At 7:59am, members of the Rutgers student Move-in Team lined the sidewalk in front of the Honors College, pulling along with them red and gray moving bins amidst the gentle silence of early morning. The overcast sky and light breeze lent the atmosphere a somber tone, with an air of anticipation.
At 8:00am, music began blaring from loudspeakers, and the scene sprang to life. Move-In Team members in red and black swarmed the minivans and SUVs as they arrived at the loading dock. After briefing first-year students and their families on the check-in process, they worked together to unload belongings, pack them securely into bins, and wheel them into the building. Deans and student leaders helped facilitate, calling for empty bins and directing Move-In Team members to waiting vehicles. From an outside perspective, the operation flowed like clockwork, nearly mechanical in its efficiency. But as with our own first college move-in days, the overwhelming swirl of noise, color, and movement induced a mix of exhilaration and anxiety about the coming semester.
Samantha Eng (’23, SEBS/HC) shared that she is excited for “all the opportunities that the Honors College can give,” and she looks forward to starting research at Rutgers. While there are plenty of things for incoming first-year students to anticipate at the start of their college career, there is also much they may worry over. Nina Fedoryka (’23, SEBS/HC/DRC) said, “I‘ve never really had a class that is lecture style, so I think that is going to be an adjustment. Just managing time and figuring out when to leave for buses.”
Adding on to the excitement of the day was the arrival of Mayor James Cahill of New Brunswick and a variety of media crews, from the Daily Targum to The Star-Ledger and WMBC-TV.
Mayor Cahill’s advice to students attending Rutgers for the first time was to really experience the campus. “First of all — Enjoy it! And that is critically important. Number Two — once you get your bearings around campus, take the opportunity to explore the city… from Easton Ave to downtown New Brunswick to our Cultural Center, our partnerships with Mason Gross in the new Performing Arts Center. New Brunswick is a great place to call home. So, while we certainly want them to get ready for the academic year, they’re going to have time eventually to explore and New Brunswick is a great place to explore.”
The mayor of New Brunswick, as well as Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Salvador Mena and Honors College Deans Paul Gilmore and Matt Matsuda, took some time to help out and meet with HC students, faculty, and staff.
Dean Gilmore said, “Our newest students have so many transformational opportunities ahead of them—interdisciplinary team work, study abroad, exposure to research, and so much more.”
Dean Matsuda added, “We’re excited to see how the Class of 2023 will grow as part of the larger Honors College community and pursue their own expression of our mission—Curiosity. Knowledge. Purpose. as they engage with global issues.”
Following the move-in, parents and family were welcome to attend an information session in the Academic Building, during which a panel of Rutgers staff spoke about how to support their students as they adjust to life on campus. The panel was comprised of the Dean of Students and representatives from the Rutgers University Police Department, Counseling & Psychological Services, and Residence Life.
A number of Welcome Week events will be hosted at the HC to help new students become acquainted with the Honors College and with each other. On Friday, academic sessions discussing HC requirements specific to each school will be held at various locations in the Academic Building and Honors College, followed by the Welcome Barbecue in the evening. Students can get an early start on earning HC Serves hours at the Global Giving service event on Sunday. In addition to the Rutgers New Brunswick-wide Involvement Fair, students can stop by the Honors College Block Party & Mini-Involvement Fair to learn more about the many organizations at work in the HC.
For a full list of upcoming events and details, visit the Honors College Calendar of Events.
We welcome the Class of 2023 and look forward to seeing the unique ideas and perspectives they will bring to the Honors College community.