitement and some anxiousness. We have hundreds of volunteers helping to streamline the move in process, and multiple activities planned throughout the weekend for our new students.”
The students were welcomed to Bluff, Prairie and Woodland Halls by 500 student volunteers, called Movers and Shakers, and nearly 100 administrators, faculty and staff.
“It’s super fun to be helping today,” said sophomore volunteer Alexis Nation, of Taylorville. “Everyone’s friendly. We’re happy to be here, and we’re happy to help!”
“I’m excited to get my room decorated and settled,” said Kiora Hunt, of Belleville. “I met my roommate during orientation, and we are both studying early childhood education.”
Hunt’s parents, who met at SIUE during their studies, happily helped their daughter unpack.
“Lo and behold, my little one decided she wanted to come to SIUE,” Kiora’s dad, Darrell Hunt, said. “It just seems like it’s full circle.”
“Hi guys, how’s it going?” Jay Bui, of Vietnam, said to a family as they pulled up to unload. “It’s nice to see people willing to volunteer and help. This school is awesome!”
“I am smiling today, because I am here with my oldest great niece, Precious,” exclaimed Lynn Brady, who traveled from Chicago. “I am so excited she chose SIUE, and I know great things are going to happen for her.”
Move-in day marks the start of the SIUE Experience for the incoming students, which aims to create a sense of community and connection to the university, introduce the SIUE values, put citizenship into action and set the stage for student success and retention.
Students will attend an academic convocation ceremony on Friday, Aug. 18, in the Vadalabene Center. Additionally, students will take part in a community service day on Saturday, Aug 19.
For a complete list of upcoming welcome and student engagement activities, visit siue.edu/student-life/events-and-organizations.
PHOTO: Student volunteers helped freshmen move into their residence halls on Thursday.