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Freshmen get a helping hand

Hundreds move in to UMKC residence halls

Photos by Janet Rogers, University Communications 

Annie Peterson stops for a moment. It’s almost noon on the final and busiest day of the fall semester’s three move-in days. Like nearly all of the University of Missouri-Kansas City upperclassmen who came to campus this week, Peterson is here to help.

So as she talks with a friend, Peterson scans the new Cherry Street Parking Structure for a familiar sight: Usually, it’s a mini-van stuffed to the roof with clothes, picture frames and dorm décor. A stressed family is crammed somewhere within.

That stress dissipates pretty quickly.

Almost immediately, a mix of UMKC students and staff members assist with the move. Many of the upperclassmen are there not just to help, but to represent their student organization, sport or fraternity/sorority.

“It’s a good way to help them feel welcomed and feel like they belong,” Peterson, a sophomore, said.

Peterson was helping on the final move in day, when approximately 740 students moved in to Oak Street Hall and Johnson Hall. Two days prior, approximately 300 students moved into the Oak Place Apartments. A little more than 100 School of Medicine students moved in on Thursday.

Freshman Tiara Redrick moved in on Friday. Redrick, along with her mother and brother, woke up at 4:30 a.m. for their drive in from St. Louis, Mo. With a tired smile, Redrick says she did a good job purchasing things for her dorm room, but procrastinated when it came to packing.

“I waited until the day before to pack. I thought the last two weeks were going to last forever,” Redrick said, laughing.

She stayed up past 1 a.m. to pack. Luckily, the unpacking process went much more quickly. All around her, upperclassmen carried everything from boxes to futons for the university’s newest students.

In a way, they were just paying it forward.

Kaitlin Ohde, a resident assistant, remembers her fall 2009 move-in day well.

“It was a really big help. It was nice to have just two loads of stuff to carry instead of what would have been probably 10 loads,” Ohde said.

As the students began unpacking their twin-sized bedding, dorm door dry erase boards and stacks of Ramen Noodles, out came the more off-beat, sentimental items.

One student who’d forgotten to pack his pillow remembered his Ghostbuster poster. Gisel Alvarez brought a collection of her favorite books, “Pride and Prejudice” by Jane Austen, and the “Game of Thrones”series.  Another student, Josh Gollub – who played five varsity sports at his St. Louis, Mo., high school, brought his favorite baseball cards.

Logan Ray brought his great grandmother’s chest. She used it to store knick-knacks and scrapbooking materials. He thinks he’ll use it for important papers.

Alice Arredondo, assistant dean of admission and recruitment for the School of Medicine, smiled as she helped unload a mini-van. She said she likes move-in day because it’s the first time that she gets to see the students relax.

“It’s nice to see them in this setting, because up until this point, we’ve seen them in pretty formal settings, whether through recruiting or seeing them on interview day,” Arredondo said. “Today is a more relaxed, fun day.”

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"It’s nice to see them in this setting, because up until this point, we’ve seen them in pretty formal settings, whether through recruiting or seeing them on interview day. Today is a more relaxed, fun day."

Alice Arredondo
Assistant Dean of Admission and Recruitment, School of Medicine