Welcoming Gauchos to their New Home Away from Home

October 19, 2015

UCSB Move In 2015

Move in weekend has come and gone, but it has not been forgotten. There have already been a number of de-brief meetings to determine where we have room for improvement. As we continue to grow, move-in has become a complicated multi-day process requiring precise and extensive planning. This year we had a record number of students moving in, and we may have broken previous temperature records as well! But all the planning, hard work and enthusiasm came together to make this year's move in a success. (And if you don't believe us, scroll down to read feedback we received!) Keep reading to learn more about what we did in the residence halls and apartments to make it a great experience for Gauchos and their families. 

Residence Halls by Gillian Swanson
Over the years when people talked about our Residence Hall move-in process, I kept hearing “if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it.” While it is true that it wasn’t “broken,” that didn’t mean that it couldn’t be enhanced so we made some changes to the process.

Here are some highlights:

  • The Residential & Community Living management team served as Co-Captains with Residential Operations staff for the various staging areas. It was great to see them in action, and they now have an even better appreciation of how each building’s check-in operation works.  
  • Lead live-in staff, Guest Service Representatives from Conference Services, administrative staff and partners from across campus served as ‘hosts’ in the staging areas. This was an amazing collective of campus all-stars who provided not only knowledge but great energy to the process.
  • We had a record 225 student move-in volunteers and 48 UCSB Athletes on hand to help residents move their belongings to their rooms. We also had 42 volunteers from the PanHellenic Council staffed at the various shuttle stop locations to help answer questions for families and manage the loading process.
  • This year was the advent of ‘Stage 1’ for Santa Catalina move-in. Residents were instructed to a location off-site to check in, and get their keys and unloading pass. From there, the Stage 1 team worked with the traffic control vendor to send cars as space was available to ‘Stage 2’ at Santa Catalina to quickly unload and then proceed to long-term parking. Both teams worked well together to make this a resounding success.

All in all, move-in is always a long weekend but many hands made light work and feedback from the students and their families was very positive. Great job team!

Apartments by Danielle Reed
Move-in at the Apartments was a breeze this year! We were faced with the challenge of welcoming the largest number of students in the graduate and undergraduate apartments ever – 2,751 across six apartment complexes and two separate move-in dates (September 1 and September 19-20). In addition we added a third check-in location at the brand new Sierra Madre Villages. For us, move-in weekend is the culmination of a busy summer which includes a high number of move-ins at Family Student Housing on a rolling basis, and the various summer session move-ins and outs.

Here’s the recipe for our success:

  • A (mostly) paperless check-in process resulted in shorter wait times AND saved a significant amount of paper.
  • Partnered with Transportation & Parking Services to issue Undergraduate Apartments resident parking permits early and via mail, which also shortened wait times at check-in. 
  • Used the extra time gained to provide a welcoming environment and connect with residents

We welcomed 506 residents and their families to the brand new Sierra Madre Villages. A mammoth effort went into preparing the facility for incoming residents and many staff members worked long hours in the weeks leading up to move-in. Those efforts were much appreciated, and all seemed happy with the location, beautiful apartments, and especially the gorgeous kitchens!

Parent Feedback

Dear Danny,

I just wanted to thank you and your team for a very smooth move in. We moved our daughter into FT (ok, fine Santa Catalina) on Saturday, September 20th. We were amazed at how easy the process was. When I heard that the entire parking lot was closed off for construction, I was expecting gridlock and a long process. However, we were pleasantly surprised that it was so well orchestrated. We loved the check-in spot away from the dorm that allowed us to wait patiently in our car until a spot right out front opened up. I honestly think it took about 15 minutes from the time we pulled up to the curb until we unloaded everything in her room. What a great idea to have so many volunteers helping us move in. Thanks again for the very nicely organized move in process. -Gina K.