Incoming freshmen settle in during Moving In Day

SUNY New Paltz became home to more than 1,100 first-year students on Thursday during the College’s annual Moving In Day celebration. They will be joined by more than 700 transfer students for the start of the fall 2014 semester on Monday, Aug. 25.

Teams of volunteers, including President Donald P. Christian and his wife Sandy, college administrators, staff members, students, student-athletes, and even the campus mascot Hugo the Hawk, were on hand to help the new students and their families move carloads of personal items into residence halls.

Incoming first-year student Asiyah Rahman of Ellenville, N.Y., was all smiles as she settled into Lenape Hall, joined by her parents, Dilara and Muhammad, as well as her older sister, SUNY New Paltz junior Bilqees Rahman ’16.

Asiyah and Bilqees are both enrolled in the College’s cooperative B.S./D.O. program, a seven-year dual degree medical program with the New York Institute of Technology.

“I was looking into B.S./D.O. programs, and I really like the program here,” said Asiyah. “And it’s also really close to home.”

Dilara and Muhammad were delighted that both of their daughters decided to attend the same college, just 23 miles away from their hometown.

“This is a good school, but it’s also easy to keep in touch,” said Dilara. “I can frequently visit them, even if they don’t visit me!”

While the Rahmans are just on the other side of the Shawangunk Mountains from their daughters, Lori and Robert Zito of Holtsville, Long Island, N.Y., had to travel a bit further to help their daughter, first-year elementary education student Jessica Zito, move into her new residence hall.

“She loved the town, and after experiencing the Orientation sleepover, it solidified that this is where she wanted to go,” said Robert. “She fell in love with the students and the school, and that pretty much made her decision.”

Robert and Lori felt “great” about the fact that Jessica, who was also accepted to the Honors Program, chose to attend SUNY New Paltz.

“We were both very impressed with the quality of the program and the students on the campus,” said Robert. “Not to mention the fact that it’s a little easier on the wallet than some of the private schools we were looking at. … Overall, we told Jessica, ‘You make the decision.’ And she chose this school over all the others.”

Incoming first-year students will receive an official welcome to the SUNY New Paltz community at this Friday’s Convocation ceremony, which has been revamped this year to be an interactive, student-centered event. Convocation will begin at noon in the Athletic and Wellness Center, and will include keynote addresses from President Christian; physics and astronomy department chair Stacie Nunes ’84g; and SUNY New Paltz Class of 2014 valedictorian Arielle Rubinstein.