Online check-in, more volunteers ease move-in

Triple the amount of volunteers and a new electronic self check-in process helped ease this year’s move-in, which occurred the day after a tropical depression hit D.C.

“It takes a Herculean effort to move everyone into GW in one day, and this was an overly successful move-in,” said Seth Weinshel, director of housing and occupancy management. “There were very few lines anywhere, and even the weather let up.”

About 6,500 students were moved into their University housing assignments by late Saturday evening with about 600 students not yet checked in, Weinshel said.

“Move-in went really smoothly considering the number of people, the number of elevators and the crowded stairs,” said freshman Leah Goldberger, who moved into Thurston Hall. “I expected it to be more stressful and hectic, and it was fine.”

She added that “the parking situation was very well-organized and there were really no lines.”

Parent Barbara Waringer also felt that move-in went much better than she had anticipated.

“I was expecting absolute chaos, and everything was much more organized than I thought,” Waringer said. “Even check-in was quick, fast and very convenient.”

This was the first year the University offered an online self check-in feature that students could access and complete before arriving to campus. Self check-in – a process similar to that used by the airline industry – is the first of many features made available by a new software program used by GW Housing Programs.

“In addition to minimizing check-in lines, the new software eliminates the need for data entry and infinitely speeds up the time needed to pull numbers and statistics,” Weinshel said.

“Self check-in was extremely popular,” Weinshel added. “We sent out an initial e-mail alerting students of the feature on Friday, August 25, and in just an hour 100 students had already checked in. By the following Monday, more than 1,000 students had utilized self check-in.”

Another factor that led to such an unexpectedly smooth move-in day was the size of this year’s move-in volunteer staff. This year’s 300 volunteers not only offered students and parents directions and general information but also helped physically transport students’ belongings from the car to their rooms.

“Our volunteers really came through and helped make move-in as successful as it was,” Weinshel said.

Freshman Mehal Pandya was not able to find a cart to help bring her belongings up to her room on an upper floor of Thurston, so instead she utilized the help of the day’s move-in volunteers.

“Four volunteers helped me cart all of my stuff up the stairs when I was not able to find a cart,” Pandya said. “Move-in went really well because of them.”

Pandya added that all the volunteers knew what was going on and could give her answers about any aspects of move-in that were confusing.

“No one seemed stressed out or irritated,” Pandya said.

Parent Pam Fortin said without the volunteers, move-in would have been awful and that she could not have imagined the day without their help.

“I’ve done dorm stuff before, and I was concerned about the number of floors and the number of people (in Thurston Hall),” Fortin said, “but with volunteers there to help carry heavy boxes up seven flights of stairs, everything went fine.”

Although move-in officially began Saturday after the brunt of the tropical weather had subsided, some students moved in during the inclement weather Friday. GW Housing Programs charged a $175-per-day fee for early move-in.

The Mount Vernon Campus lost electricity throughout the late afternoon and early evening Friday due to a fallen tree, said Matt Lindsay, assistant director of Media Relations. The Vern Express shuttle service was temporarily halted during the power outage, and many students waited out the blackout in the Marvin Center. n

-David Ceasar contributed to this report.

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