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Freshman Move-In Day Backs Up Traffic, ‘Controlled Chaos’ is Order of the Day

Looks like move-in day to me! Cars line Rivers Street, looking to make the turn up to the dorms off of Stadium Drive. Photo by Ken Ketchie

By Jesse Wood

The traffic in Boone today confirms the beginning of move-in weekend for Appalachian State University. On Rivers Street, cars were bumper to bumper as vehicles, including moving vans, were looking to turn up Stadium Drive, where several dorms exist.

Friday – from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. – is move-in day for incoming freshman and transfer students. Megan Hayes, director of University Communications, said an estimated 2,500 students will move in today. While official enrollment numbers won’t be finalized for a few weeks, Hayes is confident the incoming freshman class will exceed 3,100.

On Saturday, Aug. 13, returning students will be moving into assigned dorm rooms from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Appalachian State University enrolls about 18,000 students. But not all of those students will be living in and around Boone. 1,227 of those students are listed as “distance-education” students on the App State’s website.

The first day of classes for Appalachian State University – and Less McRae College and Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute – is Monday, Aug. 15.

Appalachian’s Move-in Day 2016 — ‘controlled chaos’ is order of the day

By: Elisabeth Wall / ASU News Service

You’d expect the arrival of 2,500 new students plus parents, siblings and several mountains of gym bags, electronics, Rubbermaid® totes, microwaves, pillows, twin-bed quilt sets and untold bags and boxes of miscellany might create a little chaos on move-in day at Appalachian State University.

“The campus will be insane,” said Tom Kaine, director of university housing, the night before the onslaught.

But, in truth, Kaine’s team has honed such a well-oiled system of volunteers with dollies and four-wheel carts, trash and maintenance stations and conga-lines of movers that by 4:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 12, if all goes as expected, the stacks of cardboard boxes will have been recycled, beds will have been adjusted, arranged and made, students will have met new roommates, campus parking lots will be empty and fall semester 2016 officially will be in session.

According to Susan Davies, associate vice chancellor for enrollment management, “The incoming freshman class is shaping up to be the largest, most diverse class so far, and the freshman class will exceed 3,100. We also have about 1,250 transfer students and more than 500 new graduate students on campus.”

Kaine confirms he is expecting more than 2,500 students to move in between 9 a.m.- 4 p.m. today.

“It’s fun, everybody is excited, the stuff gets unpacked, goes up, the rooms get set up and then everybody goes to Walmart,” he said.

“This is always one of the most exciting days on campus, and one of my favorites,” Chancellor Sheri N. Everts, said early on move-in day. “It’s a beginning full of possibilities for our new students. Our housekeeping staff and the hundreds of volunteers have made moving in all these students seamless. All of us in the Appalachian Community are dedicated to making the rest of this experience a fulfilling and transformational one for the students who are joining us today.”

Kaine expects everything to go well. But, he said, “It will rain. If it doesn’t, it’ll be a miracle.”

Last year an unusual hail storm temporarily shut down the process, blew away a few tents and pinned Kaine and Chancellor Everts in Eggers Hall for almost an hour. 

Rain or shine, according to the Facebook post, Kaine and his crew has pulled off another beautifully orchestrated move-in day: “Laura O’Donnell Scuron Kudos to all the volunteers! Despite crowds, very organized!”

About Appalachian
Appalachian State University, in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The transformational Appalachian experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and embrace diversity and difference.

As one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina system, Appalachian enrolls about 18,000 students, has a low faculty-to-student ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.