By Walter Ryce
During the summer, the CSUMB campus is mostly in hibernation mode. Services and events are reduced or suspended, library and dining hours are reduced, and the few students still living on campus are huddled together in a few halls of residence.
Everything changed on the weekend of August 19-20 when students arrived to move into on-campus accommodation for the start of the new academic year.
Student accommodation and residential life have been prepared with staff and volunteers to help with traffic control, wheeling out bins and lending a hand. Move-in times have been staggered to avoid debilitating bottlenecks.
Volunteers were even encouraged to play music on Bluetooth speakers at different locations to add energy and buoyancy to the atmosphere and overcast skies. (A woman queuing for a cart said it was 104 degrees in Bakersfield where they came from.)
The new president of the CSUMB, Vanya Quiñones, and the members of her cabinet showed up to greet, welcome and reassure the students and their families.
Like the Diaz family. Albert Diaz is the father of new student Alycia Diaz, and stood and waited with about seven other members of their family as she collected the key to her dorm. He said they live in Fresno, are originally from Mexico and do migrant labor in the fields.
“I’m excited and happy for her,” Albert said. “And proud.”
He said the family played mariachi music and she played the flute. She is a first generation student.
“It’s hard to explain, but it’s huge,” said Maurilio Pascual, Alycia’s cousin. “I told her she was going to shine. She’s calm, but I told her to get out of her comfort zone. I can’t wait to see what she will do. »
Elsewhere, Jude Kumler, a freshman business student from San Diego, had just dropped off his college gear in his new dorm with the help of his father Adam Kumler. They had arrived the previous night.
“Moving in was stressful, but dropping everything off was easy,” Jude said. “I didn’t have to wait long for the key.”
His dad Adam agreed, saying the concurrent Car Week events forced them to find a hotel out of town, but that’s not the case. affect their travel to campus: “The process was smooth. We could race Target to get everything it needs.
“I’m excited,” Jude said. “And scared.”
“So you’re normal,” her father replied.
Student Housing and Residential Life volunteers worked like oil in the machines of the day, escorting students and families, helping carry items, talking and joking, and uplifting spirits.
One of those volunteers was Julian Lomely, a second-year student-athlete on the men’s soccer team. He described CSUMB as a friendly campus with a community vibe. He had received help when he first moved in and now wanted to return the favor by helping incoming students.
“We work as a team,” Lomely said.
New residents carried their belongings in university-provided carts, rolling luggage, backpacks, carts, milk crates and garbage bags. And they went back to the parking lots either to go to the store and stock up, or to say goodbye.
A group of four young women said tearful goodbyes to their friend, accompanied by long hugs.
A man, in his mid-50s, walked past a volunteer after dropping off his student and half-joked, “I just need someone to hold my hand.”
Jeff Cooper, director of student housing and residential life, said the move-in days were a success.
“We registered around 3,100 students. This is the highest we have seen in over five years,” he said. “It shows how excited many Otters are to return to campus.”
Occupancy was 99%, with a waiting list of students providing accommodation. But Cooper’s department intends to work with any students who still need support, subject to availability.