Student volunteers a big asset for move-in week
With more than 850 student volunteers geared up to carry boxes and the flow of traffic in Ann Arbor altered for at least 12 streets, officials at the University of Michigan are hoping that student move-in starting today will go smoothly.
For more than a decade, U-M has recruited student volunteers, dubbed Move-in Makers, to ease the transition for new students by helping them move into their dormitories. In return, volunteers get to move into their dormitories early, a luxury that normally costs $75 per night.
University of Michigan move-in
About 7,000 students will move into their dormitories between today and Thursday. Logan said the large amount of volunteers, coupled with a carefully orchestrated traffic plan, results in a more pleasant and streamlined move-in week than is experienced at most large universities.
“For some people, it’s a pleasant surprise,” said Marcus Jackson, the volunteer program’s administrator.
“Once you get here on campus, just the sight of the buildings and so many people kind of scrambling around and all the paperwork you have to fill out is intimidating,” Jackson continued. “The Move-in Makers just provide that smiling face.”
Volunteers begin strategizing methods to ease the move-in period as early as February, Jackson said.
“We talk about what’s gone right and wrong in our own move in experiences,” he explained.
Officials began organizing student move-ins more carefully—including creating traffic plans and staggering student move-in dates by dormitory—in 1994, after a weekend in 1993 when students moved in during the same day as the year’s first home football game.
“It was a bit of a free for all,” Logan said. “We had this kind of perfect storm of people coming into town during the weekend to move in and thousands and thousands of people coming in town to go to the football game.”
“It wasn’t nearly as orchestrated or nearly as controlled,” he added.
In spite of the carefully organized move-in efforts, officials say driving inside the city limits will likely be a headache for the rest of the week.
“If you can avoid it, avoid it,” Jackson recommended. “My best advice would probably be grab the first parking space you see and hold onto it for dear life.”