UofSC move-in brings more than 6,000 new students to campus
COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - Cars were packed to the top, and parking garages were full of garnet and black for the students moving onto University of South Carolina’s campus this weekend.
Executive Director for University Housing, April Barnes says this is her favorite day of the year.
“This is our Super Bowl for University Housing. It’s a day that we prepare for all year. The whole University comes together. We have so many volunteers across campus that come and help us out.” April Barnes
Barnes says over 700 volunteers of students, staff, and even just Gamecock fans assisted student housing in welcoming the estimated 6,200 students entering the University of South Carolina class of 2026.
Along with a record-breaking number of students living on campus, a new fast pass system was implemented to help what faculty called “organized chaos” run smoothly.
“It is like Disney World, so we have a number of halls that students will actually check in right where they are parked, so they don’t even have that line that you typically get in the lobby of a building. They come in, we have a check-in right there and they just swipe their card, which activates everything, grab their keys, and they go,” Barnes said.
The system was tested with only four dorms this year after being piloted last year with one dorm. Barnes says the plan is to eventually use it for all living facilities because the school roster is only growing.
“We are on track to have the most freshman we have ever had this year,” she said.
Two out of the possible 6,200 are Nursing majors Libby Gore and Bridget Vanwingerden who were a part of the “Fast Pass” group, and what did they think?
“The fast pass was really nice because it allowed us to move in a lot faster than other dorms did, but overall, it went pretty smoothly, and I got all settled in pretty quick,” Libby Gore said.
Gore is from the Midlands and grew up in Sumter, but her new roommate, Bridget Vanwingerden traveled with her parents from New Jersey for this move-in.
The roommates say the help of their families and friends made the experience better for them and expressed how thankful they were, as it was a team effort of carrying items into the dorms.
“It would have been very annoying to go up and like back to the car like five times by myself,” Vanwingerden said.
Vanwingerden decided to make UofSC her home away from home based on the prestige of the school’s nursing program, and says she is looking forward to warmer weather in South Carolina, which is something Gore can help her get accustomed to in “Famously Hot Columbia.”
Her parents were driving back to New Jersey this evening, and University Housing Executive Director April Barnes had some advice for parents dropping off their children.
“It’s okay, we got it. Pack a little patience, and everything will be okay. We have residence hall staff that are in the halls with our students ready to meet and greet them, and get them involved,” Barnes said.
Move-ins will also take place tomorrow, but University Housing scheduled dates and times on weekends this 2022-2023 school year to better accommodate family members and their work schedules.
“It’s time for them to be Gamecocks and do all of the wonderful things that happen this first year of student growth and development,” Barnes said.
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