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INSIDE BINGHAMTON UNIVERSITY

A Smooth Move
Move-in day a breeze

By : Stephen P. Jensen


Above, Andrew Pietris, left, and his father Tashe Pietris of Peekskill, right, chat with President Lois B. DeFleur and Kenneth Holmes, assistant vice president for student affairs, last week outside Seneca Hall.
Bad Company sang about “Movin’ On.” Billy Joel’s entry was “Movin’ Out,” as was an early 1970s track from Aerosmith. And Jackson Browne sang about “The Load-Out.”

This could have been a soundtrack sampler last week on the Binghamton University campus.

At BU, it was time for movin’ in.

For incoming freshmen, it’s arguably the biggest day of their college life. It’s the roommate upon whom they’ve never laid eyes.

Terrifying stuff.

So the last thing parents, and their fledgling college sons and daughters, need is a hassle.

Rene Coderre, assistant director for residential life, said Thursday’s move-in for freshmen and transfers was smooth.

“It went very well from what we could see,” said Coderre, who’s been involved in the first-day flurry since 1986. “We didn’t get any big rushes, as we have in past years. It was one of the better ones I’ve seen since I’ve been here.”

In years past there may have been a last-minute need for additional beds or dressers. Not this time. And about four years ago, Coderre said, traffic entering College-in-the-Woods could get congested. But a re-direct rectified that snag, too.

ON TOUR

Ken Holmes, assistant vice president for student life, toured the campus with President Lois B. DeFleur Thursday morning. Holmes has been through move-in 16 straight years, the last six at BU.

“We wanted to show her how we’ve perfected the system,” Holmes said. “We even took her to the circle to show her the line of traffic, and to show her how well it was moving.

“Over the years we’ve gotten to the point where we do this well,” he said. “We welcome our parents and new students with a bang, and all hands are on deck.”

“It was great seeing the enthusiasm and excitement of the new students and their families,” said DeFleur. “I was particularly impressed with the efficiency of the Residential Life staff and the help provided by student groups and Physical Facilities.”

Comparing BU’s move-in process to others with which he’s had involvement, Holmes said, “It’s one of the best, if not the best, especially for the number of students we have.”

“Students and their families really appreciate the help our staff and students provide,” said DeFleur. “The transition to college is a stressful time for both students and their families, and we make it easier for them.”

“The only thing that could have made it better is if we had more vehicles to haul luggage,” said Coderre. “The problem is that not too many places rent those sorts of vehicles (small or larger tractors, for example) for a day. But having the ‘bubble cars’ around helped.”

NO SWEAT

Not a problem, said a spate of newcomers and family.

Anthony Oliver, 18, of Chazy (near Plattsburgh) was calm and collected as he, his younger brother Timmy and their mother, Donna, emptied their green mini-van outside Rafuse Hall Thursday.

“I’m the mother of a freshman,” said Donna Oliver. “Can you tell by the look on my face? He’s just looking forward to ditching his mother. But as far as the help here, the kids (BU volunteers) have been so helpful, in and out.”

“This has been really easy, moving in,” said Anthony Oliver. “We pulled up and unloaded and had plenty of help.”

“The traffic was easy,” said Donna Oliver, who attended Plattsburgh as a student. “It was well marked and there were people at every turn. Even if you get lost, there are people there to guide you back. It’s a lot easier than I remember Plattsburgh. There, it’s one long street and it’s jammed, bumper-to-bumper. This is spread out well.”

Lined up as a welcoming committee at O’Connor were resident assistants Eric Hu, 22, Emilee Brokman, 21, and George Ghobrial, 21. With them was the resident director for the hall, Kaila LaMarche.

“It’s busy, but fun,” said LaMarche, who’s been through this six times at Oregon State as a student and resident director. This was her first time at BU. “The flow here is fine. People are in and out quickly and the staff here has been awesome.”

“Usually it’s an entirely frustrating day because parents want to do everything for the kids,” said Brokman, “but the kids want to do things by themselves. It’s been very efficient, though. We’re here to help.”

EASY-GOING EXPERIENCE

The worst part of moving in, said Micol Zweig, 18, of Pelham, “is the running around to get phone numbers and signed in, etc., but this has been very organized.” For her father, Robert Zweig, it was a little tougher leaving his child at school.

“I’m hanging in there. She’s fine.” he said. “ This whole moving-in process has been very smooth. It’s a very easy-going experience, which is nice considering the psychological trauma we’re under.”

At Johnson Hall, Yleana Estevez, 17, of Sleepy Hollow, worried more about her mother, Juana Estevez, than about the move-in.

“I’m doing OK,” said the freshman. “She may cry soon, though. But I need the experience of going away. I’m excited.”

Lillian Olivo watched her son David move into Digman Hall last week, too. A freshman from Manhattan’s Lower East Side, David Olivo’s been through this before, said his mother.

“His sister graduated from the University of Pennsylvania this year, so he has some nice hand-me-downs,” she said, pointing to a refrigerator and microwave oven. “He has his world here. His PlayStation, his X-Box and his Game Cube. “We were here to drop him off at the summer camp,” said Lillian Olivo, “and today there was more traffic. But they loaded all his stuff in the ‘bubble car’ and that made it easy.

“Now we have the stairs, and no elevators. But there are volunteers here to help.”
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Last Updated: 10/14/08