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Why early move-in doesn’t work for Intersession

It’s commonplace at UMass for students to wish that they had an extra day between move-in and the first day of classes. Even though many of us want it, there are also many reasons why it just won’t work out.

When a few of my friends had mentioned how much easier it would be to move in a day early, I got to thinking, “Why can’t we do it? What’s wrong with moving in on the Saturday before the week starts instead of Sunday?”

I originally figured, “Well, it must be just some school policy and be backed up by a bunch of stupid reasons,” but to be fair, I contacted a few people. Most importantly, I got in touch with Lucinda Poudrier-Aaronson, the Director of Housing and Residential Life on campus.

As it turns out, there is a decent reason for not being able to move in early and it isn’t stupid at all. You see, the housing office doesn’t get many breaks. When we go home over the holidays, a few hundred intersession students move in. They stay on campus for approximately a month, and those kids have to pack up, return keys, and complete all of the same move-out steps that regular semester students do.

Basically, what I’m getting to is this: intersession students remained on campus until Friday, January 21. If you recall, everybody who returned for the spring semester moved in on January 23. The only day in-between is Saturday.

Housing staff needs time to get people out, train new R.A.’s and other employees, and make sure everything is in order for move-in on Sunday. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to give the Housing office a day’s grace to get their work in order and make sure things are smooth for incoming residents.

So what can be done? There are a few things that could be considered; shortening the intersession period or lengthening the holiday break to allow for the extra day, keeping more staff on hand for an early move-in, and so on.

Shortening the intersession doesn’t exactly make sense. If you shortened it by one day, it would throw off the whole class-schedule by eliminating only one day of class. If the intersession period were shortened by a full week, a full hour or more could be tacked on to a regular class period and the intersession would be far more intensive. It seems like overkill – we don’t need a whole week of extra move-in time.

Lengthening the holiday break could be do-able, but that’s a whole different ball-game and would involve some work. For the sake of one measly extra day, I don’t think the school would be willing to staff the school when there wouldn’t be class or any events – just an additional day for kids to sit around and relax.

Hiring more housing staff is also a possibility, but once again, it doesn’t seem entirely necessary. As a student, I would like the extra day just as much as anybody else, but I also wouldn’t sacrifice the school’s budget just so I could chill out in my jammies for an afternoon.

It seems as though the school has been doing the right thing all along. The smartest and most efficient method of move-in is the one we already have, it seems.

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