More than 7,300 incoming first-year and transfer students began arriving Friday to move into 14 on-campus residence halls during "Mooov-In" at the University, kicking off two weeks of "Longhorn Welcome" events.
In a tradition more than 20 years old, President William Powers, officials from the Division of Student Affairs and more than 400 volunteers helped welcome students at UCFU Disch-Faulk Field.
"Today, Austin and UT come back to life, because these students are what give us energy," Powers said. "We want to welcome them in a way that they’re not waiting in line, don’t know where to go and I like to chat with the parents, chat with the students, and it’s the day we come back to life."
"Mooov-In" aims to help the new students smoothly transition to campus life and help parents send off their children to the University. The Texas Parents Association offered postcards to let parents write a note to their child that will be mailed to students after their first week at school.
"I have five children myself," Powers said. "I know what a big day this is for parents."
Gage Paine, vice president of student affairs, said that while parents might find it tough saying goodbye to their children, spirits were upbeat and she enjoyed seeing the happy faces.
"I mean, people are a little nervous and there’s a little, you know, nervous tension, but mostly this is a really exciting day," Paine said. "It’s fun to see students coming back, and it’s fun to see our new freshmen joining us."
Dean of Students Soncia Reagins-Lilly said the event aims to give students an opportunity learn about communities and resources at the University as they make the transition to campus life, so that they can make the experience their own.
"Today really symbolizes it’s official — you’re here, you’re a part of the Longhorn community," Lilly said. "One of our fundamental principles is to shrink the University to make it personal."
Rachel Cohen, University Residence Hall Association president, said 280 of the volunteers were students who worked the event at Disch-Faulk, directed traffic and helped people find their rooms and move things in.
"Anything really to help students settle in," Cohen said. "'Mooov-In' is not only the physical transition of their stuff into their rooms, but transitioning incoming freshmen into college."
"Longhorn Welcome" will hold more events aimed at accommodating new students to the University in the coming weeks, including the “Gone to Texas” induction ceremony on Tuesday.