As upperclassmen move-in dates draw closer, Assistant Dean of Students and Director of Residence Life Anthony Donovan is confident that the process will run smoothly.
“It’s probably appropriate that we’re a musically inclined school — because of all the great things that have gone on on the campus, move-in has become something of an orchestra that you’re trying to conduct,” Donovan said. “We want everybody to play the right pieces and be on the same piece of music.”
Part of the solution, Donovan said, was splitting upperclassmen move-in into two separate days, in order to alleviate the number of students who will be moving in at the same time.
“In essence, we’ve reduced half the volume that would normally come into those spaces at the same time,” Donovan said.
On Sunday, Dickens, Hillside, Thrailkill and Belmont Commons will move in via three different access routes starting at 2 p.m..
On Monday, Horrell and Russell will then be moved in through two separate access routes, starting at 8 a.m..
Move in will be temporarily shut down on Monday from 1 to 2 p.m. to ensure safety during the total solar eclipse, Donovan said.
Additionally, a third day for check in will be available for upperclassmen on Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m..
The newest addition to the upperclassmen move-in plan — the Eastwood Avenue access road to the Dickens Hall garage — will lead to the unloading zone for Dickens and Hillside building nine residents on Sunday, and Horrell residents on Monday.
ResLife consequently paid close attention to planning what will be the first upperclassmen move-in along that route, plans that Donovan said have been in the works for almost a year now.
First, ResLife plans on keeping the first level of the Dickens garage reserved strictly for students moving in.
“One of the things we think people could do — the people in Dickens and Horrell that are already here — if they’ll park on those lower levels, it should allow them to have pretty easy access out of there,” Donovan said. “We think if we can keep people out of those spaces and keep using those spaces for move-in, we think we can keep traffic flowing pretty well.”
Two Belmont police officers will also be stationed on the access road, and will help direct traffic through the tight fit — one at the top of the road, the other at the bottom, in front of the turn onto Eastwood Ave.
“I think you can actually get two cars through there carefully. I think that’s the operative word, right, is people being thoughtful and careful. And what we’ve seen sometimes is somebody gets a little freaked out that the curve is right next to them, and they get a little skittish and so they move over unnecessarily,” Donovan said. “It turns what’s really a tight two lane road into a one lane road, and we’re hoping that we can manage that a little bit.”
ResLife has also planned for accommodating oversized vehicles, like U-Hauls or large vans, as they won’t be able to fit into the garages, Donovan said. Instead, they’ll be routed to an oversized loading zone alongside Horrell on 15th Ave S.
Belmont’s communications and community relations departments have also extended communication to the surrounding neighborhood, regarding the increase in traffic upperclassmen move in will bring to the area, Donovan said.
In February,Eastwood Ave. residents said they had not been notified before the Dickens access road was opened, and complained to Belmont about students driving recklessly through the area.
Donovan said communications with the surrounding neighborhood regarding move-in have been clear.
“All our thinking has been trying to figure out how to impact everyone the minimum amount that’s possible,” Donovan said. “It’s hard to bring in 500 people anywhere, anyway. We’re just part of the community.”
Donovan also added that a large factor in keeping move-in running smoothly depends on students following ResLife’s directions, and students who follow those directions will have a much easier, smoother move-in experience.
Everything from not showing up during peak move-in times, taking advantage of Tuesday check-in, following the move-in access routes and local students bringing just the essentials are all factors that can contribute to a much more efficient move in process, Donovan said.
To read the full upperclassmen move-in letter, including tips and advice from ResLife clickhere.