With the help of 1,200 student and staff volunteers, including University President Steven Knapp and his wife, the University welcomed 7,400 students to GW residence halls on Saturday.
Seth Weinshel, director of GW Housing Programs, said this year’s volunteer staff was the largest yet.
“As freshmen see that there is help, as they become sophomores and juniors, they want to give back the same help,” he said.
Before Saturday, 3,000 students had already moved in to participate in sponsored programs, volunteer for move-in, or were granted early access through GW Housing Programs or Residential Property Management.
Sara Sopher, who moved into Guthridge Hall last Tuesday, said she was glad to have avoided the Saturday move-in rush.
“I moved in early because I’m doing an LLC, so that was nice,” Sopher said.
Summer residents also moved into their new rooms before Saturday, and 1,000 freshmen arrived to participate in Colonial Inauguration, or one of many pre-semester programs.
In the past, students have been encouraged to check-in online and bring a completed form to campus in order to expedite the key pick-up process. A student without the form slows down the line while completing a new one upon arrival.
For the first time this year, the housing staff implemented a raffle in which students who brought a completed check-in form were automatically entered in a raffle to win $500, $100, or $50 in GWorld credit.
Weinshel said, “We as a staff and as a committee thought, ‘Well what if we incentivize this?’ That essentially makes move-in for them go a whole lot quicker.”
Weinshel said, “One of the things that we have tried to do as an institution is try and make move-in as easy as possible and remove as much of the stress as possible for students and parents.”
Floor plans of dorms were available online before move-in to help students plan ahead. Students had requested this in the past in order to avoid bringing too much to fit into a small dorm room.
“My belief is people still bring a ton of stuff because they’re trying to make their room feel like home,” Weinshel said.
Though the freshman class this year is larger than in previous years, the University did not find it necessary to employ any new move-in tactics to accommodate the numbers. Rather, the move-in staff continued to work on improving the process it uses each year.
Wienshel said, “We just keep doing it on a larger scale. so that every freshman who is coming on Aug. 29 for move-in will have some volunteer help in order to make their life a little easier.”