Hundreds of volunteers move-in the next generation of SIU students

Athena Chrysanthou

Kathy Lenardt and her daughter Erica Lenardt, a freshman from Macomb studying mortuary science, receive help from a Saluki Startup volunteer Thursday, Aug. 18, 2016, while they move into Warren Hall. (Athena Chrysanthou |

By Bekah Sanders

Interim Chancellor Brad Colwell carried dormitory furnishings through the residence halls this morning as administrators lent a hand to new students arriving at the university.

At 7 a.m., Colwell moved the mini-fridge belonging to the first student arrival at today’s “Move-in Day” into Neely Hall. Throughout the day, he kept busy making rounds to and from East and West campus to welcome students to their new homes.

“We have the volunteers and the returners, and then you have these new folks, and their eyes are big and they are excited and they want to be here,” Colwell said.


The move-in process is efficient and effective, Colwell said — something vice chancellor of Student Affairs Lori Stettler attributed to the vast numbers of volunteers positioned around campus Thursday through Saturday.

“What makes move-in successful is the volunteers who want to impact students and give back to the school,” Stettler said.

An estimated 700 to 1,000 volunteers are expected to help students move into the dorms over the weekend, said Crystal Bouhl, assistant director of marketing for university housing.

Clare Mitchell, a retired university employee who earned her master’s degree from SIU in 1987, sported a maroon SIU shirt with “volunteer” lettered across the back. She said the event helps new students get involved with campus activities. 

MORE: SIU dorms down 600 residents, 3 Schneider Hall floors to close

Jody Bing teared up while talking about her daughter’s move from Texas to Illinois, reminiscing about her time at SIU.

Bing, who attended SIU from 1982 to 1984, said she remembers her move into the east campus towers as “complete chaos,” but said moving her daughter into Abbot Hall today was wonderful.


Alanis Bing, a freshman from the Houston area studying art, said she planned to come to SIU since she visited campus in the eighth grade and fell in love with the weather, environment and people.

Colwell said he is proud of the “consumer friendly, love-on-them mentality that [SIU is] known for and wants to keep.”

Staff writer Bekah Sanders can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @rsanders_DE.

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