Hundreds of volunteers will direct traffic and lift boxes Sunday and Monday
It’s a well-choreographed exercise in precision, communication, and people moving.
Move-in day for first-year students at UBC’s Okanagan campus takes place Sunday, September 1, and as Suzanne Nazareno says, moving more than 900 students into the university’s residences in a matter of hours becomes a day that mirrors military precision, timing, and communication.
“From the very first car that rolls onto campus at about 7 a.m., until the very last student is settled that evening, it’s a day of traffic and volunteer logistics that needs to be well planned right down to the smallest detail,” says Nazareno, manager of Student Housing and Hospitality Services. “Move-in day resembles choreographed chaos and it takes a lot of UBC staff and volunteers help make the massive influx of people go as smoothly as possible.”
The key, she says, is to keep traffic flowing along the university’s roadways. Students moving into residences are assigned a time to arrive on campus. Upon arrival, they are directed to a specified parking lot where they wait their turn to drive up to their residence and unload. To keep things moving, UBC student athletes from several Heat teams along with Student Orientation volunteers wait outside residences and start unloading a vehicle as soon as it pulls up.
Nazareno says if all goes well, a car can be unloaded, and a student can be in their room in a matter of minutes.
“One of our biggest concerns is safety of all the students and volunteers during student move-in day,” she says. “We find if we direct the cars a few at a time, and they only go when we can confirm that there is room for more cars, we can move people efficiently and calmly.”
There is also an area for students who arrive from the airport via taxi. They can unload belongings from the taxi and their boxes will be shuttled to residences when vehicle space allows.
There is more to student move-in day than carting boxes, however. Many UBC departments are open for business on Sunday, so students can get most things done before classes start on Wednesday – including photo ID, campus keys, meal plan tickets, and a campus tour and orientation. At 3 p.m. all first-year students living on campus are required to attend the residence meeting in their building. It’s a time for residence advisors to meet the students on their floors, explain how residence life works, lay down the rules, and answer questions.
Also Sunday, a parent orientation session takes place so any concerns can be discussed and questions answered. Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Principal Deborah Buszard will also be on campus Sunday and will address participants at the parent welcome session.
Nazareno notes it can be a day of high emotion, and there are UBC staff and volunteers on hand to deal with just about any situation that comes up. Residence advisors, a nurse, and counsellor for the student residence program, and peer mentors will be available.
Move-in day for all returning students takes place Monday when a further 400 students arrive on campus. Create, student orientation day, takes place Tuesday, September 3 and welcome activities continue through the week. More information about New Student Orientation events can be found at: www.ubc.ca/okanagan/students/newtoubc/orientations/create/new/details