Making a big school feel small

Move-in volunteers describe why they help incoming Tigers.

Dr. William Stackman helps Logan Glickel move in his sister, Kimberly Glickel, into Bluford Hall
Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Dr. Bill Stackman will be among the volunteers on Move-In Day. Julia Hansen/University of Missouri

By Jesse Berlin

When new Mizzou students start arriving on campus Aug. 14, they will be greeted by a small army of volunteers from across campus and the broader community.

Among the volunteers will be Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Bill Stackman and his dog, Mac. “Move-In is not just about moving stuff, but a campus-wide initiative to welcome students and their families and make them feel at home,” Stackman said. “It’s a lot of work, but it’s also a fun way to celebrate our incoming students and demonstrate our Mizzou pride.”

The volunteers will help direct traffic, unload belongings from vehicles and transport them to students’ rooms, interacting with families on the way.

“To me, it’s a great celebration,” said two-time volunteer Miguel Ayllon, who is also director of Study Abroad. “If somebody is coming to your home, you want to welcome them.”

“You work up a good sweat, but you’re happy,” he said. “You get to know your future students. You see colleagues that you haven’t seen in a while because they’re there with you.”

Starting your first semester at Mizzou? Download the move-in checklist.

Ayllon’s prior experience as a Residence Hall coordinator inspired him to continue serving students and connecting with them on an individual level. Also, he says, it’s an opportunity to promote MU’s international programs and be a friendly face for those interested.

Striking up conversations, meeting new people and personal connections, Ayllon said, help make a big school feel small. And seeing real people helping lets families know their Tigers are in good hands.

Junior Maya Townsend will be volunteering for the first time this year. She said she wants to give incoming students a positive start at Mizzou.

“I want to give freshmen a good experience, so whenever their parents leave, they’ll miss them, but it doesn’t hurt not to be with them anymore,” she said.

Townsend says she was pleasantly surprised by the warm, friendly exchange with the volunteers who helped her move in when she first arrived on campus. “It wasn’t just such a serious thing where they get you in and out,” she said. “We had a good time joking around.”

Townsend is volunteering with other members of the National Society of Black Engineers. “It’s another way to reach out to freshmen who are coming in who might be engineering majors or anyone who’s just looking for a family org,” she said.

Molly Froidl first heard about the move-in volunteer opportunity at a chapter meeting of the Mizzou Alumni Association. She recalled her own experience as a Mizzou student, moving in without volunteers.

“I definitely remembered the very hot August day that I was moving in and thought, ‘Wow, that’d be great to help out,” she said.

This August will be the fourth time Froidl and her husband, Tom, have volunteered to help students move in. They attribute their interest in helping to their involvement when they were members of Marching Mizzou.

“I want people to see that passion and know that they’re making a great choice,” Froidl said.

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