Anyone who has ever moved knows how chaotic it can be—packing, finding your way to a new place, unloading the car, truck, or van, and then hauling all your gear up several flights of stairs or making repeat trips in a crowded elevator. When you multiply that by 11,400 people, you’ll understand why it takes months of precision planning to ensure that the annual BU migration known as Move-in comes off without a hitch.
The first wave came on Monday, August 24, with the arrival of 1,419 students, and included the 700 freshmen and transfers volunteering for BU’s First-Year Student Outreach Project (FYSOP), the Community Service Center program that places students with nonprofits across the city. In keeping with tradition, Wednesday was the busiest day of the week, with 2,343 students moving in, many of them freshmen from far-flung states and overseas who had come early for the final orientation session. Traffic slowed on Thursday and Friday to about 1,000 arrivals each day, but picked up over the weekend, with 1,924 arrivals Saturday and another 1,815 on Sunday.
The process was smoothed by the efforts of the 240 upperclassmen, faculty, and staff who volunteered for this year’s Scarlet Squad, whose members help first-year students move into residence halls, and by the more than two dozen Boston University Police Department officers who were on hand each day to keep traffic moving and provide directions.
“The whole week was beautiful,” says Marc Robillard, executive director of housing and dining, noting that “the only hiccup we had was on Saturday when the city decided to pave the intersection of Mass. Ave. and Beacon Street. That meant that people couldn’t get to Danielsen Hall. But Boston Police directed people over to Comm Ave and up to Charlesgate East and then east down Beacon Street so they could arrive safely.”
The weather—day after day of sunny skies—was another asset. But more than anything, says Robillard, it was the attitude of everyone arriving that was most important. “All the students and the parents were in a great mood, and that made it perfect.”