Mass movement


POSTED: Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Nearly 1,100 incoming freshmen converged on the University of Hawaii-Manoa campus yesterday to move into dorms and prepare for a new chapter in their lives.

“;I think it's one of the most wonderful days of the year because we welcome folks that have selected UH-Manoa as their destination of choice,”; said University of Hawaii Chancellor Virginia Hinshaw. “;We're excited. We welcome them, and we want to make it great for their parents and their family.”;

According to UH Vice Chancellor Francisco Hernandez, freshman move-in day is critical because it gives them “;an opportunity to orient themselves around campus, because some of them are not only new to the campus, but also new to the state.”;

“;We like to take this time to get them prepared before class starts,”; Hernandez said.

Move-in day for freshmen also kicks off the University's Warrior Welcome Week, which offers daily shopping trips to Wal-Mart or Target and dorm-sponsored events at local attractions such as the Polynesian Cultural Center, Honolulu Zoo and Waikiki Aquarium.

Classes start Monday.

Hale Aloha Residence Director Stephanie Hairgrove said resident assistants trained nearly two weeks before students arrived, and were taught how to “;plan what the hall wants to do in terms of how to efficiently get folks up to the floors and bringing them back down.”;

;[Preview]    Move-in day for UH freshmen

Classes at the University of Hawaii will begin next week Monday, but students began moving into the dorms this morning.

Watch ]


Some move-in volunteers and housing personnel said they had expected a larger turnout but were still pleased with the steady pace.

“;It was a lot lighter than I had anticipated,”; Hairgrove said. “;I actually expected it to be much more busy.”;

The move-in also signified the reopening of the Hale Aloha Mokihana and Hale Aloha Ilima dorms after nearly a year of renovations—totaling about $12 million—that began in May 2008. Improvements include renovated bathrooms on each floor and installation of an electronic card access system on all rooms.

The Hale Aloha Lehua and Hale Aloha Lokelani dorms are closed for a six-month, $10 million renovation project.

For many students, moving to a new place can be a exciting yet nerve-wracking experience, especially for someone who is first moving out of state for college. One such person was 18-year-old Coco La Salle from Sierra Madre, Calif., who lugged three suitcases into the Hale Aloha Ilima dorms with the help of her father and younger sister.

“;It's so weird because there's so many people,”; said La Salle, who had just stepped onto the UH campus for the first time yesterday. “;I'm scared, I'm nervous, but I also want to do well.”;

The move was especially stressful for La Salle's father, David.

“;It's crazy because my daughter is going crazy, and she's driving me nuts,”; he said. “;But now that she's moved in, she seems a little more relaxed, so we're good now.”;

Other students liked the experience.

“;I'm pretty excited,”; said Kortne Oshiro-Chin, 18, who brought most of her clothes from home and personal items including a fan and refrigerator. “;I'm not sure what to expect, but I think it'll be better than driving from Mililani to come here.”;