Orientation move-in delayed

Christina Chaey

For upperclassmen living on campus next fall, New Student Week will get shorter for the second straight year.

The earliest date current undergraduates can move into on-campus housing for the 2008-09 academic year is Friday, Sept. 19, at the end of NU’s orientation week for incoming freshmen, formally known as Wildcat Welcome.

In an e-mail sent to students early Wednesday morning, officials said exceptions will be made for “students necessary for the opening of the halls,” such as community assistants.

In past years, returning students have moved into dorms earlier during the week before classes. Last September, students were permitted to return beginning the Wednesday of Wildcat Welcome, the day after freshmen started arriving.

Officials delayed the move-in day for upperclassmen this year to maintain control within residence halls.

“There’s a lot of liabilities with moving things in: things getting broken, things getting stolen,” Marc Skjervem, director of new student and parent programs, said in September. “So that’s why we limit it to the staff that we have.”

Mary Goldenberg, director of university residential life, and Garth Miller, executive director of university housing, did not return multiple calls Wednesday seeking comment on the change for next fall. But students involved in organizing Wildcat Welcome said they hope the later date will help build stronger unity within the freshman class.

“We want to help the freshmen form their own community so that they don’t get lost among the upperclassmen,” said Medill sophomore Shane Singh, a member of the Wildcat Welcome Board of Directors.

The directors of Wildcat Welcome hope the change will decrease the number of freshmen partying with upperclassmen, something that has occurred during orientation week in the past, Singh said.

“Last year there were a whole bunch of alcohol-related incidents that happened during Wildcat Welcome,” Singh said. “The fraternities and sororities have Freshman Freeze, but most of the parties the freshmen go to during the first week of campus are off-campus anyway.”

A Student-Community Relations Task Force report found 23 alcohol-related incidents in which students were transported to the hospital last Fall Quarter. Fifteen of those incidents involved freshmen.

Communication sophomore Josie Chai, who lives in McCulloch Hall, said she was unsure pushing back upperclassman move-in will have an impact on partying during Wildcat Welcome.

“I know older students that took out freshmen, but not until later in the year,” Chai said. “During the first week back this year, I just went out with my sophomore friends because we were all so happy to see each other again.”

Amy Wang, president of Bobb-McCulloch, said it is a “shame that freshmen won’t be able to interact with upperclassmen.”

“It’s a loss on their part and ours because we won’t be able to have a lot of time to interact before classes start, the Weinberg freshman said.

Karina Martinez-Carter and Matt Spector contributed to this report.

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