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Fresno State’s Army ROTC Students volunteer to help the new residents at the University Courtyard move in on move-in day at Fresno State on Aug. 18, 2017 (Daniel Avalos/ The Collegian)

New Bulldogs, New Homes, New Beginnings

The first of 860 new University Courtyard residents were welcomed to their new home with food, speeches and a crash course on school spirit last Friday, also known as Move In Day.

The number of new residents, Erin Boele director of student housing explained, has consistently stayed between 850 and 900 for the past few years.

The students began moving in at 9 a.m., and student volunteers nicknamed “Baggage Buddies,” eased the physical load that comes with moving into the dormitories by helping the residents unload their luggage.

“It’s crazy, it’s a new life, new start,” freshman Joey Audino said. “You’re kind of moving on from living in your house to being on your own.”

Audino said he plans to try to make friends quickly in order to make the transition a little bit easier on himself.

“Everybody here is in the same boat,” Audino said. “So I’m gonna try and get along with the people around me, and it’ll make me feel more at home.”

Fellow freshman Javier Gil shared a similar sentiment. Gil said the most exciting part of living in the dorms is getting to meet new people and make more friends.

The anxiety and excitement of meeting new people was a common theme among the students. However, Boele pointed out that living at the dorms helps ease some of the difficulties that some students have with making new friends.

“I think one of the biggest benefits of living at the dorms is that the students have so many people to engage with,” Boele said.

But those worries were left for another day thanks to the welcome barbecue. Friday afternoon, when a majority of students were finished unpacking, it was time to eat, mingle and be welcomed by Fresno State President Dr. Joseph Castro.

Castro reassured both students and parents that the new residents were in the best hands possible.

“We’re going be here to make sure that each and every one of the students succeeds,” Castro said. “I promise that we’re going take really good care of you,” he said to the students.

Making its 2017 debut, the barbecue was closed out with a performance by the Fresno State Marching Band. The band performed several of its trademark songs that are typically played at athletic events throughout the school year.

Boele described the event as a success.