Students have “Move-In Day” down to a science

September 02, 2008

During Move-in Day for the Class of 2012, it took freshman Anna Galloway and her parents, Tim and Wendy of Severna Park, more than an hour to wind their way through campus from McDaniel College’s Main Street entrance to the all-women Whiteford residence hall.

It took a mere three minutes for a legion of volunteers to empty the family Volvo of Anna’s must-haves, boxes and bins filled with basic school necessities and the comforts of home.

With about 150 volunteers offering their help, families like the Galloways had little to do but marvel as their cars, trucks and SUVs were swarmed by a highly coordinated contingent of eager movers.

Volunteers for the Move-In Crew included peer mentors, resident assistants, Christian Fellowship and ROTC members and cheerleaders.

All told, it took little more than about three hours for the orderly throngs of volunteers to empty cars of countless boxes, a few flat-screen TVs and game consoles, and stashes of late-night snacks.

“They’ve made it very stress-free for us,” Anna’s mother, Wendy, said last Wednesday from the comfort of the front seat of the family car. “They are very organized.”

Fernando Gomes, a 20-year-old junior, was among those helping freshmen and their families make their way toward the dorms. From his perch near Whiteford Hall, his job included greeting the families and instructing them on the logistics of getting their vehicles unpacked.

He gave explicit instructions to each family.

“Do not lift a finger,” Gomes said.

The volunteers wearing bright yellow T-shirts would take care of everything, he explained.

“We just ask that one person stay with the car so you can move it as soon as they have emptied everything,” he said.

At Rouzer Hall, the all-men’s residence hall on campus, parent Renate Buttrum from Eldersburg speculated that while the women may have been bringing more things, it appeared that the men were bringing bigger things.

“I’ve seen quite a few flat screen TVs and Xboxes,” said Renate, whose son, Joey, 17, decided with his parents against bringing gaming hardware to campus for his first semester.

Instead, the Buttrum’s packed two fans because Rouzer lacks air-conditioning, a computer, lamps and plenty of bins for storing clothes and other necessities.

But Scott Camuto, 18, of Westfield, N.J., was undeterred as he settled into his room in Rouzer with a DVD player, an Xbox 360, and a flat-screen TV. In a corner of the room, his father worked on setting up the webcam on Scott’s computer, which will enable Scott to see his family --- namely, his two cats, Sam and Cossette.

Scott and his parents, Alaina and Ron Camutto, said they greatly appreciated the Move-In Crew’s help.

“It’s great how organized it is,” Alaina said. “The kids are wonderful. They’re exhausted, but they’re really helpful and very supportive.”

This year’s entering class includes 432 freshmen and 58 transfers.

According to preliminary data from the admissions office, the Class of 2012:

• Is 49 percent male and 51 percent female
• Represents 29 states, and includes two students from Alaska
• Includes students from six countries, Moldova, South Korea, Zambia, Kenya, Romania, Tonga
• 60 percent are from Maryland
• 16 percent are from Carroll County
• 18.3 percent are minorities (up from 12 percent last year)
• 30 percent were members of the National Honor Society
• 60 percent held at least one leadership role in an organization
• 99 were captains of athletic teams at their high schools
• More than 60 percent were involved in "ongoing community service" that was not required for school

As their first full day of college life came to a close with a convocation ceremony at Baker Memorial Chapel, freshmen and their families gathered with President Joan Develin Coley and faculty members on Red Square for the longstanding McDaniel tradition of the “ringing of the bell.”

Kara Smith, an 18-year-old from Atlanta who plans to study graphics design and art, was the last one in a long line of freshmen who gave a hearty tug on the bell as the symbolic start of this leg of her academic journey.

Kara, who will play for the college’s basketball team, beamed with a sense of anticipation for the coming year after ringing the bell.

“I’m ready to get going.”