Organized chaos on move-in day

Frecs beat their GPA’s (Golden Party Amour) outside residences on Sunday.
Frecs beat their GPA’s (Golden Party Amour) outside residences on Sunday.
Frecs scare Frosh. Well...some Frosh.
Frecs scare Frosh. Well...some Frosh.

It didn’t rain. In fact, there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. Maybe that’s why people were so cheery on move-in day.

This past Sunday, thousands of Frosh became acquainted with the rooms they will call home for the next eight months.

But before Frosh even saw their rooms, they were faced with lengthy line-ups of traffic, albeit shorter than previous years.

According to Roxy Denniston-Stewart, associate dean of Student Affairs, there was at most “a 40-minute wait ... and once at the building there were virtually no line-ups to check in.”

Shifting move-in to before Labour Day—a change from previous years—meant fewer deadlines for Frosh and made for a more relaxing experience, she said.

“Parents like to hang out with their son or daughter before saying goodbye,” said Denniston-Stewart.

By mid-morning, there was a flurry of activity on main campus. Parents unloaded suitcases and boxes, along with cases of water, soup, snacks, juice boxes and candy; staples to ensure their children survive the many months of residence life.

Amidst the kafuffle, purple engineers clad in makeshift kilts taunted Frosh with comments such as “Say goodbye to mommy,” as they repeatedly Froshslammed their jackets on the asphalt. Most people were amused by the antics, although some younger family members seemed a tad anxious around the engineers, some of whom were already intoxicated before 10 a.m.

“They scared my sister like five times,” said Jason Papke, Comm ’08, a new resident of Watts Hall.

Parents, however, seemed to take the experience in stride, many even praising the move-in process at Queen’s.

Mary and Paul Niebergall, whose son Adam, ArtSci ’08, is living in Leonard Hall this year, were extremely pleased.

“It is a fabulous system ... it went as smooth as butter—and with a smile on everybody’s face,” said Mary Niebergall.

According to Tiffany Kidd, Nurs ’05, who was working at the front desk of Victoria Hall, the only complaint from parents was that none of the cafeterias or food outlets on campus were open until 11 a.m., leaving many without their morning coffee. However, the Common Ground set up shop across the street from Vic Hall, offering free coffee.

Jo-Ann Brierley, coordinator of Reslife activities, said the move-in process was aided by 68 volunteers and 189 student staff, including dons, facilitator, and house presidents.

Forty StuCons were on duty throughout the day to help direct traffic, along with several police officers.

Several dons and volunteers reported being offered tips of up to $20 for helping carry heavy luggage and bulky mini-fridges up flights of stairs. In each case, they said they declined.

Two AMS-sponsored golf carts weaved through backed-up traffic and unloading vehicles.

“It was fun to drive up University Ave ... we talked to a lot of parents as they waited,” said Chris Webb, orientation roundtable co-ordinator.

Volunteers told the Journal there were incidents of the carts coming close to crashing into mounds of possessions stacked in front of residences.

Vic Hall was open 24 hours over the weekend; students began checking in as early as 7 a.m.

Elizabeth Leal Conrad, director of Reslife, said first-year enrollment is down this year at Queen’s and other universities across the country.

Only 3000 of the 3700 beds at Queen’s are being occupied this year. As a result, first-year students living in residence at the University are typically given their first or second choice of living arrangements.

Some students were especially lucky—they were placed in the spacious, air-conditioned rooms with semi-private bathrooms in Leggett and Watts Halls. Others moving into rooms in older residences seemed relatively pleased with their rooms, despite the 40-year-old furniture and military-

style beds.

William Beswick, Sci ’08, was “slightly unhappy” that he ended up on West Campus, but said he preferred his single room to a double on Main Campus.

“I knew it was going to be a prison cell,” said Beswick, comparing the residence to the penitentiary across the street.

Others were more apprehensive, choosing a single room in an all-female or all-male residence as a way to avoid living on West Campus.

Jessica Beer, ArtSci ’08, who was slightly disappointed with her room in Chown Hall, said she was “very, very glad” not to be on West Campus.

Along with the usual Ikea lamps and mini-fridges, mattress pads were especially hot commodities on campus. Several students were quick to put in place these barriers against either old, decrepit or new, rock-hard mattresses.

When asked about the condition of his bed, Thomas Honey, Sci ’08, poked his mattress and replied, “It’s a little ... squishy.”

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