Short move-in period should be less rushed, more open

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Students at Occidental College share certain common experiences as a product of attending the same school. One of those is move-in day. The college works hard with Residential Education and Housing Services (ResEd), O-Team and other student volunteers to see that the move-in process at the beginning of the academic year runs smoothly.

But then ResEd fails to pay the same careful attention at the beginning of spring semester. For the majority of students, it’s not as laborious a process as the initial move-in during the late summer, because they are able to keep all their possessions in their rooms and simply pack up a bag to go home. But for the handful of students living in Newcomb who are required to completely pack up their rooms and store their bedding, lamps and trash cans in their closets, the process is less than ideal.
The same is true for those returning from a semester abroad whose belongings were not in any housing or public storage.

ResEd, for instance, does not open the halls until roughly 30 hours before the start of classes the next day, leaving students minimal time to fully unpack. Given the fact that it is often difficult for students who don’t happen to live nearby to snap their fingers and
schedule flights to arrive perfectly at 10 in the morning, many students have significantly less time to get settled. This is not the only example of a college such as Occidental claiming it wants to have national relevance and failing to design a policy with its geographically diverse students in mind. The schedule in the fall providing two breaks that are each too short to justify students going back home without missing some school instead of one longer break is another prominent example.

ResEd should make the halls available 48 hours before the first day of classes. According to Resident Advisers (RAs) and others, halls are not opened partially because ResEd worries about students hanging out with nothing to do and possibly partying. That is the classic cynical view of students Occidental’s administration continues to propagate.

ResEd should reconsider and take a student-oriented approach. It should stop forcing good, hard-working students who haven’t been on-campus for eight months from attempting to complete such a mad dash. It is unreasonable to believe that students can fly into L.A., navigate traffic to get to campus, check in at Berkus, go to public storage, buy books, unpack and settle into their rooms in such a short time.

Students do not come back to campus and immediately throw a party. They do however like to be able to relax a little, catch up and eat dinner with their friends before settling in for the long semester. They enjoy having options for when to fly in so they can find the best deal that is right for them. ResEd can pull this off with a simple switch of priorities toward students regarding the move in process.

This editorial represents the collective opinion of the Occidental Weekly Editorial Board. Each week, the editorial board will publish its viewpoint on a matter relevant to the Occidental Community.