More than 100 residence hall directors, residence assistants and student athletes worked alongside 45 faculty and staff volunteers (and, of course, Hugo the Hawk) to greet new first-year and transfer students at the door and help them settle into their new campus homes.
“I’ve been working here for seven years now, and every year Move-in Day just has a great energy,” said Shannon Moysey, coordinator of living/learning communities for the Department of Residence Life.
“Our biggest thing is making sure we make a good first impression, not only with the students but with the family and friends who are here with them. We know this can be an exciting moment, but also a stressful one, and we want them to have only great memories of their first day on campus this semester. Every time we smile and say ‘Happy Move-in Day!’ it’s because we really mean it, and we’re really happy to have them here at New Paltz.”
The community turnout on Move-in Day really can leave a lasting impression. Just ask Molly Poniatowski ’18 (Childhood Education), a residence assistant who just a few years ago got some help furnishing her dorm room from an unexpected mover.
“I remember when I was a first-year on Move-in Day, one of the sports teams was helping me move my stuff,” Poniatowski said. “All of a sudden, a man, who I didn’t know, comes and takes my mini-fridge up to my room. Lo and behold, an RA told me it was Donald P. Christian. I was star struck then, and I’m still star struck now.”
President Christian was on hand again this year, alongside his wife Sandy and dachshund Hans, doing the heavy lifting to get students at Esopus Hall set up.
— SUNY New Paltz (@newpaltz) August 24, 2017
For many families, it’s a day of mixed emotions, as students make one of the most important transitions of their lives. Volunteers helping welcome them to campus can help, but the most valuable support they receive often comes from the parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, grandparents and close friends who come down to see them off.
Sarah Foster ’21, of Clifton Park, N.Y., had half a dozen people with her in her room helping unpack and decorate. She admitted to being a little nervous about this new step, but her parents, Eryn and Marybeth Foster, were all resilience and positivity.
“I’m excited for her, because I feel like she’s been gearing up for this her whole life,” Marybeth said. “College is going to be her place to flourish, and she’s going to do great. I’m also really excited for New Paltz. It’s one of the best SUNY schools, so this is a proud moment.”
Move-in Day is part of Welcome Week 2017, a series of events designed to help students acclimate to campus life and kick off a successful academic year. Welcome Week programming is tailored to serve both first-year and transfer student communities.