Freshmen students entering the College of Arts & Sciences (CAS) swarmed onto campus Wednesday for Regent University’s official move-in day. Clouds covered the sky, keeping away the heat of the sun as families unloaded their packed up cars to transfer bedding, clothing, food, appliances and electronics into student housing.
We’re just putting on a smiling face and being helpful with the life group leaders to carry their belongings in and being available for them if they have any questions,” said Emily Kooiman, resident assistant (CAS) ’16.
Resident Assistants (RA), church volunteers and other students joined forces to help make move-in day a little less stressful for students and their families. RAs arrived at 8 a.m. to ensure a smooth start. They kept the efforts going until 8 p.m.
“I got up at 4 a.m., and we got on the road at 5,” said Cassia Sherrill, incoming freshman (CAS) ’19. “He made me drive here for like an hour or so, and then I slept the rest of the way here. I made it three hours and the other two-and-a-half I was dead asleep.”
That sleep was the calm before the storm. Orientation leaders were on stand-by to greet every car that entered the student housing parking lot.
“When a car arrives here on campus, they first have to find a parking space,” said Christian Ellis, orientation leader (CAS) ’18. “There are a lot of us here, a lot of orientation leaders and RAs. We take two or three of us and just say ‘Hello,’ and introduce ourselves. We ask them who they are and say we’re here to assist with their move-in.”
“Everyone greeted me with a big hug when I first got here,” said Austin Fedale,” incoming freshman (CAS) ’19. “All of the RAs were like ‘Yo! Come on in! Let’s have a good old time, and I’ll help you with whatever you need. It was such a positive experience.”
Fedale was able to get everything from his car to his new room within 15 minutes. He quickly was hanging up posters to give his room a personal touch while his mom helped him set up the kitchen.
“It is going to be so comical to see how this all happens, but we got him some Farberware pans, silverware and utensils for the kitchen,” said Ruth Fedale. “It’s going to be fun to see him put his chef skills to work.”
Although she won’t be around to help him navigate through recipes or throw meals together, Fedale’s mother is reassured her son is in good hands. He’s the 10th of 10 children and will be joining his older sister as he begins his college adventure.
“He’s my baby,” said Ruth. “It’s a little bit of an adjustment for me, but I’m very excited for where he is. The minute that I walked on campus this morning, I was looking at the different expressions in people’s faces. I just saw that it was genuine. It wasn’t like a plastic smile that I saw on everyone’s faces, but it was for real, and I knew that that had to do with God’s spirit living in peoples’ lives here on this campus. I’m really thrilled.”
“It’s a great time,” said Ellis. “We’re calming nerves, making everyone feel special, important and comfortable. This is home for a lot of people for the next nine months, so we’re just trying to make them feel welcome. This is a great place, and we’re here for them to make sure they’re ok and having a successful year.”
Many events are scheduled for the next several days to welcome new students. After moving in, they enjoyed ice cream around the Regent fountain. Getting-started events will wrap-up Sunday with a new student brunch, and first chapel and dedication.