Refrigerators, computers, mounds of snacks and fun room décor. It’s all being brought this week to residence hall rooms at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh.
The anticipation of a new academic year is no more evident than at move-in at residence halls around campus. Students are saying goodbye to their families as they set up their college living spaces and prepare for classes to begin Sept. 6.
“It’s one of my favorite times of the year,” said Chancellor Andy Leavitt, after spending part of his day helping students unload items from their vehicles.
Nearly 2,300 housing contracts are signed for the upcoming academic year. Students will be living in North Scott, South Scott, Fletcher, Evans, Stewart, Taylor and Donner halls as well as Horizon Village.
Move-in takes place from Aug. 30 to Sept. 2. Fall sports athletes, Titan Welcome leaders and other student employees took advantage of early move-in. With about 750 students moving in on Wednesday, the expectation is that at least 50% of students will be settled into their UWO homes by the end of Aug. 30.
Faculty, staff, students and alumni volunteer as a MyTitan, welcoming families and helping new and returning students move into their residence halls.
“Move-in is an exciting time of year when we welcome thousands of students to our UW Oshkosh residence hall community,” said Lori Develice Collins, who noted they are “thrilled” to have 90 MyTitan volunteers ready to help.
After signing up for a move-in time, the student and parent(s) report to their hall at their scheduled time. They are greeted by University Police staff, residence life staff and MyTitan volunteers. While the student is checking in to get their room key, family, friends and volunteers will quickly unload their vehicle.
Former residence hall director moves daughter
Abby Silvia, associate director of residence life, is moving her oldest daughter into Fletcher Hall. For 20 years, Silvia has greeted students and families at UWO move-in. For the first time, she is on the other side, loosening the parental strings.
“I’m excited for her,” Silvia said about her daughter, adding the “whole family was jittery all morning” with anticipation of move-in. “There are so many opportunities at UWO.”
Isabella will study psychology-pre-med. The Oshkosh West graduate has a younger sister, Chloe, who is in 8th grade. The two girls were born during the years Abby and her husband, Nick, were living in a Fletcher Hall apartment (prior to recent renovations) when she worked as a residence hall director.
“It’s a full-circle kind of moment,” Isabella Silvia said.
Although she’s from Oshkosh, Isabella thinks she’ll stay on campus most of the time and looks forward to meeting new people. After all, if she needs anything, her mom will be a short distance away on campus.
Scott and Amy Leffler of Pewaukee did double duty Wednesday, moving their daughter, Kaitlyn, into South Scott and their son, Nick, a sophomore, into Taylor Hall.
Kaitlyn is starting her first semester in the College of Nursing. Nick is studying supply chain management in the College of Business.
“Our wash machine is happier,” Scott Leffler joked, as piles of clothes were taken inside Scott Hall.
Edward Hamilton of Milwaukee, was moving his youngest child, daughter Nadiatier Hamilton, into her UWO home at Scott Hall.
“She’ll make us empty-nesters,” he said referencing the home he and his wife made with their children.
The emotions will swell—“that’s part of it,” Hamilton said. He spoke with pride of his daughter who will study science courses to get a start on becoming a veterinarian.
Special advice for parents
Develice Collins said residence life staff has important tips for parents during this transitional time, including resisting the urge to get involved and solve their student’s problems. Instead, parents are encouraged to listen and offer coaching. Parents should remind students that transitioning to a new place and finding belonging takes effort, patience and time.
Students are encouraged to stay on campus for the first few weekends of school. They should make sure they know their community adviser (CA) and Residence Hall Adviser (RHD) and go to them with any concerns about their residence hall or experience.
Natasha Zwijacz, residence hall director at Fletcher Hall where about 350 students will live on four floors, said a whole slate of activities and events are planned for students across campus as they get ready to start the fall semester.