Wichita State move-in day a breeze for new students

"That was the easiest move ever."

So said Wichita State University freshman Cory Buller of Goessel, after a half-dozen upperclassmen carried his clothes, books, snacks and even a small refrigerator into the dorm room that will be his home for the next nine months.

There was moving help aplenty Saturday, the traditional move-in day at the university.

Hundreds of volunteers — identically dressed in bright yellow shirts reading "I'm a thinker, doer, MOVER and Shocker" — were standing by to help.

But standing by was about all most of them had to do.

A schedule change this year to start fall classes Monday opened the dorms early, and most of the students opted to get settled in on Wednesday.

And Saturday?

"We only have about 80 students left to move in and we signed up about 350 volunteers to help," said Wade Robinson, vice president of campus life and university relations.

University police patrolled the parking lot to provide traffic control for the trickle of cars coming in and out of the parking lot at Fairmount Towers, WSU's freshman dorm. And university president Don Beggs was on hand, welcoming incoming students.

Move-in day is part of about two weeks of activities leading up to Convocation, the official welcoming ceremony for incoming students and new faculty. This year's ceremony is scheduled for 11 a.m. Aug. 31 at the Charles Koch Arena on campus.

With little to do moving-wise, Gamma Phi Beta sorority sisters wandered the halls of the dorm towers looking for frosh to recruit.

"We're just kind of looking around for people who might be interested in going Greek (joining a sorority or fraternity)," said junior Charlotte McKellip. "It's a great way to meet people."

Beggs said it's important to shower newcomers with attention and help them make connections. He said studies show that about a third of students who don't finish their education can handle the coursework, but drop out because they feel lonely and isolated.

As he arrived Saturday, Buller was feeling anything but lonely and isolated.

He and his family barely had their keys out of the ignition before they were surrounded by the yellow-shirted volunteer movers.

"This is great. I don't need to carry anything," said Buller.

He described himself as "pretty excited, a little bit nervous, but mostly excited" about leaving home and embarking on his college career.

His mom, Emmie Buller, said she also felt a mix of emotions — as mothers have since the invention of college dorms.

"It's our first one leaving home," she said. "I'm excited for him, but I'm also sad to see him go."