URI community comes together for 2023 move-in day

Hundreds of student volunteers at the University of Rhode Island came together to help welcome and move in students during move-in day to start the new school year off. 

2023 was the first time the University was able to have volunteers help out in big numbers since the pandemic, according to Assistant Vice President for Housing and Residential Life and Student Development Thomas Cooley.

Cooley discussed how with the help of student organizations and staff members, the move-in process was smooth and expedited. 

“URI really came together as a community to welcome students and provide a top experience to kick off their lived experience at URI,” Cooley said. 

Move-in was for four days this year during Labor Day weekend, starting on Sept. 1 through Sept. 4. 

Move-in was a team effort, with multiple tasks being carried out throughout the day. Several student organizations participated in the event such as Greek life, orientation leaders and Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC), Cooley said.

Groups were stationed at different residential halls, and student volunteers helped unload cars and move students’ belongings into their dorm rooms while other URI staff members welcomed families and helped direct traffic. 

Approximately 5,600 students have moved into residential housing, which does not include Greek life and graduate students, Cooley said.

According to Cooley, Greek life was one of the bigger presences during Move-In. Third-year student Mary Godek, the health and wellness chair on URI’s panhellenic council, spoke about her experience with helping with move-in day. 

“It was such an energetic, positive environment and I loved being a part of it,” Godek said. “One thing I’ve personally loved about URI is the sense of community I have found everywhere I go and we really got to show that to first-year students.” 

Not only did student volunteers believe it was a positive event, but parents as well. Cooley spoke with some parents to gain a better insight into their experience.

  Multiple parents expressed that it was “better than most colleges they’ve been to…that the energy from the students that were helping out was palatable. You could really feel their excitement and their joy to help out and be a part of it,” Cooley said.

Parents were also pleased with the smooth process and to have not done as much lifting as expected. 

“It showcases how everyone was willing to help someone else out and how we come together to create a positive change,” Godek said. “It also allowed students to have a familiar face on campus right away which can definitely make the transition to college a lot easier.” 

Cooley expressed how pleased he was with the weekend. 

“Very proud of the team, and the team being the campus, and how we managed this movement,” Cooley said. “This is something we as a University are very proud of, and we should be.” 

He also discussed his optimistic view on the students’ future, along with the help that will be provided from Housing and Residential Life. 

“I’m excited for what the students can be. I think we’re going to see a real sense of community building across, and that I’m excited for that within the residence halls to support that,” Cooley said. 

Pre-existing move-in processes have been similar to this year’s in the past, but this was the first time the University was able to have carried it out in such great numbers since COVID. 

With this year having such a smooth move-in day process, Cooley believes Housing and Residential Life will continue this for future move-in days, while still looking at areas where they can improve. 

***I also sent you the Move-In Day photos through email