Battle Of The Bins

By Christine Pitts
Brief background: This summer I am interning at Rutgers University with the Educational Opportunity Fund (EOF). EOF’s mission is to provide access to higher education to New Jersey’s economically and educationally disadvantaged students. EOF students are first generation students who demonstrate financial, as well as academic need. Each summer new students must participate in the Summer Institute where they live on campus for five weeks, take courses that better prepare them for college level work, as well as experience many other benefits, such as becoming familiar with the campus and it’s services. I am a proud alumna of the program and thus have been through the Summer Institute!

Having never worked in Residence Life I had only known move-in day from a student’s perspective. This past Saturday I experienced my first move-in day as a staff member. It was one of the most exhausting experiences of my life, but at the end of the day it was the best kind of exhaustion.

I arrived on campus at 7:30 am. We had a brief staff meeting where we were reminded of the morning schedule. Move in time for students were in increments from 8am-11am. Between 8 and 9 things were running pretty smoothly. This summer students are living in new apartments, so we had the luxury of an elevator to assist with the move in process. This helped to speed things along. Between 9-9:30 am things really began to pick up.

Close to 300 students moved in this day and it seemed like everyone was arriving at the same time. If you have ever moved into on campus housing and have used bins to transport your belongings to your room/apartment you know the struggle of finding a bin, getting a bin and keeping that bin. There was literally a line of students just waiting for bins. Traffic continued to increase between 9:30 and 11. Aside from the battle of the bins, one of our elevators broke pretty early in the morning. This held up a lot of the traffic flow, as well as caused the delay in bins. However, the residence staff was on point and made adjustments as needed to keep the move-in process flowing. 

We ended up finishing the move-in process on time as scheduled! We then had a pizza lunch with the students, followed by two opening ceremony’s (one for our program and one for our department) and a beautiful BBQ with students at the end of the day. I was so impressed with the staff on move in day. Moving in close to 300 new, first-generation students who just graduated high school day’s prior can be difficult for a variety of reasons. Every single staff member handled every problem or situation with grace and professionalism.

My first move-in day as a staff member was a wonderful experience. I actually questioned why I was never an Orientation Leader or Residence Assistant during my undergraduate time. A smile was glued to my face all day. I loved welcoming students and their families, as well as answering questions to ease their nerves and anxiety. This opportunity opened my eyes to other areas in student affairs that I had not considered. It reminded me that you just never know what you are going to like, so always try!

Picture Captions: The first picture I incorporated in this post is a view of campus on move-in day. It was such a gorgeous day! The second is a picture of my EOF counselor and I during the BBQ. Words cannot express how much she helped me during my time at Rutgers. I am where I am today because of the EOF program. I am so honored, blessed and grateful to have the opportunity to not only intern with EOF, but to give back this summer.

If you would like to learn more about the EOF program, please feel free to reach out to me on twitter: @cpitts_

Student Affairs - the First Years

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