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Aug. 27, 2011
Yellow carts filled with clothes, bedding and an array of personal belongings moved steadily into residence halls - with flat screen televisions, mini refrigerators and futons often following close behind - as about 1,500 freshmen and their families descended on the Northwest Missouri State University campus Thursday, Aug. 25.
From the University's Residential Life staff, to the 350 upperclassmen who volunteered for this year's ‘Cat Crew, to the University Police officers who managed the traffic flow, move-in day at Northwest has evolved into a well-oiled machine.
By noon, more than half of the new students were moved into their new residences, with a few beds that suddenly didn't fit in their spaces being among the biggest obstacles, Residential Life Director Rose Viau said.
"We almost always have a smooth move-in," said Viau, who was coordinating her 12th move-in day at Northwest. "We have a group that works so well together that we usually don't have any huge problems."
Freshman Jessi Arneson arrived about 7:30 a.m. from Atlantic, Iowa, with her parents, Mike and Colleen, and visions of sweating it out as they moved her belongings up and down stairs. That's where the Cat Crew steps in, unloading vehicles at the curb and transporting students' belongings to their rooms.
"It was a really organized move-in; it was excellent," Mike said. "I was envisioning being hot and sweaty and taking stuff up and down, but it was all up here, and in 15 minutes we had it all set up."
Viau said students seem to bring more with them each year, including one family who rolled in this year with a Nebraska Furniture truck. However, students also have become more creative through the years with organizing their rooms.
"They bring so much more furniture," Viau said. "They bring so many more items that they can't quite fit in their rooms. But they also coordinate their rooms a lot better. They're more decorative and colorful, so they look much more homey and appealing to the students."
Once the move-in process was complete, new residents set their sights on meeting new people and exploring all the campus has to offer. Many said they chose Northwest over larger schools for its comfortable setting and high-level of staff involvement as well as the variety of academic programs.
"The campus is amazing," said Nick Blackwell, who comes from Kearney and wants to study computer science. "Everything is close. There's plenty to do here with all of the programs."
Shawn Betz, of Lee's Summit, plans to study graphic design and said he chose Northwest for its size and affordability. His father, Rodney, sporting a Northwest shirt while he helped Shawn set up his room said, "This is the only place we got a reaction. We toured other colleges, and this was the only place he felt comfortable. These are some of the best dorms we've seen."
To help guide new students and answer questions, resident assistants, Peer Educator in Residence for Technology (PERT) staff members and other students were stationed in areas throughout the residence halls.
"It's important for us as student staff members to be smiling and welcoming because we have a lot of similarities to these students, and we're going to influence them the most when they get here," said Cameron Ramaekers, a sophomore interactive digital media major from Papillion, Neb., and a PERT in Hudson Hall. "It's important that we make them feel welcome, and Northwest does a good job of getting students involved."
Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
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Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468