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Local

Parents like way NIU moves

(From left) Shelley Ryan, Brittany Batavia and Thomasina Tarvis, all volunteers from Delta Zeta sorority, carry the belongings of students Thursday who were moving into Grant Hall. Additional volunteers helped students bring their things to their dorm rooms.
(From left) Shelley Ryan, Brittany Batavia and Thomasina Tarvis, all volunteers from Delta Zeta sorority, carry the belongings of students Thursday who were moving into Grant Hall. Additional volunteers helped students bring their things to their dorm rooms.

DeKALB – Jenny Williams said it was harder to load her son’s belongings in the car and drive Thursday morning to DeKalb than it was to unload and move everything into a Neptune North room when they arrived at Northern Illinois University.

“I did not expect it to only take one trip [to get to the room],” said Williams, a Schaumburg resident.

“We weren’t expecting an army of people helping out,” said her husband, Keith.

Hundreds of student volunteers pitched in to help thousands of their peers – many of them freshmen – move into residence halls as part of NIU’s annual Move-In Day. Campus staff members – including NIU President John Peters – also lent a hand. Volunteers from Immanuel Lutheran Church on Russell Road handed out free bottles of water to anyone passing by the residences halls.

The volunteers help make Move-In Day run smoothly, said Adam Riegle, Lincoln CD residence hall director.

“We’ve had several compliments, especially from parents who have moved other children into other schools,” he said.

That helped ease the nerves of incoming freshman Michael Terpstra from Downers Grove. Terpstra is the oldest child in his immediate family and said he was excited to be starting college. He plans to study business management and political science.

“There’s a little pressure,” he said as his parents and younger sister helped him moved into a room at Lincoln Hall. “But I’m excited. Actually, this has been one of the easiest halls to move into, I heard.”

Although the lines of vehicles leading to the entrances of Douglas, Grant and Stevenson halls were fairly long, those handling traffic said the day was progressing in an orderly manner. The warm and sunny weather also helped things progress smoothly, volunteers said.

NIU spokesman Brad Hoey said Move-In Day is always an exciting time of year for the campus community, and he called this year’s endeavor “probably the most impressive Move-In Day that I’ve seen as far as the efficiency of getting the students in and getting them to their respective residence halls.” The cooperation of the community, law enforcement officials and student volunteers to make the day run smoothly is appreciated, he said.

Campus officials also were pleased, Hoey said, to hear positive reviews of the renovated Grant North C Tower. He said there were “audible gasps” by some people seeing the rooms for the first time.

Molly Marks of Brookfield and Paige Drauden of Galesburg said they decided to help fellow Lincoln Hall residents move in after a friend persuaded them to pitch in.

Despite having to wake up at 6:45 a.m. – Move-In Day officially began letting students move in at 9 a.m. – Marks said there were perks to the job.

“We got to move in early,” she said, “and it’s nice to help out the NIU community.”

Volunteer Robert Orzoff remembers how grateful he was for the help when he moved into the Neptune residence halls, so he offered assistance even though he lives off campus now.

“I just enjoy helping people whenever I get the chance,” he said.

Getting students moved into the dorms quickly gives more time to get rooms in order before classes begin Monday, and it also allows students to enjoy the annual Huskie Bash on Thursday afternoon at the west side of Huskie Stadium. NIU departments and student organizations have scheduled meet-and-greet events all weekend for the incoming students.

But for families moving their first child to college, Move-In Day brought out a variety of emotions.

When asked how she felt moving her son, Zach, Jenny Williams said, “You know, crying for three days, but good.”

“I just want you to know, she’s been crying,” her husband added jokingly.

“We’ve been pretty excited,” he said, pointing to Zach’s younger sister.

• Daily Chronicle news editor Kate Schott contributed to this report.

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