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Student, Staff, Faculty Volunteers Sought for Move-In Day

Old Dominion University's Office of Housing and Residence Life is asking for student, faculty and staff volunteers to welcome freshmen to campus, by helping them move into their residence halls.

With the opening of three new buildings, 2,300 students in all are expected to move into student housing on campus Thursday and Friday, Aug. 27 and 28. Many will be taking the big step of moving away from home for the first time. The initiative is designed to both welcome the new students and lend a helping hand.

"I believe ODU students are very eager to assist each other," said Carole Henry, executive director of housing and residence life. "It shows their commitment and care about the quality of experience they want other students to have while at ODU."

The volunteer move-in program has been running for several years. This year, 76 volunteers have already signed up, and organizers are hoping to double that number by Aug. 27. Students, staff and faculty are needed to, among other duties, help families with move-in, direct traffic, break down boxes, and help with the general flow of people and belongings into the residence halls.

"Our volunteers usually get a good laugh when they see what students bring to campus," said Henry. "One year, volunteers carried in over 100 pairs of shoes for one female student. We decided to do the math. That equals wearing approximately a pair a day for the entire semester."

Henry said there are also invariably those students who bring more stuff than their modest-sized room can possibly hold. "Volunteers offer valuable advice to the student attempting to decide what actually makes it into the room and what gets repacked into the truck."

Faculty and staff who wish to volunteer and are asked to attend one of the 30-minute meetings (listed below) for an overview of the entire move-in process.

Faculty/staff volunteer meetings are scheduled for:

• Monday, Aug. 24, at noon in the Potomac/York Room, Webb Center

• Tuesday, Aug. 25, at 4 p.m. in the Cape Charles Room, Webb Center.

For students, volunteer forms for individuals and groups/organizations are located on the Housing and Residence Life Web site: http://studentaffairs.odu.edu/housing/forms_pubs.

Henry said students and their families are incredibly grateful for the help on a busy, stressful day, which is why the program is so successful.

"After each move-in, it's common for our office to receive letters of thanks from families who were especially touched by the welcoming atmosphere and the help volunteers offered," she said.

Henry added that students who volunteer often get a lot out of their experience as well, making new friends and valuable contacts with the staff and faculty who also volunteer.

The program has continued to grow, and plans call for making T-shirts for volunteers next year.

"As we become more of a residential campus, we are hopeful this program will become a tradition," Henry said.

For information about the program, please call the Office of Housing and Residence Life, at 683-4864.

This article was posted on: August 17, 2009

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Telephone: 757-683-3114

Old Dominion University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution.