WEB UPDATE: Early movers to pay fee

Posted Friday, July 8, 7:00 p.m. Students moving into residence halls between Aug. 24 and Aug. 27 will have to pay a $175-per-day early move-in fee. University officials hope the fee will offset the costs associated with preparing rooms for early move-in and discourage students from coming back to campus before the official arrival time.

The 2,000 students anticipated to move in early – some of whom are exempted from the fee – include freshman orientation participants, summer resident transitioners and department staff members. Last year, only students with a department request were able to move in early. Now any student may apply to move into their fall residence hall without a University request.

“The University developed a fee to allow for students that are not affiliated with a department to arrive early,” Seth Weinshel, campus housing director, wrote in an e-mail.

The regular, free move-in period begins Aug. 27, four days before the first day of classes.

“Our goal is to make students’ transitions as smooth as possible, which requires a high level of interdepartmental coordination,” Weinshel said.

The Community Living and Learning Center sent a blast e-mail two weeks ago notifying students of the change, saying that applications for early move-in are due at 5:30 p.m. on July 25.

The CLLC e-mail indicates that only sophomores, juniors and seniors may apply to move in early. Weinshel said any student with a department request will be exempt from the fee.

Of the 2,000 expected students moving in early, Weinshel said approximately 75 percent will be charged. That means the move-in fee will generate at least $262,000 per day.

“We do not expect many of the students to pay the fee because many of them are departmental requests or are summer residents,” Weinshel said.

Students participating in the two Student Activity Center freshman orientations, Community Building Community and Project Exploration, will also be among those exempt from the fee.

Junior Andrew Baca will be leading a team for Project Exploration, a four-day outdoor freshman orientation in West Virginia, and is happy he will not be charged to move in early.

“I’m very surprised and confused,” Baca said. “I didn’t have to (pay the fee) last year.”

Baca worries that if students know about the $175 per day fee, it may discourage some students from moving in early.

“It could be a deterrent,” said Baca, who would have had to pay $525 to move in three days early. “If I knew about the money I’d be disheartened to have to pay to move into a room then go on the trip and not even sleep there for three days.”

Junior Billy Fettweis, a former member of the Residence Hall Association Executive Board, said the move-in fee was designed to discourage people from coming to campus early.

“In previous years it has been the policy not to allow students to move in early, but every year some students still are able to,” Fettweis said. “Then, students who follow the rules and move in on the correct date are disadvantaged because their roommate may have moved in early.”

“This is really to create equity to push for all students to move in at the same time,” Fettweis added. “If not, then the people who follow the rules end up getting penalized.”

-Michael Barnett contributed to this report

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