Freshman move-in day at Western Carolina University this year will have a different twist, with the newest Catamounts scheduled to move into their residence hall rooms on Friday, Aug. 17, instead of the typical Saturday of years past.
More than 1,200 freshmen who will be living on campus and their parents will descend upon Cullowhee on Aug. 17 with two goals – to get their respective students situated in their rooms, while at the same time maintaining the sanity of all involved. It can be an intensely stressful situation for the students and their families as they take on the physical challenge of the move-in while also experiencing the myriad of emotions that come when a son or daughter leaves the nest for the first time and goes off to college.
A smiling face and a helping hand can make the situation better. That’s where Western’s faculty and staff enter the picture.
Once again, WCU employees will join the Welcome Team in assisting the students and families in moving students’ belongings from their vehicles to their residence hall rooms.
WCU Police Chief Tom Johnson has prepared tips that will be carried on Power 90.5, Western’s FM radio station, which will be broadcasting live from Scott Residence Hall during the day. With freshman move-in day falling on a Friday – a day in which the campus will be fully staffed and operating – some traffic patterns will be altered to accommodate the increased flow of traffic, Johnson said.
University Way (the road between H.F. Robinson Administration Building and the Fine and Performing Arts Center) will be converted to one-way traffic to facilitate move-in at Scott and Walker residence halls. Employees who park in the Robinson Building lot will need to enter and exit the lot from the lower entrances.
Access to Leatherwood Residence Hall will be through the rear parking lot to Dodson Cafeteria, Johnson said.
CatTran, the campus shuttle system, will be running with special hours from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and, on Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. While no special stops have been added to the purple buses’ normal routes, drivers will watch for anyone who needs a ride and will stop, when it is safe to do so, between posted pickup points.
Beginning this fall semester, Western is shortening the amount of time between move-in day and the opening of classes, a change university officials say is designed to help students make a more successful transition into the learning environment and increase their chances of academic success. Changes to the academic calendar include shifting freshman move-in one day earlier so that all university offices are open.
“When we have our new students moving in on Friday instead of on Saturday, we will have more university services available to assist them,” said Provost Kyle Carter. “That should help them deal with any of those unpredictable issues that might occur.”
All WCU employees are being asked to park in outlying lots on Aug. 17, and walk or ride CatTran to their offices in order to provide more space for students to unload and find temporary parking.