The elevators were simply not good enough for people moving into Thurston Hall on August 23 – the day the residence halls opened their doors for the new school year.
Instead, some people chose to scale the nine-story building’s two staircases with items such as large-screened televisions, trunks, rugs and even mini-refrigerators.
It was not a plan to beat the freshman-fifteen. Climbing the stairs was a mandatory task for students who wanted to be completely moved into their room before classes started Monday.
I got (to Thurston) at 7 a.m. and I was expecting the building to be nice and empty, but there was already a line forming all the way up F Street, freshman Eric Rubin said. People were already to the corner and the doors weren’t even open yet.
Since Rubin had his belongings in his room by the time the mid-day chaos picked up, he had time to observe the lines of frustrated parents and siblings patiently waiting and physically fighting for their turn on the elevator.
The early birds were not only the first ones to pile their belongings into the elevators, but they were also the first get to their rooms to claim their spaces.
I felt sorry for those people who came at 1 p.m., Rubin said. Our fourth roommate did not get here until then, so he got the top bunk, the worst closet, and the desk in the corner. It’s sad, but it is first come, first serve.
Outside Thurston Hall, the level of activity was limited to tearful family members who were given the job of guarding the piles of boxes, computers, bulletin boards, Yaffa blocks and trash bags full of clothes belonging to their sons and daughters.
I would think that there has to be a better way to do this, such as assigning people times when they can come in and unload, said Pat Gidjunis, a mother who stood by her son’s possessions while he traveled back and forth between his room on the eighth floor and the sidewalk.
They could have (carts) or baskets ready for people and you could just keep moving them in, she said. You could do it really organized and you wouldn’t have to deal with all of this. There are a lot of ways that you can improve rather than let everyone fend for themselves.
Many employees from the Community Living and Learning Center stood outside the freshmen dorms, in order to make the process run more smoothly; however, the unexpected number of students moving in at the same time brought large crowds. Before students could brave the long line for the elevators, they had to join the waiting list for carts, an item that many needed.
Students in Mitchell Hall, another traditionally freshmen dorm, were also experiencing problems.
Only two out of the three elevators (in Mitchell Hall) are working, said freshman Ryan Terrill. For a while, only one was working.
Students were given five days to move into their residence halls instead of the one day they were assigned last year, Michael Norton, a Thurston Hall Community Facilitator, said.
From what I’ve heard, it has gone a lot smoothly this year, Norton said.
GW Security Department Officer Hope Carlisle, who was assigned to keep the traffic flowing on F Street later during the move-in week, said there were still problems.
Perhaps some of the parents and students should have come a little later in the evening, Carlisle said. It certainly died down and the lines on the elevator weren’t as bad.
As the chaotic week of freshmen move-in came to an end, the class of 2004 can brag that they have jumped the hurdles of parental good-byes, book purchases, finding friends, hooking up Resnet and learning how to function on as little sleep as possible.