3,200 new undergraduate students, 500 orientation leaders and welcome volunteers and only 9 hours — those are the hard and fast numbers summarizing move-in day on Friday. But those numbers alone cannot convey the monumental success of this well-executed plan.
Overall, the entire operation was as smooth as it could be. Students began trickling in across Thurston Avenue bridge by eight o’clock; the flow steadily increased toward midday, but everything was generally under control.
“I oversaw north campus, which went beautifully,” said Raj Maniam ’07, co-chair of the Orientation Steering Committee. “Things ran smoothly, there were no complaints, and the parents were happy.”
The amount of time it took for one to move in, from the time upon entering campus to the time upon carrying all of one’s belongings to one’s room, varied across campus. For some, moving in was a not a hard ordeal at all.
“We were one of the first people unloading in our timeslot so we were able to get things to the room in just 10-20 minutes,” said Yale Kim ’10 of Balch Hall.
“My move-in took about an hour,” said Jennifer Hue ’09. “But it was still very smooth, and there weren’t too many cars in the little parking lot behind the transfer center, so they managed that well.”
Before Friday one of the main concerns was rain. Fortunately, Ithaca provided clear skies throughout the day, though the heat was a source of complaint among many. Other than weather, some potential concerns were traffic and loss of luggage.
As before, move-in times were divided into three slots based on last name. Though they were split by equal thirds, “cars came in clusters and chunks” said Maniam, causing buildups at various times.
“It’s important to make sure traffic flow is consistent, that cars come in quickly and leave, so there’s no buildup,” said Maniam. “There was a small problem of misplaced luggage in one case, but that was found and resolved in a matter of minutes.”
“All the people helping with luggage were supportive, and nothing of mine was lost. Settling in was pretty easy because of all the helpers,” acknowledged Kim.
Last year, Cornell was recognized among universities and colleges as having one of the most successful move-in days, according to Lisa K’Bedford, assistant dean of students for new student programs.
Much of the success rests upon the volunteers — orientation leaders, supervisors and the orientation steering committee — who arrived at Cornell a full week ahead of their peers in preparation for orientation.
“It all comes from the enthusiasm of the volunteers and how they all work so well together. It’s a miracle that so many people come out in such numbers to help, all done for no money. Helping out new students is a part of Cornell,” Maniam said.
The students would tend to agree.
“I don’t think it would’ve been too bad to carry up my stuff myself, but it’s always way better to have the help of the volunteers,” Hue said.