Freshmen face move-in mayhem with on-campus housing

Monica Linzmeier, Editor in Chief

by Emily Alvarenga

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This year, the spring semester began on Jan. 22 for students here at San Diego State. Most students prefer to come back to school a few days early, giving themselves time to unpack and settle in before they begin the stressful semester. Unfortunately, the freshmen living in the dorms weren’t able to accomplish that goal.

After a long winter break, SDSU successfully stressed its freshmen out by giving them virtually no time to unpack or unwind before the stresses of college continued. With the exception of students living in one of the dorms with housing over the break, no other students living in the dorms could return to their room until 4 p.m. on Jan. 21, the night before school was scheduled to commence. Many students who weren’t from the immediate area had to change travel plans, flying into San Diego on the 21st rather than earlier in the week. Others had to scramble for a hotel room or other places to stay, hoping they could afford a room for the few days before the dorms reopened.

Although California State University Long Beach starts school the day before SDSU, its office of housing administration does things very differently. Students at CSULB are given two days to move back in. These lucky students are allowed to return any time after noon on Jan. 19, giving them a day to relax before classes are scheduled to begin. And although we are two different schools, as members of CSU, we should have the same schedules.

“I booked my flights for winter break before school even started in the fall,” business freshman and Tenochca resident Josh Sánchez said. “I assumed we would be allowed back the weekend before classes started and when I found out that we weren’t, I tried to change my flight but I didn’t have that kind of money. So instead, I had to stay in a hotel that ended up being almost as expensive as the flight change had been.”

Unlike fall semester, where freshmen had an entire weekend before school started to get settled, this spring they had less than 24 hours. The dorms didn’t even separate the chaos by planning designated move-in times for each floor, as they did in the fall, leaving each student to fend for themselves as they scrambled to get all their belongings to their rooms before bed. Carts were full and in high demand, lines to check-in parents were long and slow and elevators were cramped, full of kids, parents and suitcases.

The Office of Housing Administration wasn’t available for an interview because of the craziness of the new semester, but students didn’t mind sharing their thoughts on the matter.

“With traffic on the way to school, traffic at school and everyone trying to move back in all at once, going back to school was a nightmare,” television film and media freshman Jen Koester said as she explained the struggle to move her things into Zura residence hall. “I went to bed nowhere as early as I had planned, and wasn’t at all ready for my 8 a.m. (class) the next morning.”

Apart from the freshmen, other students were coming back to school, which added to the chaos that was the streets around SDSU. Along with student traffic, freshmen also had to deal with the traffic the end of a workday creates in San Diego.

“It took me almost an hour just to get a few miles, when it usually takes me no more than five,” freshman Anna Milton said.

[quote]Nearly every freshman living in the dorms that I spoke to agreed that even an earlier time in the day would have been better, if not the same time on the day before. [/quote]Why the Office of Housing Administration decided to add to the disarray that is moving back into the dorms after a month long winter break, we don’t know. We do know that many freshmen didn’t appreciate it, myself included. Maybe after this year’s mayhem, along with the troubles this has caused for years now, things will be done differently. But only time will tell. At least these poor freshmen won’t have to relive this madness next year since they’ll be free of the mandatory year of on-campus living.

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