Your hands are sweating on the way from Degenstein Campus Center down to Smith Hall with your just-acquired room key tucked into your palm. A collection of orange shirts dots the road where you can almost see your parents' car. Someone has your shoe divider draped over his forearms. Another person has taken the two cases of Kraft Mac & Cheese your mother insisted on buying at Costco. By the time you've reached your car, almost all of your stuff has been carried up the three flights of stairs to your room. You're officially "moved in."
The number of returning students who volunteer to help with Move-in Day is staggering. These students wear their Greek letters, their O-Team shirts, their residence life staff shirts, or their Welcome Week Planning Committee Polos. Students form crowds outside of the residence halls, a collection of waving hands and wide smiles. No one would expect to see such cheer at 7 a.m., but these students are up early and ready to serve some very important people. They are waiting for you.
Remarkably, these students are here under no obligation; they want to help you move in. Drive by Hassinger at about 8 o'clock in the morning on Move In, and you'll find a collection of students talking amongst themselves, peeking over shoulders for the glow of headlights and the promise of another student to help. They don't have to be there. They drive from New Jersey, Maine, even California just to stand in the cool early-morning air and cheer for the new students until their voices are hoarse.
It is an assembly line of enthusiasm. Student volunteers collect in front of the residence halls with cheeks sore from smiling. When a car pulls up, a brigade makes short work of the vehicle’s contents. You might notice several students who jockey for position when the call “we’ve got a fridge” is made. Lines of students carrying suitcases and boxes to the rooms freeze while these oversized appliances are rushed upstairs past them. A running contest of delivered appliances leads to the coronation of “the Fridge King” at the end of the day.
The work isn’t a walk in the park—students end up tired, sore and sweaty. But for them, it’s worth it. Why such enthusiasm? Because Susquehanna is about community and it’s about service. How appropriate that your first moments on campus initiate you to the university’s culture. You very well might find yourself on the giving end of Move-In Day next year.
What Is Susquepedia?
Suhs-kwuh-pee-dee-uh (n): A collection of experiences, topics, and personalities that makes Susquehanna University unique.