Changes coming to UI freshman move-in

BY LUKE VOELZ | JULY 05, 2011 7:20 AM

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Car-crowded streets and legions of stuffed suitcases will hit Iowa City a few days earlier this fall.
University of Iowa officials recently pushed the freshman move-in two days earlier than in past years, setting specific times for students to enter the dorms.

The change puts resident halls’ move-in dates to Aug. 17 and 18 — the Wednesday and Thursday before fall semester classes begin — marking the first time students are being asked to move in so early in the week.

City High graduate and incoming UI freshman Amy Hanson said these dates are far too early.

“[The move-in date] bugs me,” the 18-year-old said. “I am a nanny every day, and the kids don’t go to school till a week or two after me. That’s an extra $500 or $600 I could have going into my pocket.”

The decision marks an even earlier than usual start for UI freshmen; the university often opens fall semester earlier than its peers. Classes will begin Aug. 22 this year, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison and University of Minnesota classes begin on Sept. 2 and 6 respectively.

Yet City High graduate Allison Kindig said she would rather move in earlier still to accommodate her early August UI classes — one will begin Aug. 8.

“I like being able to move in early so that you’re adjusted, getting acclimated to new situations, prepared for classes,” she said. “I think that’s a really good idea to start a routine before classes start, so the very first day you’re not bombarded with everything.”

UI Director of Housing Von Stange said move-in dates were shifted because On Iowa, a new freshman immersion program, will run during the weekend before classes begin.

The program — an extension of the Welcome Week events running the first week of fall semester classes — consists of guided tours and entertainment beyond those offered during summer orientation.

“[UI officials] requested the students are able to move in early so they’re settled before On Iowa begins,” he said. “[The decision] was pretty much directly related to On Iowa.”

Despite rapid growth in incoming-freshman numbers — last year’s fall 2010 group of 4,557 marked a 500-student increase over previous sessions — Stange said incoming class’ growing sizes won’t affect the UI’s ability to provide living accommodations. Parking logistics could get strained on move-in day, prompting housing officials to assign incoming freshmen to four-hour move-in blocks.

“Parking is going to be more of a challenge, because we’re having more people than normal come in,” Stange said. “Knowing that, we’ve worked out a newer system for getting everyone in at a reasonable time.”

Housing officials will try to accommodate students who can’t arrive on time for assigned move-in dates, he said.

Though Hanson said she’s excited to meet new people and live on her own, she’d rather orient herself with campus on her own time.

“I feel like they’re just rushing us into stuff and trying to shorten things up instead of letting us learn as we go,” she said. “It seems pointless.”

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