Move-in weekend is one of the most eventful times of the year up at the University of Connecticut, at least in the sense that everyone from students to their family members are engaging in the rigorous exercise of moving large magnitudes of furniture, books, clothes and other items from the trunk of their cars to the floor of a room. Then the student unpacks said items and distributes them in a somewhat organized way around their room over the course of a few hours, days or even weeks. This time period of time is not only filled with physical labor, but also with the excitement of seeing old friends or meeting new ones, as well as a few tearful goodbyes.
As with any system, there are things that can be improved. The biggest problem with moving into campus has always been congestion. This is the result of a numbers game; moving in thousands of students during a three-day span is going to lead to very long waits. This is as frustrating for students as it is for parents, who might have scheduling issues with other tasks that need to be done. Residence halls that only allow those living on certain floors to check in at specific times can also exacerbate scheduling problems. Furthermore, very few students are able to move in earlier than the Friday before classes; doing so requires special permission through an organization or payment of a substantial fee.
To this end, it could be very beneficial if the move-in period was lengthened, possibly back to Wednesday, for example. This would allow for a spread out period of arrivals that could ease the congestion of people normally associated with arriving on campus. The flexibility it provides would also be nice, as students could come up at times that are more convenient for them and their family, while being able to choose whether they want to stay at campus for a while before classes or arrive only a day or two before.
Allowing students to stay on campus longer at the beginning of the semester is an additional perk. Currently, there is very little time to get acclimated (especially for freshmen) and participate in recreational activities with friends before the dreaded Monday when classes start. Other colleges give their students more breathing room at the start of the semester, and a similar policy here would be a great boon to the student body. Policy could still be that meal plans don’t activate until the weekend and other details would have to be hammered out, but a longer move-in period is something the university should give due consideration.