Making moves: Move2BU transforms, grows over the years

A student volunteer shows how to #BetheLight by helping with move-in at Kokernot Residence Hall. Cole Tompkins | Multimedia Editor

By Meredith Howard | Staff Writer

Every August, student and faculty volunteers at Baylor welcome over 3,000 freshmen by moving their belongings into their dorm rooms. This tradition, now known as Move 2 BU, has only officially existed since 2004.

Before Move 2 BU was an official event, students had help moving in but didn’t have their cars unloaded for them like they currently do.

Kim Scott, interim associate vice president of student life, has been the move-in project coordinator for all 15 years that Baylor has held Move 2 BU. Scott attended Baylor in the 1980s and her move-in experience was relatively low-fuss.

“I pulled my car up right in front of Collins dorm, where you can’t park anymore, and I hauled my couple of duffle bags up to my room,” Scott said. “Everybody was friendly.”

According to a document provided by Scott, the first orchestrated move-in had 175 staff members, including faculty and students. Since the first structured move-in, Move 2 BU has now been split over two days in four-hour shifts for freshmen and transfer students.

This year, students in Living and Learning Centers and residential colleges moved in on Aug. 21, and students in all-freshmen communities moved in the following day.

Move-in hang tags, which are available in students’ housing portals, showed the detailed route each student should take to campus based off of their move-in schedule, traffic and construction.

As soon as students arrived at their dorms, volunteers swarmed their cars and unloaded everything into their rooms. By the time a student walks into their room, all of their boxes are there and all they have to do is unpack.

“The families don’t have to stress about getting to the campus, to the right place, making 20 trips with all their stuff and kind of being separated, hot and stressed,” Scott said. “All of that, we hope, is taken away so that you can focus on having a good time and a quality time as a family in a time that can be stressful because somebody’s starting college.”

Incoming classes at Baylor typically enroll over 3,300 first-time freshmen. Combined with all of each year’s transfer students, Move 2 BU volunteers need to take on a large amount of work in order to unload all students’ belongings in a timely manner.

Ryan Cohenour, associate director for housing administration, helps plan move-in logistics. One initiative that Cohenour has introduced to make volunteers’ work load more reasonable is the time slot system.

This program assigns students a 15-minute span of time to arrive to campus, which helps prevent volunteers from being overwhelmed by too many students coming at once. This also helps the traffic flow outside of the dorms.

When asked why it’s important to have a coordinated move-in effort where volunteers do the brunt of the work, Cohenour said, “That’s kind of the Baylor way. It’s paying it forward.”

You can learn more about Move 2 BU on Baylor’s website.