Students, faculty, staff and administrators at The University of Texas-Pan American came together to lend a hand and welcome new and returning students at the University's annual Bronc Move-In held on August 28 and 29.
It is an annual tradition to have volunteers commit their time to interacting and helping students make a smooth transition into their new campus home. Rebecca Gadson, assistant dean of students, believes that this is a great way of showing unity.
"Having volunteers like ours are a wonderful example of the University community coming together to support our new students," she said.
Volunteers also feel that it is important to help with the moving process.
Nick Dombrowski, campus minister, was volunteering with the Intervarsity La Fe campus organization and feels that Bronc Move-In is not only for the students, but for parents as well.
"Many of these students are leaving home for the first time so it's important that we welcome them with a warm smile and make them feel comfortable and that parents know they're well taken care of," Dombrowski said. "As an organization this is our time to engage students in conversation and hope we can lead them in the right track."
Sophomore, Fernando Gamas', said it felt great knowing that so many volunteers got up early to help students they've never met.
"It is important that the students feel welcomed and appreciated," Gamas said. "I am enjoying the experience and will definitely volunteer again in the future."
According to Eric Booth, director of residence life, students who live on campus have access to support, university programming and a convenient location. In addition, students experience independence and an opportunity to grow personally.
"It is more than just a bed and desk, but a chance for students to learn from each other in a safe and caring environment," Booth said. "Research shows that students who live on-campus obtain a higher grade point average, stay on track to graduate on time and overall enjoy their college experience more."
There are 750 students expected to live on campus this fall. There were mixed emotions between parents and students as they moved their belongings into their home.
Incoming freshman, Albert Anciso, is a graphic design major. He graduated from Mercedes High School in May 2009 and is ready for college.
"I'm excited to be moving out on my own. It's a new experience," Anciso said. "I look forward to learning more about responsibility and becoming involved in an organization related to my field."
"I am nervous about him being alone," said Albert's mom, Idalia Anciso. "I am proud though that he is coming to college and will learn to be independent and responsible. We will definitely miss him at home."
Julie Acosta from Harlingen wishes her daughter the best.
"I am going to miss talking to her at home, listening to her and making sure she's safe," Acosta said. "I know she will receive a good education though, so I am excited for her."
Acosta's daughter, Christy Acosta, graduated from Harlingen High School South in May 2009 and will be majoring in biology. Christy said she will miss being around her family and home cooked meals, but that she is ready for college and being on her own.
Booth wants to let students know there is still space available on campus and benefits to take advantage of, but space is limited in Heritage Hall, Unity Hall, and Bronc Village so to act fast.
Students can pick up an application at the Office of Residence Life in the University Center or can get a copy on the UTPA Residence Life Website. For more information, contact Office of Residence Life at 956/381-3439.