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UMass students moving in — 22,000 total

  • Cheyanne Frost, 18, an incoming freshman from Haverhill majoring in art education, loads her belongings into a cart Friday to transport them to her new dorm in Van Meter Hall at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. GAZETTE STAFF/SARAH CROSBY

  • Ryan Kapoor, 18, an incoming freshman from Lafayette, California, majoring in social thought and political economy, left, and his father, Art Kapoor, talk about their hopes for the upcoming school year Friday while transporting the younger Kapoor’s belongings into his new dorm in Van Meter Hall at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. GAZETTE STAFF/SARAH CROSBY

  • Suzanne Goodnow, 17, an incoming freshman from Norwalk, Conn., loads her belongings into a cart Sept. 1, 2017 to transport them to her new dorm in Kennedy Hall at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. GAZETTE STAFF/SARAH CROSBY

  • Ryan Kapoor, 18, an incoming freshman from Lafayette, Calif. majoring in social thought and political economy, unloads his belongings Sept. 1, 2017 to move them into his new dorm in Van Meter Hall at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. GAZETTE STAFF/SARAH CROSBY

  • Ross Shore, 18, an incoming freshman from Stoughton with an undecided major, center, loads his belongings into a cart Sept. 1, 2017 to transport them to his new dorm in Cance Hall at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. His parents Sharon, left, and Howard Shore assist him with the move-in. GAZETTE STAFF/SARAH CROSBY

  • Cheyanne Frost, 18, an incoming freshman from Haverhill majoring in art education, talks about her hopes for the upcoming school year Sept. 1, 2017 while moving into her new dorm in Van Meter Hall at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. GAZETTE STAFF/SARAH CROSBY

  • Cheyanne Frost, 18, an incoming freshman from Haverhill majoring in art education, left, and her mother Eileen True load Frost's belongings into a cart Sept. 1, 2017 to transport them to her new dorm in Van Meter Hall at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. GAZETTE STAFF/SARAH CROSBY

  • Minute Movers transport new student's belongings to their dorms Sept. 1, 2017 in front of Kennedy Hall at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. GAZETTE STAFF/SARAH CROSBY

  • A collage of photos belonging to incoming freshman Isabella Koutsantanou of Long Island, N.Y., is loaded into a cart awaiting transport Sept. 1, 2017 to her new dorm in Gorman Hall at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. GAZETTE STAFF/SARAH CROSBY

  • Jeff Koutsantanou of Long Island, N.Y., center, loads his daughter's belongings into a cart Sept. 1, 2017 to transport them to her new dorm in Gorman Hall at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. His wife Adrienne Koutsantanou, left, helps her daughter and incoming freshman Isabella Koutsantanou, center, to unpack the vehicle, at back. GAZETTE STAFF/SARAH CROSBY

  • Suzanne Goodnow, 17, an incoming freshman from Norwalk, Conn., loads her belongings into a cart Sept. 1, 2017 to transport them to her new dorm in Kennedy Hall at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. —GAZETTE STAFF/SARAH CROSBY

  • Suzanne Goodnow, 17, an incoming freshman from Norwalk, Conn., center, loads her belongings into a cart Sept. 1, 2017 to transport them to her new dorm in Kennedy Hall at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. —GAZETTE STAFF/SARAH CROSBY



For the Bulletin
Sunday, September 10, 2017

AMHERST — Cheyanne Frost celebrated her 18th birthday Sept. 1 by launching a new phase in life — she moved her belongings into a room at Van Meter dorm to start her freshman year at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

“I like the art program, and they have great buildings and facilities here,” said Frost, of Haverhill. “It’s also near the mountains, which is really cool.”

Frost came to UMass to study art education and found the Central residential area, where Van Meter is located, to be the most “artsy” — and therefore the best fit for her.

As for how she feels about spending her birthday moving, “I’m mainly just anxious.”

This year’s freshman class will be the most academically accomplished in UMass history, university officials said in a press release. Approximately 4,700 students, boasting an average 3.89 GPA, will comprise the class of 2021, again setting records for the number of students enrolled and applications submitted.

Some 3,800 of those freshman moved into dorms at the UMass flagship campus during a picture-perfect Friday, marking the first day of a weekend-long move-in process.

“It’s pretty amazing how quickly they got everything done,” said John Loone, a parent waiting outside the Kennedy tower. “We pulled the car up and they had it empty in no time at all.”

Dawn Bond, director of Residential Life Student Services, said 3,000 freshman, international and other students used early move-in on Aug. 30 and 31, significantly cutting down on traffic congestion on Friday.

Online preregistration and a 750-student team of volunteer “Minute Movers” were also to thank for the ever-improving process, Bond said. Each volunteer works two half-day shifts, incentivized by lunch and the opportunity to move in early.

“We centralized our move-in process seven years ago,” Bond said. “We get better every single year. Next week we will debrief and start planning for next year’s move in.”

The move-in process continues throughout the weekend for the balance of the 13,000 students who will live in 52 residence halls on campus, with transfers scheduled to arrive Saturday and returning students Sunday.

Meanwhile, the university’s total undergraduate enrollment is estimated at 21,864, which is up from last year’s 21,734.

Process simple

“It was wonderfully simple,” parent Lisa Loone said. “Except they could have had the elevator running for us because we had to take stuff home. She overpacked, of course.”

Loone and her husband John, of Westford, were helping their daughter Juliette move into Kennedy tower, where elevators were reserved only for movers and their wheeled carts.

Only once, in the afternoon in Pierpont dorm, did an elevator fail and cause delays, Bond said.

While Loone lives in-state, many other new students, like Ryan Kapoor, are coming to Amherst from thousands of miles away.

The 18-year-old California native has never seen a real New England winter, but knew enough to pack boots and a parka for the long cold treks up the hill to his Van Meter dorm.

“At least here I’ll have four seasons,” said Kapoor, of Lafayette, California, in the San Francisco Bay Area. “I’m used to only two seasons, summer and winter.”

Kapoor will major in social thought and political economy, or STPEC, a program unique to UMass that focuses on social justice and community organizing. He wore a sweatshirt that read, “Sometimes Anti-Social, Always Anti-Fascist.”

For others, UMass is a place to carry on a family legacy, as is the case for freshman sociology major Joe Neylon, who moved into the Cance Hall dorm on Friday.

“I lived in this dorm 35 years ago,” said Frank Neylon, Joe’s father. “He is my oldest son, so it’s funny that he’s moving into the same exact dorm.”

Suzanne Goodnow, a 17-year-old English major, will share her Kennedy dorm room with two random roommates, and is anxious about making friends and what the future holds.

“I was crying on the way up. I was kind of nervous. I’m still nervous,” she said

Unpacking the car, her father, Daniel Goodnow, shared the sentiment.

“I don’t know whether to cry or to scream,” he said. “I’m excited for her; that’s for sure.”

Other students are comfortable with the change of scenery and excited to start the next chapter of their lives.

Ben Sepinuck came from Washington state to UMass for the school’s reputable computer science program, and will be living in Melville dorm. He chose the Southwest residential area for the dining halls and proximity to athletic facilities. He said he is not anxious at all.

Isabella Koutsantanou of Long Island moved into the Gorman dorm in the Central residential area with the help of her sister and parents. While she’s yet to pick a major, Koutsantanou knows she chose the right school.

“I was really indecisive when picking schools but when I came here for accepted students day I was like, ‘OK, I want to go here,’” she said.