Families embrace the moment and the milestone of beginning college as EMU welcomes new students

Written by Geoff Larcom / EMU

YPSILANTI – It was a morning of hugging loved ones, lugging clothes and supplies and mugging – for the camera, that is, as Eastern Michigan University joyfully welcomed new students and their families on Move-In Day, Friday, August 30.

The north end of campus quickly came alive Friday morning as families streamed in to drop off excited freshmen – newly minted Eagles experiencing the rush of campus and college for the first time.  

More than 100 New Student Orientation Assistants (NSOAs) were on hand to help students register and get into their residence halls. Also assisting were many members of Eastern’s fraternities and sororities, who helped lug in everything from crates of cereal (don’t forget the Fruit Loops) to guitars, rugs, laundry hampers, lamps and, of course, clothes.

Like the other NSOAs, Annette Tant, a senior human resources major, underwent three days of training to prepare for the next three days (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) of orientation activities.

“I wanted to help people out and really get involved,” Tant said as she greeted students at the entrance to Downing Hall.

Katie Totedo, who was also helping greet new students in the residence halls along with a table of other NSOAs, loves orientation for “the hype, energy and excitement” associated with students beginning their college experience, along with assisting students in making that first transition to college life.

“That’s not the easiest thing to do,” she said of those first days away from home. “I love Eastern Michigan, and I want to spread that spirit to our new students.”

Another NSOA, Kendyl Burkey, added, “I was terrified when I began college, and my NSOA really helped me.”

Meanwhile, nearby stood James Webb, chair of the EMU Board of Regents and an EMU alumnus, helping guide new students and their families into the elevator at Best Hall.

Webb, who was appointed a regent in Dec. 2012, was in his sixth consecutive year of helping out students and families in Best Hall and savoring the distinct energy of Move-in Day.

“I just love seeing the kids coming here for their first time,” Webb said after shepherding yet another box-carrying, cart-pushing group into the elevator. “They’re excited, proud, and even a bit bewildered.”

Move-in Day was just the start of “First Three,” a series of exciting activities stretching over the weekend to help students get acclimated to campus and – of course – to have fun. The first day’s events also included the annual Convocation Ceremony – a vibrant, pep rally type event – along with Eaglepalooza in Bowen Field House and special student receptions. Saturday and Sunday involve special sessions on topics such as student success, Title IX Rights and Responsibilities and exploring the myriad ways to get involved at Eastern. Not to be missed are the performances of the CloseUp, Eastern’s talented and longstanding theatre troupe.

In all, 2,330 students were set to move in over the Labor Day weekend, bringing the total on campus this year to nearly 3,200. About 850 students had already moved in forearly arrival programs such as marching band and NSOA training. Approximately 1470 of the students living on campus are freshman or first-year students.  

Classes start Wednesday, Sept. 4, and Homecoming week is October 7 – 12.

About Eastern Michigan University Founded in 1849, Eastern is the second oldest public university in Michigan. It currently serves more than 18,000 students pursuing undergraduate, graduate, specialist, doctoral and certificate degrees in the arts, sciences and professions. In all, more than 300 majors, minors and concentrations are delivered through the University’s Colleges of Arts and Sciences; Business; Education; Engineering and Technology; Health and Human Services; and, its graduate school. EMU is regularly recognized by national publications for its excellence, diversity, and commitment to applied education. For more information about Eastern Michigan University, visit the University’s website.