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Jacque Smith, Director of Public Relations

Aug. 2, 2005

Union College faculty, staff make moving in an easy transition for students

LINCOLN—Trading the familiar comforts of home for the uncertainty of dormitory life is bad enough. But hauling clothes, school supplies, microwaves and refrigerators up several flights of stairs in Lincoln’s August heat makes the transition to college even more daunting.
        Students moving into the dormitories at Union College find their stress levels decreasing as they meet the smiling faces and ready hands of Union’s faculty and staff. These volunteers prove that many hands make quick work as they turn an intimidating task into a few minutes’ effort.
        This year marks the eighth annual Student Move-In, sponsored by the Union College Alumni Association. Janya Mekelburg, alumni activities director, said that the most rewarding part of organizing such a service is the way students and parents respond. “They’re amazed that even the president of the college would show up to help,” she said. “They’re overwhelmed.”
        About half of Union College’s full-time faculty and staff volunteer for the Student Move-In each year. The help of college employees in getting settled is especially valuable for new students. It gives them the chance to get to know the professors and administrators they’ll be seeing in a professional setting for the rest of the year.
        Keith Riese, an engineering professor, is a regular Move-In volunteer. According to Mekelburg, Riese assists for a full day, rather than just one or two shifts. “I know how much it helps the kids and parents,” Riese said.
        Participants will volunteer in two-hour shifts. Friday, Aug. 12, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sunday, Aug. 14, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.